fibroids are small, benign (noncancerous) growths which grow on the outside, inside or within the smooth muscle in the wall of the uterus. although they are often referred to as fibroid tumors, they are not cancer. only in infrequent cases, a rapidly growing fibroid may become cancerous.
although not the complete story, estrogen plays an important role in the appearance of fibroids. fibroids are uncommon before puberty, they can increase in size during pregnancy, are most often found in women in their 30’s and 40’s, and usually shrink during menopause, all in tandem with rising and falling levels of estrogen in woman’s body.
fibroids are usually not a problem, and if they remain small they may never require treatment. however, in some cases they can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger and produce extremely troublesome symptoms, such as bleeding, pain, or infertility.
the symptoms of fibroids can range from slightly uncomfortable to unbearable. large fibroids can deform the uterus and cause it to press on other organs.
the most common symptoms of fibroids are:
- heavy menstrual bleeding, in extreme cases causing anemia and fatigue.
- feeling of pressure in the pelvis
- frequent urination
- abdominal bloating and pain
- pain during intercourse
although hysterectomies have been often recommended for women with fibroids, the good news is that today many new treatments are available to control symptoms without surgery. uterine fibroid embolization, medical therapies and less invasive forms of surgery can help most women suffering from severe symptoms, without the need for hysterectomy.
even better, there are also natural ways that you can apply to help you control the symptoms with simple lifestyle changes, especially in diet and exercise.