What Happens When Fibroids Burst

What Happens When Fibroids Burst

Uterine fibroids are extremely common, but they can sometimes behave in uncommon ways. Fibroids, non-cancerous growths in and on your uterus, may never cause you pain or difficulty, though depending on their size and location, some fibroids cause heavy and irregular bleeding, crippling abdominal pain, urinary problems, and difficulty getting pregnant. While these symptoms can be severe, they are also common, especially among certain communities.

Occasionally, however, fibroids do something unexpected. They burst. A burst fibroid can result in further complications. Here’s what to expect from the unexpected.*

Why would a fibroid rupture?

Ruptured fibroids are rare, so research is scarce, but existing evidence suggest that ruptured fibroids can be caused by:

  • An increase in abdominal pressure or in blood pressure 
  • A pedunculated fibroid getting twisted on its stem (torsion)
  • An injury that rips the fibroid away from the uterus
  • The fibroid outgrowing its blood supply

What happens when a fibroid bursts?

Fibroids contain nerves and blood vessels. When a fibroid breaks open, it can bleed and cause pain in your pelvis or abdomen. The blood loss can be serious and become life-threatening. If you have fibroids and you feel sudden and severe abdominal pain and/or experience sudden excessive vaginal bleeding, seek medical help immediately.  

Increased blood pressure from pregnancy can also cause a fibroid to rupture. This, in turn, can endanger both your health and your baby’s safety. Work closely in partnership with your doctor if you are pregnant and have fibroids.

How can I lower my risk for ruptured fibroids?

With so little available information on burst fibroids, even experts find it difficult to advise patients on how to prevent them. Awareness and caution are your best bet. If you have, or suspect that you have, uterine fibroids, and are concerned about rupture, you can:

  • See an ob/gyn to get an exam and an accurate diagnosis. Find out the size, number, and location of your fibroid(s). The answers to those questions inform the likely symptoms you’ll experience, possible complications, and most effective treatments. 
  • Get treatment for the actual fibroids, instead of just symptom relief. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments are available. Surgical options range from major open surgery to minimally-invasive procedures. 

Speak with your doctor about your options for decreasing your risk for fibroid rupture. If you suspect that a fibroid has burst, get emergency medical attention.   

*Can Fibroids Burst? (2022, January 20). USA Fibroid Centers. https://www.usafibroidcenters.com/blog/can-uterine-fibroids-burst/#