The Link Between Anemia and Uterine Fibroids

Jun 20, 2024
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Anemia is often caused by blood loss — which for many women happens monthly. If you have uterine fibroids, your monthly flow may be heavier and last longer. It would seem that anemia and fibroids are linked.

Periods aren’t what anyone would call pleasant, but for women with extremely heavy flow, the discomfort and pain can be made worse by fatigue caused by anemia. If you have uterine fibroids, you may bleed heavily for multiple days, depleting your body of iron and causing anemia, which, in turn, can drive feelings of deep fatigue or even dizziness.

At Apex Endovascular, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Dr. Shawn Ahmed provides uterine fibroid embolization to improve your health and treat fibroids without major surgery and the potential loss of fertility, yet with more permanence than medications can provide.

Uterine fibroids and anemia

It’s widely accepted that women should only lose a few tablespoons of blood during a typical period. Unfortunately, for many women, that amount is far smaller than their normal monthly flow. Many women lose double that amount, and some even lose triple that volume of blood, an experience called menorrhagia (excessive vaginal bleeding during or around your period).

Three out of four women are likely to experience uterine fibroids during their lifetime, and 30% of these women end up with menorrhagia due to their fibroids, suffering through heavy cramping and excessive blood loss during their periods, as well as fatigue and dizziness.

The blood loss from fibroid-related menorrhagia often leads to iron-deficiency anemia. If your fibroids aren’t treated, you’re likely to end up needing blood transfusions regularly. Fibroids rarely are cancerous or end up causing cancer, but in some cases they can grow to extreme sizes, causing your abdomen to feel heavy, swell, and stick out.

Solving the fibroid/anemia problem

The best way to resolve iron-deficiency anemia caused by menorrhagia related to uterine fibroids is to go directly to the source. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop on or in the uterus. A procedure called uterine fibroid embolization targets the arteries supplying blood to the fibroids by injecting tiny particles that shut off the blood supply. The fibroids shrink and die, and your symptoms typically go away. 

Embolization is often considered the best option for treating symptomatic fibroids. It takes very little time to start experiencing positive results. In fact, most patients who have the procedure say they have a much improved time with their very next period. You might pass some dead fibroid tissue, so don’t be alarmed if you have spotting or pass small clots in the days after your embolization. 

For more information about anemia, uterine fibroids, and treatment, call 970-508-8439, or book an appointment online for an evaluation in our office.