Uterine Fibroids: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Home Remedies

Overview

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 quicker,

Types

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.

Causes

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.
  • Obesity.
  • A vitamin D deficiency.
  • Having a diet higher in red meat and lower in green vegetables, fruit and dairy.
  • Drinking alcohol, including beer.

Symptoms

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.
  • Constipation.
  • Backache or leg pains.
  • Enlarged abdomen or uterus.
  • Miscarriages.
  • Infertility.

Diagnosis

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:

  • Ultrasound.
  • Lab tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC).
  • Hysteroscopy.
  • Hysterosalpingography (a special X-ray test).
  • Sonohysterography.
  • Laparoscopy.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment

Medications

Surgery

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.
  • Hysterectomy.

Home Remedies

Some tips can relieve the symptoms of uterine fibroids.

  1. Avoid high-tat, processed meats, conventional dairy, refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine.
  2. Eat more organic foods, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, beta carotene-rich foods, high-iron foods and flaxseeds.
  3. Try supplements that aid in fibroid reduction, such as vitex, fish oil or flaxseed oil, B-complex, progesterone cream and milk thistle.
  4. Use essential oils, such as thyme, clary sage and frankincense essential oils.
  5. Sip on herbal teas.
  6. Try Castor Oil Packs.
  7. 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.
  8. Have regular exercise.

Consult your doctors for your specific treatment.

Keywords: uterine fibroids; uterus.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.