Most women have fibroids at some point in their lives, but they often go undetected because they don’t cause any symptoms. They vary in size and can be anywhere from a pea to a watermelon. You might just have one or you could have many.
If you have fibroids, wherever they are, it’s important that you know how to shrink them so that they don’t continue to grow. And if you’re going to have surgery to remove them, then you’ll need to make some changes so they don’t grow back.
Get ready to understand how fibroids develop, how they can affect fertility, what your treatment options are and learn natural ways to reduce fibroids.
Discover more about fibroids with 7 Things You Must Know About Fibroids If You’re TTC.
How Fibroids Develop
It is not completely understood why fibroids develop, but we do know that they are hormone dependent. Women usually get fibroids from 30 to 50 years old. The changes in hormones during menopause cause fibroids to shrink and disappear.
There are factors that can make you more prone to getting fibroids, like if they run in your family or if you’re overweight. Excess oestrogen is thought to be a contributing factor in fibroid growth. Oestrogen can build up in your body in many ways:
- Early period – if you started your period at an early age, then you’ll have more oestrogen.
- No pregnancies – if you haven’t had any pregnancies, then you’ll have additional oestrogen.
- Overweight – being overweight means that your body stores more oestrogen.
- Xenoestrogens – oestrogen builds up in your body when you’re exposed to synthetic oestrogens, such as in the contraceptive pill, plastics and in food.
- Poor detoxification – when your body is not able to get rid of the excess oestrogen efficiently, then it gets stored in your body.
How Fibroids Affect Fertility
Most women with fibroids will not be infertile, however, fibroids can affect your ability to get pregnant in several ways:
- Change the shape of the cervix or womb and interfere with the number of sperm entering the womb and the way the sperm move around in the womb.
- Block the fallopian tubes and stop the egg and sperm from meeting.
- Affect the lining of the womb so the embryo is unable to implant or develop.
- Cause miscarriage.
- Create heavy bleeding that can lead to anaemia.
Treatment For Fibroids
The type of treatment that your doctor will recommend depends on the type, location and number of fibroids that you have and the symptoms that they are causing. When you’re trying to get pregnant, then there are lots of treatment options that will not be appropriate.
Drugs For Fibroids
- Pain Killers – Ibuprofen is often recommended to reduce pain and discomfort, but it is just used to treat the symptoms. It does not get to the root of the problem or have any effect on the fibroids.
- Contraceptive Pill – The pill will stop heavy bleeding, but it will also stop you from getting pregnant and it won’t shrink the fibroids.
- Hormone Treatment – Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) treatment, which shrinks the fibroids, however, this is only temporary and when you’ve stopped taking them, fibroids grow back.
Surgery For Fibroids
If you have a fibroid that is growing inside your womb (submucosal fibroid), it can stop implantation and cause infertility, even if it’s small. When you have fibroids removed, then it’s important that you also change your lifestyle to make sure they don’t grow back again after surgery. Surgery options include:
- Hysteroscopy – A hysteroscopy is performed using a scope through your vagina and into the womb to remove the fibroids so that no incisions are made.
- Laparoscopy – A laparoscopy involves a few small incisions in your abdomen to remove the fibroids.
- Laparotomy – A laparotomy is similar to laparoscopy, but it uses a larger cut to remove the fibroids.
Natural Ways To Reduce Fibroids
- Balance your hormones – the goal is to get to the root cause of the hormonal imbalance causing the fibroids to grow. It’s often more complicated than just reducing oestrogen.
- Support your liver – when you help your liver to work better then it can metabolism toxins and excess oestrogen more efficiently.
- Eat organic food – Avoid pesticides that are sprayed onto non-organic fruit and vegetables. And avoid hormones found in non-organic meat and dairy products.
- Reduce inflammation – No gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol and reduce Omega 6.
- Manage stress – take time out to relax and process stress that builds up throughout the day by exercising and breathing.
- Iron supplement – If you suffer with heavy bleeding from your fibroids, then check if you’re anaemia and take supplements.
- Reduce xenoestrogens – avoid plastics and toxic household cleaners and personal care products.
Manage Your Fibroids
Now you have a better understanding of fibroids, how they develop and how they affect fertility. This will help you to make an empowered choice about treatment options and how to naturally change your body to shrink fibroids.
All my best,
Rachel Bolton BSc (Hons), Lic. Ac., Lic. Tui Na.
I empower women to see themselves as Fertility Heroes and help them to optimise their fertility, get pregnant and have healthy babies.
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