Feeling fatigued? Experiencing body pains? Having difficulty with fertility and maintaining a pregnancy? You may have uterine fibroids, and it is important to get ahead of them NOW before they require surgical removal that affects fertility and hormonal balance. Uterine fibroids present a serious issue to women, they affect weight gain, fertility, pregnancy health, body pains, and overall health. Don’t procrastinate; tackle potential and existing fibroids naturally before they require surgery.
What exactly are uterine fibroids?
Fibroids are essentially benign tumors that grow in the body and have a wide variety of sizes and body regions they can impact. Uterine fibroids can be located in the uterine cavity, within the uterine wall, or even outside of the uterus. The good news? Uterine fibroids, in particular, involve growths of the uterus, which are generally non-cancerous. They rarely develop into cancer and are not correlated with uterine cancer risk. The bad news? These fibroids are difficult to detect (experiencing symptoms is rare), common in women, and can affect fertility, weight, and other health issues.
Am I at risk for uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids occur in the uterus, so naturally, the risk level is extremely high and, unfortunately, common for women. In fact, research shows that close to 80% of females develop fibroids at some point in their lives. Women, make sure to ask your doctor to regularly check your risk levels for uterine fibroids so you can get ahead of them before they require surgical removal! Other risk factors, besides gender, involve age, race, and heredity. If you are a female in the reproduction age window, it is especially important to get checked for fibroids as they can affect fertility and pregnancy. When it comes to racial groups and their link to fibroids, black women are at a much higher risk of developing a higher quantity and frequency of uterine fibroids, and they generally also experience heightened symptoms of the same. If you have a female relative (particularly within your immediate family) that has had a history of fibroids, you are more likely to develop uterine fibroids.
If you are actively trying to get pregnant or hope to do so in the future, fibroid health is of even greater importance. Uterine fibroids are one of the major factors contributing to infertility and pregnancy complications. Of course, there are various other risk indicators. These include – a lack of vegetables/dairy/fruits in your diet, high consumption of red meat, high consumption of alcohol, deficiency in key vitamins (especially vitamin D), weight gain or obesity, and the onset of your period at an early age. Although the actual causes of uterine fibroids are still unclear, research has shown that a few key indicators can increase risk. These include:
Get routine checks if you have a family history of fibroids (within the uterus or any other region). Look out, especially for changes in your genetic pattern – fibroids can change the genetic layout of the cells in your uterine muscles. These genetic changes may be due to uterine fibroids.
Increased Hormone Production
An increase in hormone production, particularly the estrogen and progesterone hormones, facilitates the development and growth of fibroids in the uterine lining during periods (this increase in hormone levels is naturally induced to prepare the body for pregnancy during each cycle). This is also why menopause, which slows the production of these hormones, often automatically shrinks fibroids.
Growth factor substances (used to stimulate and maintain body tissues), like insulin, can also increase the growth of fibroids. A high extracellular matrix (a tissue that stores these growth factors) can result in cell changes within the uterus. This can lead to the development of uterine fibroids as well.
How do I know if I have uterine fibroids?
Unfortunately, uterine fibroids can be difficult to detect due to their lack of symptoms and less-than-noticeable pain. They are often discovered accidentally via routine ultrasounds (prenatal) and pelvic exams.
Although experiencing any symptoms of uterine fibroids is rare, there are a few common signs/symptoms women can look out for. These symptoms relate to issues with periods, bladder, and even other parts of the body.
Menstrual Cycle Issues
Common symptoms include abnormally long menstrual cycles (more than a week-long) and heavy bleeding during menstrual cycles. Another symptom is spotting/bleeding when you are not on your period.
Urinating more than usual and/or issues in properly emptying your bladder are signs that you may have developed uterine fibroids.
Constipation and digestion problems can indicate fibroid development.
Although body pains can occur for a variety of reasons, pain or pressure in the pelvis, back, and legs can be indicative of uterine fibroid growth.
Weight can be a result of multiple factors but can also occur when a woman has multiple fibroids in the uterus, causing the uterus to expand and add weight.
Anemia may be due to uterine fibroids or a decrease in your red blood cell count. Check with a doctor if your red blood cell count is low or if there is no other reason for the low count. You may also experience fatigue and other discomforts due to blood loss.
How will I know if my symptoms are painful enough to see a doctor?
As with any illness, the prolonged existence of any symptoms is always a good reason to check with your doctor. If your pelvic pain, bladder issues, heavier/longer periods, or decreased red blood cell count does not go away, see a doctor and ask them to check for fibroids. Additionally, if any of the above symptoms are suddenly/extremely painful, get medical help as soon as possible.
