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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11230
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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I am 4 months pregnant with an active fibrous tumor and a retroverted

Customer Question

I am 4 months pregnant with an active fibrous tumor and a retroverted uterus. At end of May the fibroid was 8cm (like a tennis ball). Since surgery is not at option until sometime after pregnancy, I am seeking advice on how to be more comfortable when sitting, sitting up, getting in or out of vehicles, or lying and would like to know if there are some specific exercises that I can do.
The aches and pains I experience have gotten worse over the last few days.
The pain is a dull ache, or like a heaviness in the bladder area, sometimes like something is sitting on it, pulling downward and perhaps like a groin pain. I also experience something like a pinched nerve in my lower back.
If having an episode, the pain is more intense when I sit; but standing causes the pinch nerve pain in my back to be more sustained. If I try to alleviate the pain my my bladder area by standing and straightening up, then it can get pretty painful.
Additionally I drive 1 hour each way to work daily and it is very uncomfortable getting in/out of the car (it doesn't matter whether I am seated in a low seat or high seat (like an SUV). It is just as pronounced.
Rolling over in the bed is also painful at times; it takes awhile to adjust. Any advice you can suggest would be helpful. The medical team is not always sympathetic but this is my first, I am 35 years old and not necessarily given to being a whiner. This just feels very uncomfortable. My normal routine was weekly workouts, (2-3 times weekly at a gym and did a lot of walking), weight at 135 at 5'7", traveled (2 flights per month). Now I am pretty sedentary - this is a huge change.
I just had a doctor's appointment yesterday (no sonogram this time). I imagine this fibroid got bigger along with my baby. I am go to an office where they rotate patients on a monthly basis but I am not particularly a match for it because I recently experienced a doctor without a good bedside manner. When I told her about my pain and she heard and saw me trying to sit up, I would just be told that "It is a common complaint for women to have back and ab/pelvic pain." Also, I was told that with my situation, "It will get worse. I'm sorry." Is it recommended at this stage of pregnancy? What are my alternatives? While I understand the purpose, I simply need a doctor that cares and this is my first pregnancy experience.
Today, it got worse for me and I was in the office fighting back tears and unable to sit or stand with ease or even reach for a phone or notepad with ease. Sitting on an exercise ball did actually help me a little. I plan to call the doctor's office tomorrow and discuss my issues.
Thanks for your advice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome.
I am Dr. Norm, and I look forward to helping you today.
A tennis ball is actually 7cm, so your fibroid was a little larger than a tennis ball, and as you suggest, it's probably bigger than that now. Fibroids do tend to enlarge as the pregnancy progresses.
Your uterus is no longer retroverted, since the uterus straightens out as it grows out of the pelvis. However, that doesn't change anything as far as your pain is concerned.
Your large fibroid is probably pressing on a nerve, since fibroids themselves don't usually cause pain. Unless possibly the fibroid has undergone degeneration, where is tends to outgrow its blood supply.
As you suggest, there is no good treatment for fibroids until after the pregnancy is over. So it's usually a matter of finding the most comfortable position, which will be different for every woman.
If your pain continues and increases, I suspect that you may need to stop working early, since the driving and working may cause too much discomfort.
Because of that, I wonder if it might not be best to consider changing providers. It will be important for you to see a doctor who is sympathetic and understanding, and who might have to suggest early medical leave because of the discomfort.
Most women who are 4 months pregnant with a 8cm fibroid would not be having so much pain. Hopefully it will ease up as your pregnancy progresses, but it's certainly possible that it will get worse. There is no good treatment other than resting and trying to find a comfortable position. I wish you the best.