Uterine fibroids are common among women. About 75% of women experience uterine fibroids at one point in their lives. According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, fibroids, which can range in size from a few millimeters, or about the size of a pea, to the size of a grapefruit, are “the most frequent indication for major gynecologic surgery. The good news is that it is not life threatening, and can be managed or treated by removing it through operation.
Let’s take a look at what uterine fibroids are, their symptoms, causes, how they develop and when to see a doctor.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths that form in or on the uterus of women during childbearing periods.
They are non-cancerous growths that form in or around the uterus of a woman. The growths vary in size and are composed of muscle and fibrous tissue.
Can Fibroids Affect Menstrual Cycle?
Fibroids can affect menstrual cycle. These tumors can occasionally grow extremely large, resulting in excruciating abdominal pain and irregular menstrual cycles. It greatly affects menstrual cycle if the location is close to the uterus opening. In some cases they do not have any noticeable effects at all. The growths are normally noncancerous or benign.
Where Can Fibroids Be Found?
To comprehend the many types of uterine fibroids, you must be aware that the uterus has three layers, namely:
- The outer layer, also known as the perimetrium
- Myometrium or the middle (and thickest) layer
- The inner lining of the uterus, known as endometrial
What are the various Types of fibroids?
The type of fibroids you have is determined by where they’ve grown, or on what layer.
There are four primary types of fibroids include:
- Intramural fibroids
- Subserosal fibroids
- fibroids with pedunculated bases
- Submucosal fibroids
Intramural fibroids are the most frequent form of fibroid, manifesting in the muscular wall of the uterus. Due to their intramural location, intramural fibroids may enlarge and stretch the uterus.
This form of fibroid grows on the serous membrane (or serosa), which is the outer layer of all internal organs and bodily cavities. Subserosal fibroids may grow large enough to make your uterus appear asymmetrical.
Fibroids with pedunculated growths
When a subserosal fibroid develops a stem, this is known as a pedunculated fibroid. This stem transforms into a thin, tumor-supporting base. If this occurs, a pedunculated fibroid will develop here.
Submucosal fibroids develop in the myometrium, or middle layer of the uterine muscle. This form of fibroids is less prevalent than the other three.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Some women don’t know they have fibroids because they do not experience the symptoms, while some women discover their symptoms.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids include:
- The Pelvic pain or pressure
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
- Unusually frequent urination
- Abdominal swelling
- Low back pain during intercourse or during menstrual periods
- Fatigue or low energy from heavy periods and excessive bleeding
- Infertility, if the fibroids are blocking the fallopian tubes
- Repeated miscarriages
What Causes The Formation And Growth Of Uterine Fibroids?
The following are some factors that can cause uterine fibroids:
Obesity: You are more likely to get fibroids if you are overweight or obese.
Family background: You can be more prone to developing fibroids if someone in your family has the disease.
Women who don’t have children: Women without children are more likely to have uterine fibroids.
Getting your periods at a young age: You are more likely to get fibroids if your periods begin at a young age.
Late menopause: The risk of fibroids can be raised by the hormones progesterone and estrogen.
Eating habits: Consuming too much red meat and ham is associated with an increased risk of developing fibroids.
Now, let’s look into how uterine fibroids develop in women uterus. In order to better understand the causes of uterine fibroid, it is important you first know the how uterine fibroid forms. Let’s discuss this in detail for better understanding.
Estrogen and Progesterone Production in a Normal Menstrual Cycle
From puberty until menopause, a woman’s body is structured to rely on estrogen and progesterone to fuel and control her monthly cycle.
The majority of estrogen is released into the bloodstream during the first half of a woman’s monthly cycle. Estrogen prepares a woman’s uterine lining for implantation of a fertilized egg, should fertilization occur.
The majority of progesterone is released into the bloodstream of a healthy woman during the second part of her monthly cycle. Throughout this phase, progesterone maintains the uterine lining that estrogen helped to develop during the first two weeks of her menstrual cycle.
If a fertilized egg implants successfully into the uterine wall, i.e., if a woman becomes pregnant, her body must create a considerable amount of progesterone continuously to maintain a thick and well-vascularized uterine wall throughout the duration of pregnancy. A healthy placenta efficiently performs this task of constant progesterone synthesis.
If there is no implantation or pregnancy, a woman’s body ceases manufacturing substantial amounts of progesterone, resulting in the shedding and discharge of the thicker uterine lining, often known as her monthly flow.
Until a woman reaches menopause, this cycle repeats around once per month, with estrogen dominating the first half of each cycle and progesterone dominating the second half.