How can I prevent fibroids?
As uterine fibroids are usually difficult to detect, it is crucial to be proactive in your own fibroid prevention. Natural prevention practices are the best way to avoid surgery due to unnoticed fibroids that have grown to the point of requiring surgery. The key to preventing uterine fibroids, or generally any fibroids, is the time-tested strategy: a healthy lifestyle. This means exercising, consuming lots of water, decreasing red-meat intake, and increasing nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and dairy intake. It also means getting routine blood tests to check for vitamin deficiencies (particularly vitamin D) and ensuring you maintain proper vitamin levels through the necessary supplements/foods. Additionally, ask your doctor to conduct routine imaging tests – these can help detect the onset of uterine fibroids.
If I have uterine fibroids, what are my treatment options?
The prevention + detection process may result in the necessary surgical removal of uterine fibroids that are too late to cure or shrink naturally. Doctors can prescribe fibroid-regulating medications that release GnRH (blocks the production of the fibroid-feeding hormones: estrogen and progesterone). Surgery may be required if it’s too late (the fibroids have become too large, deep, or just too many!). Unfortunately, the surgical options for uterine fibroid removal often involve major hormone changes and/or loss of fertility.
Medication: Some doctors may prescribe options that relieve fibroid symptoms but do not actually shrink the fibroids or make them “go away.” For example, IUDs (often prescribed as a fibroid solution) can help with heavy bleeding symptoms but do not provide a long-term fibroid solution. Similarly, other hormonal/nonhormonal medications (NSAIDs and medications with Tranexamic acid) can only alleviate issues with overall pain or menstrual bleeding but do little to eliminate fibroids or decrease their size.
Surgical options: Doctors can provide a range of options to surgically remove uterine fibroids. These include hysterectomies (permanently removes the uterus, eliminates the ability to have children, and often requires hormone replacement therapy post-surgery), as well as adnominal myomectomies (removes fibroids when they are too high in number/size/depth but can affect fertility). Even less-invasive procedures tend to treat only existing fibroids (or even just a portion of them) but generally do little to completely remove them.
None of the above: The best way to avoid the consequences of fibroids and surgery is to prevent fibroid growth in the first place (see prevention measures above). However, that is easier said than done, especially for those with natural, uncontrollable high-risk factors due to age, race, and genetics. Fortunately, fibroids can still be shrunk through natural treatment options.
What is the best way to treat fibroids naturally? Are there alternative treatment options?
Yes! If you want to avoid surgery with permanent and lifelong consequences, natural cure/treatment options are the way to go. These options are most effective when they involve aspects that target both health (diet) + wellness (exercise, stress reduction, and vitamins/supplements).
As mentioned earlier, a daily balanced + nutrient-rich diet of fruits/vegetables (especially raw!), brown rice, grains, lentils, potassium, and herbal remedies can go a long way in preventing fibroid growth. Avoid heavy alcohol/smoking and red meat intake, and try to reduce carbs + processed/baked goods. Maintaining a healthy weight through this diet (paired with exercise) does volume to prevent fibroid growth. Of course, (consistent) exercise helps immensely, as it impacts both physical and mental health and reduces weight – a key contributor to fibroid growth.
There are natural remedies that improve physical health and reduce overall stress. As mentioned above, these include heated compresses, warm baths, massages, herbal remedies, and exercise. In addition, vitamin supplements (and other supplements) can also prevent/reduce uterine fibroids' growth, frequency, and size. These should include vitamins D and E, omega-3 fatty acids, B-1, B-6, and magnesium. There are also various other health supplements that provide the above necessary vitamins and more to prevent + shrink uterine fibroids, boost your overall health, and reduce mental/physical stress.
Want to avoid surgery and its consequences? Regardless of whether you need preventative or treatment measures, take control of your physical + mental health and protect your uterus today.
Learn more here!
1. Caporuscio, J. P. (2019, October 26). Natural treatments and diet for fibroids. MedicalNewsToday. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326808
2. Iftikhar, N., MD. (2019, October 30). Shrinking Fibroids with Diet: Is It Possible? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fibroids-diet#diet-and-lifestyle-changes
3. Natural Alternative Treatments for Uterine Fibroids. (2022, February 23). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/natural-treatments-for-uterine-fibroids-90069
4. Uterine fibroids - Symptoms and causes. (2021, September 16). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/symptoms-causes/syc-20354288