80% of women between 40-50 years of age can develop fibroids according to The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Unless you already know you have them, you’re probably wondering what that means.
Fibroids are benign tumors (meaning they aren’t considered cancerous in most cases) that develop in the uterus. If you have them, 1 of 2 things will happen. They will either grow and cause pain, possibly interfering with other bodily functions or you’ll have them with no symptoms, making them go undetected. There is a 50% chance that you'll have no symptoms at all.
If you’re one of the millions of women affected by fibroids and have symptoms, either currently or in the future, here is what you might expect.
Types of fibroids
There are a few types of fibroids which are named by location of growth in your uterus.
- intramural fibroids grow inside the uterus walls
- submucosal fibroids grow into the hollow cavity of your uterus
- subserosal fibroids grow out of the surface of your uterus
Frequent urination, difficulty urinating, painful sex, lower back pain, bloating, pelvic pain, bleeding between periods, heavy periods, constipation, feeling of a full abdomen, Fertility Issues.
A closer look into these Symptoms:
Heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods and or extra long periods: Many women are diagnosed with fibroids when they have these symptoms. This is especially true when a drastic change happens, for example you’ve been experiencing your normal cycle and all the sudden you’re bleeding more. This could mean fibroids are developing.
A Feeling of Fullness: If you’re experiencing a pressure or fullness in your abdomen it could mean you have a fibroid that has grown fairly large. Sizes can range from Small (less than 1 cm – 5 cm) – Size of a seed to a cherry. Medium (5 cm – 10 cm) – Size of a plum to an orange. Large (10 cm or more) – Size of a grapefruit to a watermelon. The largest fibroid ever removed was reported to weigh over 100 lbs. Be sure to listen to your body, if you feel that fullness or pressure in your abdomen, see a doctor.
Pain in back, abdomen, or pelvis: Fibroid pain is a common symptom and besides having pain in your back, abdomen or pelvis, experiencing painful sex is also common. Pain symptoms vary depending on each person.
Frequent urination, difficultly urinating or constipation: These symptoms are based on the fibroid location and size. Frequent urination can come from the fibroid pressing on the bladder. Difficulty urinating can come from the fibroid cramping the urethra. Constipation can develop from the fibroid being near the rectum, causing a blockage.
Infertility issues: Only a small amount of women with fibroids (about 5-10%) experience infertility related to fibroids. In this situation it can affect any stage of conception, it can potentially prevent conception by interfering with the motility of sperm or the fibroid can block the fallopian tube. Blood flow can decrease from the location of the fibroid making it difficult for an embryo to implant in the uterine wall. If conception does take place, other difficulties can happen during pregnancy.
Treatment of fibroids, if you go to a medical provider: I'm going to do a quick run through of some of the current methods fibroids are dealt with in the medical world only because I want to make sure you know that there are a few options besides a hysterectomy (which some women have been lead to believe is the only way, it is not). Another option is a uterine artery embolization where they are able to block the blood supply to the fibroid and it shrinks. There is also a endometrial ablation that destroys the uterus lining only. Some doctors will also suggest birth control if the fibroids are causing heavy bleeding. The birth control will help reduce the bleeding but it doesn't actually shrink the fibroids and in some women, birth control actually makes their fibroids worse. There is also Lupron® which puts your body into a menopausal state. This is because fibroids usually go away once a woman becomes postmenopausal.
Today though we are going to be talking about natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help with fibroids. The natural way can be a longer road but it's all about rebalancing your body. Understanding fibroids is the first step. Though it isn't clear what the exact cause of fibroids is, studies suggest genetics play a role. There is also a link to estrogen. Fibroids grow from large amounts of estrogen. Meaning your hormones being out of balance is the contributing factor. You've heard us talk about balancing hormones in order to find solutions to tons of unpleasant symptoms. S'moo was designed to help regulate hormones in order to help women reduce PCOS symptoms and S'moo may help you on your journey for many symptoms that are hormone balance related. Why, because studies show that estrogen, progesterone and excess testosterone may all contribute to fibroid growth. S'moo may help your body rebalance those hormones and get you back on track.
Exercise and stress management can support optimal hormones and reduce chances of fibroid growth or to help reduce fibroids in your body. I know you're thinking, "this is always a suggestion" but that's because exercise and less stress make a huge difference to your body and really do help support healthy hormones and naturally reduce fibroids.
So, where is estrogen stored? In fat cells. What does this matter? Because fibroid grow from excess estrogen. Now you know that you can reduce fibroids by reducing body fat because you'll be reducing the excess estrogen levels in your body. Losing weight isn't easy and takes time but it might cause a reduction in fibroid symptoms even if you only lose a little bit of body fat.
Low estrogen diet high in fiber can also help, as fiber helps eliminate excess estrogen. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, arugula, brussel sprouts, cabbage, radishes, and turnips have amazing estrogen-blocking properties. 6-9 cups a veggies a day will help keep your hormones in check. Again, it might seem like a ton but once you adjust to these lifestyle changes, you'll start enjoying the benefits of feeling good, having more energy and less discomfort.
Foods to avoid: It's best avoid or eat less red meat and drink less alcohol as studies show that too much of either can increase your risk of uterine fibroids. It also seems that an excess of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods can make fibroids worse like pasta, flour, corn syrup, and baked goods.
Can fibroids turn into cancer? No but women who develop fibroids are more likely to develop uterine cancer. The FDA just released a warning about a surgical procedure for fibroids known as laparoscopic power morcellation which can cause cancer based on the removal of fibroids. If you have a planned surgery to treat your fibroids, be sure to find out if they are using any laparoscopic power morcellation. You can find more information from the FDA on this here: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/surgery-devices/laparoscopic-power-morcellators
Fibroids, like anything will be different depending on the person. Some methods will work better on some than others. Overall, rebalancing your hormones naturally should help your body feel better and reduce fibroid symptoms. Women's health is complex, our bodies can accomplish so much and our hormones can do amazing things if they are balanced.
Fibroids don't have to run your life, it might seem like a never ending battle but relief can be obtained with the right combination of lifestyle changes and treatments. If you need support from other women like you, feel free to join our private facebook group with 1000's of women sharing their personal experiences and offering support.
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.