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Fibroids and Exercise

Girl Tying Her Shoes -Exercise- Fibroids

If you have symptomatic fibroids, exercise might not sound appealing. Larger fibroids often cause discomfort. It’s natural to avoid doing things that might trigger pain. But fibroids and exercise have a unique relationship. Whether you already have fibroids or want to take measures to prevent them, the right kind of exercise will only be to your advantage.

But exercise can only take you so far in terms of dealing with severe or persistent fibroid symptoms. Maybe it’s time to discuss a treatment option that is both non-surgical and highly successful.

Protective Benefits of Exercise

We all know exercise is good for you. You feel better and often look better. Exercise boosts health in multiple ways and plays a role in the prevention of both diabetes and obesity. But there’s more at stake than just keeping calories away. Exercise can bring a wider range of benefits to women’s bodies.

  • Significant boosts in endorphins (brain chemicals that keep your mood good and reduce pain)
  • Strengthening of your heart and cardiovascular system
  • Prevention of hormone-controlled diseases

A number of studies have already shown exercise has a protective action against breast cancer. And researchers believe staying active may be the first line of defense against a variety of hormone-mediated diseases. So is there a relationship between exercise and preventing fibroids?

Can Exercise Shrink Fibroids?

Fibroid development is linked to estrogen and progesterone levels. Both of these hormones work to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. Most women discover they have fibroids during times of hormonal elevation, such as pregnancy or perimenopause. Others notice a decrease in fibroid growth or symptoms during times of reduced or low production of these hormones, such as menopause.

Exercise affects hormones.

It has been shown to reduce estrogen and progesterone levels. Regular exercise may help prevent the growth of fibroids by reducing hormones and the fibroid activity they often trigger. Studies also indicate that a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) is connected with fibroid development. When regular exercise works to lower your BMI, it can also lower the incidence of fibroid growth.

While exercise may help prevent fibroids from growing, it doesn’t do much to control or lessen the size (or symptoms) of fibroids already disrupting your life. But there is a highly efficient way to shrink fibroids back to a size where they don’t cause symptoms. Fibroid embolization. This procedure shrinks fibroids by depriving them of a blood supply. Without the nutrients and oxygen in the blood, fibroids will starve. Embolization is a non-surgical treatment that reduces fibroids and fibroid symptoms without the need for surgery. And fibroids that are correctly embolized will never reappear or regrow.

Vigorous Exercise and Fibroids

As discussed above, exercise can be key in preventing the growth of fibroids. The more active you are, the fewer excess hormones you have circulating to trigger fibroid development.

Is regular, vigorous exercise a cure? No. But it may inhibit fibroids from growing or growing quickly.

Some women will have fibroids that aren’t causing any symptoms. So regular and vigorous exercise benefits without causing discomfort. Others have already noticed the presence of fibroids and may tend to avoid movements that might cause pain or bleeding. Still, others have abdominal distention from large or multiple fibroids that make exercise very uncomfortable or challenging. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, we still recommend staying as active as possible. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t lift, stretch. Keep moving. Exercise helps slow fibroid growth.

Even patients with severe symptoms, such as chronic pelvic pain, may still benefit from some form of exercise. The issue at that stage of symptom may be that any exercise seems completely out of reach. This is why we recommend early treatment. The longer you wait, the more time a fibroid has to grow. And the bigger it grows, the more likely it is to seriously impact your life.

Can Exercise Aggravate Fibroids?

With mild to non-existent fibroid symptoms, exercise can only benefit you. But symptomatic fibroids that cause heavy periods and anemia often drain energy and weaken your system. Exercise becomes a strain on the body’s diminished resources. While exercise doesn’t exactly aggravate fibroids, the effort it requires may seem overwhelming or even impossible.

Get help. Review your treatment options. Fibroids rarely go away on their own. And debilitating symptoms only increase over time. Embolization is a way back to health that doesn’t involve surgery. Call us. Take control back.

Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatment

The Fibroid Treatment Collective (FTC) offers women a minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus). If a physician has suggested this is your best or your only option, do some research first. With a hysterectomy, you lose any chance of ever becoming pregnant. Even when done laparoscopically (using several small incisions, instead of on a large or ‘open’ incision), you will still take months to heal. After a hysterectomy, many women regret not exploring a less invasive approach. Some say they never feel themselves fully again.

Surgeries like hysterectomy or myomectomy (surgical removal of fibroids) have risks that non-surgical procedures avoid. Surgical removal of fibroids, whether by open incision, laparoscopic, or LAAM (Laparoscopic Assisted Abdominal Myomectomy), still have a regrowth rate of about 50%. One out of every two fibroid surgeries winds up with the fibroids growing back. Sometimes in just a few years.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization treats fibroids safely and effectively. You maintain fertility while finding relief from fibroid symptoms. Embolization has a zero incidence of regrowth (fibroids must have a blood supply to grow and thrive). Embolization has a quick recovery time and is low trauma to the body.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Exercise might be able to prevent or slow the growth of fibroids, but it takes actual treatment to address the underlying cause of those symptoms. Reclaim your body. Schedule a consultation. During a one-on-one meeting, we’ll work closely with you to assess your preferences and build a treatment plan around them.

Get life back on track without the risks of traditional surgical methods. For additional information, call us toll-free at 866.362.6463.

What is the Best Treatment for Fibroids?

best treatment for fibroids

The best treatment for fibroids depends entirely on you. Your fibroid symptoms, you’re age, if you’re far away or close to menopause. Whether you want children. How much time you can spare for recovery. Many factors go into choosing the best treatment for fibroids.

Do Nothing

If you have fibroids that aren’t causing symptoms, your doctor may recommend a ‘wait and see’ approach. Just be sure you undergo regular exams and imaging studies. Fibroids can grow quickly and cause significant health issues. They might seem dormant, but do not ignore them.

Hold out for Menopause

If you’re older and your symptoms aren’t terrible, you might consider toughing it out. Decreasing estrogen levels are associated with a decrease in fibroid activity. But be aware that the time before menopause (peri-menopause) can mean wildly swinging hormone levels. The same estrogen highs and lows that contribute to hot flashes and night sweats also contribute to fibroid development, so symptoms could get worse before they get better. If you take estrogen replacement, (bioidentical or otherwise), to minimize menopause discomfort, expect an increase in fibroid growth. If you are overweight, fibroid-related problems could continue long after your periods stop. Fat cells produce an estrogen-like substance that encourages fibroids.

Medical Therapy

Fibroid issues like excessive bleeding or pelvic pain may be temporarily eased by medications to regulate your menstrual cycle. Medical therapy won’t eliminate the problem, but by lowering estrogen levels (fibroids thrive when estrogen elevates), they can soften the symptoms. There are many types of medical therapy, but all involve taking artificial hormones. How you feel about that, and any of the potential side effects, may or may not make this line of treatment appropriate.


Hysterectomy is a commonly recommended option for women with symptomatic fibroids. Surgical removal of the uterus ends all problems with uterine fibroids. Obviously, this treatment isn’t optimal if you want children. Or would prefer to keep your uterus right where it is. A hysterectomy is major surgery. Even when done laparoscopically, (through the vagina with a small incision, rather than a larger abdominal incision), recovery time is lengthy. And often painful.

Surgical Intervention

Surgeries to remove fibroids from the uterus either by cutting, scraping or ablation (heating tissue to a temperature that kills it) is helpful for younger fibroid patients. Especially those who intend to become pregnant. These surgeries tend to be multiple. Additionally, it can be easy to miss smaller fibroids or fibroids deeper in the uterine wall. They will keep growing. Surgical removal as a fibroid treatment or an assist in fibroid-related fertility issues is usually a short-term solution. When fibroids return, so does the need for more surgery.

