Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas
or myomas, are benign muscular tumors that
can grow on the uterus. They rarely turn into cancer.
If you get them, it doesn’t mean you’re more likely to get uterine cancer. Uterine
fibroids usually occur during childbearing years.
Many women have uterine fibroids sometime
during their lives. But most women don’t know they have uterine fibroids
because they often cause no symptoms. They may be found incidentally during a
pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.
Uterine fibroids usually occur in women of
childbearing age — generally between 30 and 40 years old although they can
appear at any age. About 20% to 80% of women develop fibroids by the age of 50.
Uterine fibroids are typically found during the middle and later reproductive period.
They usually shrink after menopause. In America, uterine fibroids are a common
reason for surgical removal of the uterus.
According to the data, uterine fibroids are
more common in African-American women and tend to show up earlier and grow
Generally, uterine fibroids are classified
by their location.
- Intramural fibroids: grow
within the muscular uterine wall.
- Submucosal fibroids:
bulge into the uterine cavity.
- Subserosal fibroids:
project to the outside of the uterus.
The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unknown currently, while there are some factors may be related to the condition, including:
- Genetic changes.
- Family history.
- Hormones: According to some studies, estrogen and progesterone may
promote the growth of fibroids. Uterine fibroids contain more estrogen and
progesterone receptors than normal uterine muscle cells do. Uterine fibroids
tend to shrink after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production.
- Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like
growth factor, may affect fibroid growth.
- Race: Black women are more likely to have fibroids than women of
other racial groups. Meanwhile, black women usually have fibroids at younger
ages, and they’re also likely to have more or larger fibroids.
- Onset of menstruation at an early age.
- Use of birth control.
- A vitamin D deficiency.
- Having a diet higher in red meat and lower in green vegetables,
fruit and dairy.
- Drinking alcohol, including beer.
Most women with uterine fibroids have no
symptoms. Others may have symptoms, including:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Menstrual periods lasting more than a week.
- Bleeding between periods.
- Menstrual pain.
- Pain during sex.
- Pelvic pressure or pain.
- Frequent urination.
- Difficulty emptying the bladder.
- Backache or leg pains.
- Enlarged abdomen or uterus.
Uterine fibroids usually can be found incidentally
during a routine pelvic exam. If doctors find some signs, they may need you do
some tests to diagnose uterine fibroids, including:
- Lab tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC).
- Hysterosalpingography (a special X-ray test).
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists.
- Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD).
- Tranexamic acid (Lysteda).
- Other medications: Oral contraceptives or progestins can help control menstrual bleeding, but they don’t reduce fibroid size. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (not hormonal medications) may be effective in relieving pain related to fibroids, but they don’t reduce bleeding caused by fibroids.
Noninvasive procedure: MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS)
Minimally invasive procedures:
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE).
- Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy.
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy.
- Endometrial ablation.
Traditional surgical procedures:
- Abdominal myomectomy.
Some tips can relieve the symptoms of
- Avoid high-tat, processed meats, conventional dairy, refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine.
- Eat more organic foods, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, beta carotene-rich foods, high-iron foods and flaxseeds.
- Try supplements that aid in fibroid reduction, such as vitex, fish oil or flaxseed oil, B-complex, progesterone cream and milk thistle.
- Use essential oils, such as thyme, clary sage and frankincense essential oils.
- Sip on herbal teas.
- Try Castor Oil Packs.
- Avoid some chemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, bleach, food preservatives and harmful cleaners. Use natural, unbleached feminine care products, organic body care products and makeup.
- Have regular exercise.
Consult your doctors for your specific
Keywords: uterine fibroids; uterus.