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Having an excess of estrogen relative to progesterone is referred to as estrogen dominance. Many women and even adolescent girls in developed nations have excessive estrogen and/or inadequate progesterone levels. This is a big problem.
Why Is Estrogen Dominance A Negative Trait?
Estrogen dominance causes a woman’s uterine lining to thicken considerably more than is healthy during her monthly cycles. This repetitive, excessive thickening can cause localized growths in the uterine muscle and connective tissue. These growths are known as uterine fibroids.
It is clear that reducing and avoiding uterine fibroids requires treating estrogen dominance.
What Are The Causes Estrogen Dominance?
Exposure to Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are estrogens produced externally to the body.
Here is a list of notable xenoestrogen sources:
- Contraceptive pills
- Hormone replacement pills
- Condom spermicides
- Conventional personal care items, especially cosmetics
- Plastic kitchenware
- Factory-farmed animal products contain growth hormones.
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
- Soap and detergent foaming agents
Estrogen is generated in three distinct bodily locations:
Ovaries (testicles in men)
The higher a person’s number of fat cells, the higher his or her likelihood of having estrogen dominance.
Chronic physical and/or mental stress causes the body to convert progesterone into cortisol, the stress hormone. In fact, it is now known that a pregnant woman who endures severe stress can draw into her baby’s progesterone reserves to produce enough cortisol to manage her stress. The point is that stress can lead to a depletion of progesterone, which generates the same condition of estrogen dominance that a woman suffers when her estrogen levels are too high.
What you can do to prevent uterine fibroids and decrease them?
The following are what you need to do in order to prevent uterine fibroids and decrease them.
- Avoiding unwanted exposure to xenoestrogens is essential. Examine the above list of xenoestrogens and try your best to avoid them.
- Due to the fact that fat cells create estrogen, it is vital to reach and maintain your target body weight in order to treat chronic estrogen dominance.
- Estrogen dominance must be addressed in part by making a deliberate and continuous effort to properly regulate emotional stressors.
- It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some women with uterine fibroids find that their fibroids shrink significantly and, in some cases, vanish entirely after a water fast.
- This makes perfect sense, as a water fast tackles each of the primary causes of estrogen dominance. Assuming that a water fast is performed under ideal conditions, xenoestrogen exposure will not exist. During the second day of a water fast, the body is compelled to burn excess fat for energy. Lastly, a water fast reduces the sympathetic nervous system’s tone, hence reducing the requirement for the stress hormone cortisol.
- The best part about all of this knowledge is that you do not need to fast in order to successfully manage estrogen dominance. As long as you adhere to the aforementioned dietary and lifestyle recommendations, you will give your body the best chance of naturally preventing and reducing uterine fibroids.
- The type of fibroids you have is determined by their location within the uterus. Your doctor will be able to determine the most efficient treatment for you if he or she is aware of the many types of fibroids and the one you have.
How can I determine the type of fibroids I have?
If you are experiencing symptoms that could indicate uterine fibroids, make an appointment with your doctor to undergo tests and acquire an official diagnosis. Typically, fibroids can be diagnosed with pelvic examination. Your doctor can determine the size and shape of your uterus during a normal pelvic exam. If the uterus is swollen or has an uneven shape, this is a significant indication that fibroids are present.
Additional tests that can confirm a diagnosis of fibroids include:
This is a form of x-ray that enables visualization of the uterine lining (uterine cavity). A cannula is inserted into the opening of the cervix and filled with an iodine-containing liquid to provide contrast on the x-ray. This treatment can only detect fibroids located within the uterus (intramural fibroids).
Transvaginal ultrasonography (TV US)
Transvaginal ultrasonography (TV US) involves inserting an ultrasound probe, known as a transducer, into the vagina. The transducer creates sound waves that bounce off your organs and transmit images of your pelvic interior to a monitor. In order to obtain a complete image of your organs, your doctor or a technician will then slowly switch off the transducer while it is still inside of you.
Saline infusion sonography (SIS)
Saline infusion sonography (SIS), commonly known as sonohysterography (SHG), is performed using an ultrasound and sterile saline (saltwater) fluid to visualize the uterus and uterine lining. After inserting an ultrasound probe into the vagina, a catheter is inserted. The ultrasound examination continues as saline is delivered through the catheter to fill the uterus, allowing the physician to observe the uterine walls and cavity. This draws attention to abnormalities such as fibroids.
When to Call A Doctor For Fibroid
Women should seek treatment when uterine fibroids cause excessive menstrual flow, chronic pelvic pain or pressure, or recurrent miscarriage.
Originally posted 2022-08-25 04:17:37.