Fibroid Embolization

Fibroid embolization is a non-surgical procedure that selectively blocks blood vessels. Originally used to stop excessive bleeding during uterine surgery or during birth, embolization proved an excellent approach to fibroid treatment. Without a blood supply, fibroids shrink and fibroid-related symptoms end. Uterine health and function aren’t impaired by invasive tissue removal. Recovery is short, and you experience no surgical discomfort. Embolization is a medically recognized and approved treatment for fibroids. (Your doctor, however, may not know about it.)

What is the best treatment for fibroids? Discuss all the options with your physician. Then consider asking the following questions:

  • Will this approach give me permanent relief?
  • How does it affect my ability to have children?
  • How long will I be away from work, family, normal activities?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Am I likely to have to repeat this type of treatment?

 Here at the Fibroid Treatment Collective, we offer free consultations in-office or over the phone. Feel free to contact us for more information. To learn more about fibroids, visit our homepage. 






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July 22nd, 2019

How Uterine Fibroids Affect Each Trimester of Pregnancy

can uterine fibroids affect your pregnancy

You have uterine fibroids. You’re also pregnant. What should you expect in the months ahead? Many women with fibroids will have a normal pregnancy. The hormonal changes associated with being pregnant often encourage fibroids to grow. Can uterine fibroids affect your pregnancy? Depending on where they are and how big they become, things could get complicated. No need to panic. Just prepare.

Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that commonly appear in 30% to 60% of all women over 35. In many cases, fibroids are unlikely to be problematic during pregnancy. But fibroids are estrogen responsive, meaning they tend to grow when estrogen levels rise. During pregnancy, your body will produce more estrogen. Often that causes a fibroid growth spurt. When fibroids located in the wall of your uterus or directly in the uterine cavity begin to grow larger, they can impact how well you carry the baby or how the baby is delivered.

Women with fibroids should be closely monitored by their ob/gyn. Usually, patients require no immediate fibroid treatment. But your doctor should be aware of the condition and prepare for any potential issues. The primary concerns with fibroid growth can change over different stages of a pregnancy. Here’s what to know.

First Trimester

About one-third of all uterine fibroids grow in size during the first three months of pregnancy. Estrogen surges are highest at this point, so fibroids are likely to expand. The most common fibroid-related issues in the first three months of pregnancy are pain, bleeding and the possibility of miscarriage.

Pain is generally related to the location of the fibroid. Especially if grows to a size where it begins pressing on other internal organs.

Bleeding during early pregnancy can happen when the placenta implants near a fibroid.

Miscarriage is a risk in any pregnancy. If you have fibroids, the chance is about 14%.

Second and Third Trimester

In mid to late pregnancy, fibroid-related concerns change as the baby gets closer to delivery. Fibroids may trigger unusual pain, impact fetal health, cause pre-term birth or birthing complications. Women with fibroids are also 6 times more likely to need a C-section delivery.

Pain experienced early in the pregnancy can elevate, especially if fibroids are large. In addition to putting pressure on internal organs, fibroids can sometimes twist and compress, causing extreme discomfort.

Placental abruption is a medical term for the placenta tearing away from the wall of the uterus before the baby is delivered. While this can also happen in women without fibroids, the condition occurs more often when fibroids are present. It’s serious because the placenta provides oxygen to the baby. Also because it can result in severe blood loss to the mother.

Pre-term delivery is more common among women with fibroids than those without. The normal pregnancy period is 37 weeks. Fibroids may cause you to go into labor earlier.

Cesarean/C-section delivery is 6 times more likely if you have fibroids. They can impair the uterus’ ability to contract normally during delivery, block the birth canal, slow or inhibit labor. The potential for complications during delivery makes a c-section delivery safer for you and the baby.

Ok. You made it through this information. It wasn’t easy. But it really does help to know. Remember, most women with fibroids will have a normally uncomfortable, normally challenging pregnancy. For the few that won’t, awareness is everything.

