BACKGROUND: Urinary and pelvic floor symptoms are often attributed to size and location of uterine fibroids. However, direct supporting evidence linking increased size to worsening symptoms is scant and limited to ultrasound evaluation of fibroids. Because management of fibroids is targeted towards symptomatic relief, identification of fibroid and pelvic characteristics associated with worse symptoms is vital to optimizing therapies and preventing needless interventions.OBJECTIVES: We examined the correlation between urinary, pelvic floor and fibroid symptoms, and fibroid size and location using precise uterine fibroid and bony pelvis characteristics obtained from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective review (2013-2017) of a multidisciplinary fibroid clinic identified 338 women examined via pelvic MRI, Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory questionnaire (PFDI; score 0-300), and a Uterine Fibroid Symptoms questionnaire (UFS; score 1-100). Multiple linear regression analysis was used to assess the influence of clinical factors and MRI findings on scaled PFDI and UFS scores. Data were analyzed in STATA.RESULTS: Our cohort of 338 women had a median PFDI of 72.7 (IQR 41-112.3). Increased PFDI score was associated with clinical factors of higher BMI (p<0.001), non-commercial insurance (p<0.001), increased parity (p=0.001) and history of incontinence surgery (p=0.003). Uterine volume, dominant fibroid volume, dimension and location, and fibroid location relative to the bony pelvis structure did not reach significance when compared with pelvic floor symptom severity. The mean UFS score was 52.0 (SD 23.5). Increased UFS score was associated with dominant submucosal fibroid (p=0.011) as well as BMI (p<0.0016), and a clinical history of anemia (p<0.001) or any hormonal treatment for fibroids (p=0.009).CONCLUSION: Contrary to common belief, in this cohort of women presenting for fibroid care, size and position of fibroids or uterus were not associated with pelvic floor symptom severity. Whereas, bleeding symptom severity was associated with dominant submucosal fibroid and prior hormonal treatment. Careful attention to clinical factors such as BMI and medical history is recommended when evaluating pelvic floor symptoms in women with uterine fibroids.
View details for PubMedID 30711512