15/10/2015 05:41 BST | Updated 15/10/2015 05:59 BST

Heavy Periods? You Could Have Fibroids, Doctor Warns

Having heavy periods are a pain in the ass. Not only are they expensive (hello, tampon tax) but they can be painful and extremely inconvenient.

But beyond the blob, they can also signify something far more serious - fibroids.

In the above video, Dr Rosemary Leonard explains that 45% of women are unaware that excessive menstrual bleeding is one of the main symptoms of this condition.

Fibroids grow on, or in, the wall of the womb and can vary in size. Some can be as small as a pea, while others can be the size of a melon.

They are the most common form of non-cancerous tumours in women, affecting four in 10 females at some point in their lives.


Fibroids are commonly found in women aged between 30 and 50 years old. One in three women experience symptoms, the most common of which is heavy periods.

Other symptoms include: pelvic or abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, pain during sex, constipation and frequent urination.

"I was getting through a box of tampons a day," says one woman in the video above. "I didn't really want to go out... because I never knew when I was going to be flooding."

Meanwhile another adds: "The first big bleed I had was at the hairdressers. She'd just finished cutting my hair and we looked down and there was a huge pool of blood on the floor."


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Fibroids, if left untreated, can also impact a woman's ability to become pregnant and carry a baby full-term.

Despite this, many women will wait up to five years before going to see a doctor about the issue.

Dr Leonard says it's incredibly important to visit your GP if you experience any of the symptoms, particularly heavy periods.

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