Want to know more about fibroids and fertility?

Not yet pregnant? Learn more about non-surgical fibroid treatment.

Where and Why do Fibroids Grow?

Where do Fibroids Grow?

Fibroids are benign/non-cancerous tumors associated with the uterus. They are made up of dense, fibrous tissue, which is where the term ‘fibroids’ comes from. Fibroids can appear at almost any time after puberty. However, fibroids are most likely to be diagnosed during pregnancy or perimenopause. To learn more about non-surgical fibroid treatment, reach out to the Fibroid Treatment Collective.

Fibroids are also very vascular. ‘Vascular’ is a medical term that means a strong and well-developed blood vessel system to carry oxygen and nutrients to living tissue. The fact that fibroids are vascular means that surgically removing is often bloody and debilitating. It’s also the reason most repeat fibroid surgeries. Fibroids are like weeds. Leave behind any roots (the fibroid-feeding blood vessels) and they usually grow back.


Where do Fibroids Grow?

Submucosal fibroids grow inside the uterine cavity. This is the space where a growing baby lives. Fibroids here can cause very heavy menstrual bleeding, fertility problems, and issues with carrying or delivering a child. Large fibroids in this area can also enlarge the uterus to resemble extreme weight gain or a pregnancy-type belly.

Intramural fibroids grow within the muscular wall of the uterus. This is the muscular area that contracts when giving birth. Fibroids growing in this area can cause pelvic pain, abnormal menstrual cycles, and uncomfortable pressure. A uterine wall full of fibroids often means intense and frequent cramping.

Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside wall of the uterus. This produces fibroid symptoms like back pain and bladder pressure as growing fibroids press on nerve endings and/or other organs in the body.

Pedunculated fibroids describe fibroids that grow on stalks, like mushrooms. They can emerge from either the inside or outside uterine walls. A twisted or impeded stalk will cause severe pelvic pain.

Why are Fibroids Growing in my Uterus?

Although certain factors are associated with fibroid development, there is no clearly defined ‘cause’. The condition is extremely common. 1-4 women over age 40 have fibroids. But fibroids are also found in younger women (usually during pregnancy). And more and more women in their 30’s, who aren’t pregnant and don’t fit a classic ‘fibroid-prone’ profile, seem to be experiencing the condition.

So what’s really going on here? Medical studies have already linked fibroid development to a surge in estrogen levels. Estrogen spikes, such as in pregnancy or peri-menopause, tend to be high-fibroid times. But fibroids are also occurring in young women who aren’t pregnant. In post-menopausal woman, where estrogen levels should be fairly low. And in mid-30’s women, who traditionally aren’t considered at-risk for this condition.

What else could be influencing fibroid development?

Common Risk Factors for Fibroids

Heredity. Be aware if your mother had fibroids or grandmother had fibroids. Do your aunts, sisters or other female relatives have fibroids? There’s a very good chance you will too. There hasn’t been a gene isolated or associated with fibroid development. And not much information in terms of tracking studies. But clinical evidence noted by OB/GYNs on this subject suggests that fibroids run in families.

Ethnicity. African American women are the ethnic group most likely to have fibroids. Women of Asian descent are the least likely. No one knows why. While fibroids appear in women of all races, statistical evidence points to ethnicity as an influencer.

Diet. You’ve probably heard that eliminating red meat helps. Also soy-based products. Also certain estrogen-rich foods, like yams. Hormones that occur naturally (and not so naturally) are plentiful in our food supply. While no concrete link has been established, there is a reason to believe diet may contribute to the appearance of fibroids.

Weight-gain. It’s a fact that fat cells in the body secrete substances that mimic estrogen. Being overweight might explain why younger women, who aren’t usually aren’t considered at risk for fibroids, still develop them. And why post-menopausal women, whose hormone levels should be low, are facing fibroid problems.

I Have Fibroids. Now what?

