40’s Women Common Disease – Fibroids
Fibroids or uterine fibroids as they are also known, are growths in the uterus. They are benign, which means they are not cancerous, and are made of muscle and other tissue. Fibroids can be as small as a pea and can grow as large as a melon. They usually shrink or stop growing after menopause. The average age range is from 35 to 50 with peak incidences in the 40’s. Fibroids almost never develop into cancer. The cause of fibroids is unknown.
Types Of Fibroids
Fibroids are categorized by where they grow in the uterus.
- Intramural – these grow in the wall of the womb and are the most common type of fibroid.
- Submucous – submucous fibroids develop in the muscle underneath the inner lining of the womb. They grow into the womb and can also grow on stalks which, if long enough, can hang through the cervix.
- Subserous – these fibroids grow from the outer layer of the womb wall and sometimes grow on stalks (called pedunculated fibroids). Subserous fibroids can grow to be very large.
- Cervical – cervical fibroids grow in the wall of the cervix (neck of the womb) and are difficult to remove without damaging the surrounding area.
If you have fibroids, you may have one or many. You may also have one type of fibroid or a number of different types.
Fibroids Rick Factors
Obesity is associated with the presence of uterine fibroids. It is a condition that may be inherited if a woman’s primary relative has fibroids. It is linked to estrogen levels. The fibroid may grow in size during pregnancy or when using birth control pills.
Fibroids are prevalent in women with endometriosis. According to some studies, the consumption of beef, red meat and ham are associated with the presence of fibroids.
Common Problems Caused By Fibroids
- Heavy bleeding or painful periods. Periods may last more than 7 days and menstrual flow may be heavy. Some women find they need to change sanitary napkins or tampons so often that they cannot function normally during their period. Heavy menstrual flow can sometimes lead to anaemia.
- Pressure on other organs. Large fibroids may press on organs in the pelvis. If fibroids press on the bladder, a woman may feel the urge to urinate frequently. She may pass only small amounts of urine and she may feel as though she has not completely emptied her bladder. If fibroids press on the bowel, she may feel constipated or full after eating only a small amount of food. If fibroids press on one or both ureters (the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder), they may partially block the flow of urine. A woman may not be aware of this because it often isn’t painful. Over time, however, this kind of blockage can lead to kidney infections or other serious kidney damage.
- Pain in the pelvis. The pressure of large fibroids on other organs may cause pain in the pelvis. Sometimes if fibroids do not get the blood flow they need to sustain themselves, they degenerate or die. This may cause severe pain lasting for days or weeks. Pain may also occur if the stalk of a fibroid twists, cutting off blood supply to the fibroid. Rarely a fibroid may become infected and cause pain.
- Spotting of blood from vagina before period comes.
- Feeling full in the lower part of the abdomen.
- Pain during sex and lower back pain.
- Infertility, having a miscarriage or early labour.
Can Fibroids Lead To Cancer?
In most women, fibroids DO NOT lead to cancer. Rarely, however, fibroids can turn into a cancer called a leiomyosarcoma. This happens to an estimated 1 in 1000 women who have fibroids. Some cancerous tumors may develop directly from normal tissue in the uterus. The average age on women with leiomyosarcoma is 55.
Warning signs of cancer may include:
- rapid growth of the fibroids or the uterus
- vaginal bleeding after a woman has passed menopause
Do Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?
Most women with fibroids have no more trouble becoming pregnant than women who do not have fibroids, and their risk of a bad pregnancy outcome is no higher.
About 1 in every 15 women with infertility has fibroids, but the fibroids are usually innocent bystanders. They cause only 2 to 3 percent of cases of infertility. Fibroids that block one or both of the fallopian tubes may prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. Fibroids that fill the uterine cavity may block implanation of a newly fertilized egg.
Fibroids especially those located in the cavity of the uterus may increase the chance of a miscarriage or may cause a woman to go into labour before her due date. Fibroids may also increase the chance that the baby is not positioned to come out head first. This may increase the need for cesarean section. Rarely, fibroids can cause complications of pregnancy called placental abruption and postpartum hemorrhage.
- Avoid weight gain after age 18 and maintain a normal body weight compared to your heart. Proactol is highly recommended as it is a clinically proven weight loss solution, 100% organic and suitable for vegetarian. Body weight tends to increase estrogen production, thus aggravating fibroid growth.
- Exercise can help control your weight and additionally decrease hormone production that stimulates fibroid growth.
- Tobacco use has not been proven to be linked to an increase in fibroids. But quitting smoking will improve general health and well being if you have fibroids.
- Schedule routine health visits with your provider to allow for early detection.
A doctor may perform a pelvic examination or a transvaginal ultrasound.
Treatments for fibroids
Surgery by either removing the fibroid from the uterus (myomectomy) or removing the uterus (hysterectomy) but only if the woman has decided not to have children.
Hormone treatment is the other alternative available. The main hormone treatment for fibroids is a type of drug called a GnRH analogue. GnRH stands for gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. It’s a hormone that affects levels of other hormones in your body. Most women get side effects from these drugs. Symptoms of the menopause and thinning bones are common side effects.
Estrogen is the hormone that makes fibroids grow. Estrogen dominance is thought to occur when there is a drop in progesterone production during menopause. Black Cohosh is one of the more thoroughly researched herbs which contains phytoestrogens and is approved by the German ‘Kommission E” – a body similar to the FDA. Because Black Cohosh has mild estrogen-like effects it will bind to estrogen receptors, without raising estrogen levels in the body – thereby lowering the estrogenic activity of the body. Phytoestrogens can compete with excess systemic estrogen and xeno-estrogens and therefore help to balance systemic estrogen production. Black Cohosh is one of the principle ingredients in MellowPause remedy by NativeRemedies. In the case of severe menopausal symptoms, we recommend that MellowPause be taken together with Dong Quai. Dong Quai is also well researched and apart from its phyto-estrogenic properties, it has also been shown to be effective in the induction of progesterone receptor activity, thereby further balancing the estrogen/progesterone ratios.