Medical specialists are still not certain of the causes of fibroids, but research and clinical experience point to these factors:
- Genetics: fibroids seem to run in families, but no-one is sure at present whether this is a genuine genetic predisposition, or whether lifestyle and diet play a role in some families.
- Hormones: fibroids are common in women who have hormone imbalances, especially when there is too much circulating oestrogen and not enough progesterone.
- Liver function: iIf your liver is not functioning efficiently, hormones such as oestrogen may not deactivate, causing an accumulation of oestrogen because it is not being excreted properly. Oestrogen dominance is pronounced and again, this will encourage the growth of a fibroid.
- Other factors that have been related to an increase in fibroids include high blood pressure, obesity, use of the oral contraceptive pill, smoking, too much coffee and even using talcum powder in the perineal region.
Causes of Fibroids: Some Interesting Research
Recent findings indicated that while fibroid growth rates are similar for African American and caucasian women under 35, as women get older, growth rates decline for caucasian women but not for African American women. Another study found that among women receiving reproductive interventions, treatments were less successful for African Americans, who were more likely to have fibroids, than for the Caucasian women.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Symptoms of fibroids, particularly when small, may be entirely asymptomatic (no symptoms). Generally, symptoms relate to location and size, and may include:
- Heavy bleeding, sometimes with blood clots
- Continued bleeding (sometimes no break between one period and the next)
- Mild to severe cramping and pain
- Longer or more frequent menstruation
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Pelvic discomfort/dragging sensation
- Internal pressure on other organs
- Frequent miscarriage
- Painful urination and increased urination
- Constipation and backache if fibroids press on your bowel
- If fibroids are on a stalk, they can twist, causing pain
- Sometimes lower abdominal swelling may be seen. Some women may need to increase their clothing size for this reason, not because of a significant weight gain.
The main symptom of fibroids is heavy periods. When fibroids grow inside the womb, the mechanism that operates menstrual flow may not work properly. The heavy bleeding can be a result of the fibroids making the womb bigger (creating a larger surface of womb lining that has to bleed every month), or the pressure of the fibroids may disrupt the normal blood flow. As a result, many women with fibroids will have heavy periods, but experience no pain.
Fibroids or Endometriosis?
Fibroids are one cause of severe period pain, but the pain also can be caused by endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the inner lining of the uterus grows in other parts of the body. This tissue breaks down and bleeds during your period, causing painful scar tissue deposits. The pain of both these conditions can also occur between periods.
Can Fibroids Shrink?
Yes, fibroids can shrink. Since they are oestrogen-fed, when a woman reaches menopause and because of the decline in oestrogen production, the fibroid is not being ‘fed’ so it can shrink.
Shrink Fibroids Naturally
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