Fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) tumours that grow from the muscle layers of the uterus (womb).
Fibroids in the uterus usually related to excess oestrogen and as such often decline at menopause unless oestrogen dominance is present. In either case they can be usually managed with supplementary bioidentical natural progesterone.
They are the leading cause of hysterectomy, with nearly half of these operations being performed for uterine fibroids and so prevention is a good route by ensuring good progesterone levels balanced against oestrogen.
Do You Know If You Have Fibroids?
Elizabeth A. Stewart, M.D., lead author and surgeon at the Mayo Clinic commented.
“Many people are unaware that the vast majority of women will experience uterine fibroids in their lifetime and that this condition can cause significant fear for those with symptoms.”
The majority of women will have no symptoms at all, but some may experience the following:
- Heavy, prolonged bleeding and/or painful periods
- Anaemia from heavy periods so you have tiredness and shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Pain in your lower back and legs.
- Frequent urination and constipation if the fibroid presses on the bladder or rectum
- Pain or discomfort during sex
Why women don’t seek help
Unfortunately the majority of women suffer for an average of 3-5 years before seeking any help. This is generally due to fear that the fibroids will grow and that then they will need a hysterectomy.
Other reasons include fears regarding future fertility and pregnancy, the impact on relationships, sexual function, body image, loss of control and hopelessness. A substantial number of women are also concerned about missed days from work due to their symptoms, and many felt that their symptoms prevented them from reaching their career potential.
What may surprise the medical profession, but not women themselves, is that the vast majority would prefer a minimally invasive treatment option that preserves the uterus. Other than a hysterectomy, the other option offered is usually ultrasound as that is non-invasive.
Prevention is always a better option so tackling the oestrogen dominance that is at the root of it is the place to start.
Smaller fibroids respond well to bioidentical natural progesterone supplementation together with a removal of additional oestrogen sources from synthetic hormones such as HRT.
Once fibroids grow beyond a certain mass then surgery may be the only option as they will be fed by any additional hormones.