You’re not alone and you do have options. Non-surgical fibroid treatment has positively progressed in the past few decades. Surgery is no longer the only choice. Educate yourself about the various and very different ways to end a fibroid issue. Your health and your happiness deserve it!

Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatment

Learn how fibroid embolization has helped countless women take back control in their lives.


What Are Uterine Fibroids and Should You Be Worried?

Woman's hand waiting for doctor in hospital feeling worried

Fibroids are the most common form of pelvic tumors in women. While benign, (non-cancerous), they can have a negative impact on a woman’s health in many ways. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Abnormal periods
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Pain
  • Bladder dysfunctions
  • Bowl dysfunctions
  • Fertility issues

Fibroids begin as ordinary muscle cells in the walls of the uterus. What causes normal uterine cells to begin forming fibroid tumors? Medical studies have linked estrogen levels to fibroid development. Interestingly, the exact cause for the condition is unknown. Added risk factors include:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Premenopausal state
  • Hypertension
  • Diet

Should You Worry?

Fibroids are very common. Most of the female population experience them at some point. In the U.S., under 70 percent of Caucasian women develop fibroids by age 50. In African-Americans, the number is closer to 80 percent. Most cases won’t exhibit any symptoms and are only detected during routine checkups. Most often found during gynecological or pregnancy exams. For the majority of women, a diagnosis of fibroid tumors may be unnerving. But will, in the end, be unnoticeable for a woman’s all-around health.


In a percentage of cases, fibroids do begin to cause troublesome symptoms. Estimates are between 25% and 50% for these cases. When that happens, it’s wise to seek treatment as early as possible. Under the right conditions, fibroids can grow very fast. Fibroid symptoms usually worsen or multiply. Are your fibroid symptoms causing any of the following health issues?

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Blood-loss related anemia
  • Pain
  • Abdominal distension
  • Back pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation

If you answered yes to any of the above, it is time to act. As with most medical issues, early detection and early treatment are important. The longer you wait, the longer you worry and suffer. Why do either?

Fibroid Treatment

Fibroid treatment today can be much simpler and less traumatic than it was in the past. Our grandmothers underwent a hysterectomy. Our mothers had aggressive fibroid surgeries. In the 21st century, we have less invasive options. Some, like fibroid embolization, don’t involve surgery at all. Fibroid embolization is a radiological treatment that shrinks fibroids. As opposed to removing the uterus or cutting out uterine tissue. It requires zero incisions and no hospital stay.

Is one of your worries that fibroid treatment means a lot of time away from work, family, or normal life? Take a long exhale. You can deal with fibroids. And it doesn’t have to mean surgery.

Learn more about recognizing fibroid symptoms.

Explore non-surgical treatment fibroid treatment.

See women who underwent successful fibroid treatment without surgery.

Does Fibroid Embolization Affect Your Ability to Have a Baby?

Shot of a mother holding up her baby daughter

A recent U.S. study, along with patient experiences around the world, support that Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a safe and appropriate treatment for women of childbearing age. Additionally, UFE can have distinct advantages over fibroid surgeries, such as a myomectomy, for fibroid patients who wish to get pregnant.

“Uterine Fibroid Embolization isn’t for women who want babies” – Fact or Fiction?

Early research on UFE, (research now nearly 20 years old), suggested it diminished the ovarian reserve. Ovarian reserve is a medical term for how many good quality eggs you have to make babies. But the average age of women in the study groups was 45. An age when ovarian reserve is already naturally declining. Fertility is already problematic. The assumption that UFE negatively impacts fertility was based on data from women whose fertility was already negatively affected, due to their age. The findings were fiction.

Patient experience and recent medical information are confirming this. As more and more women discovered UFE as a non-surgical treatment option, more and more women chose it. Many went on to have successful pregnancies and many who experienced fibroid-related fertility issues, conceived. Many, of an age to have a suitable ovarian reserve, had babies.
It was time for a re-think about UFE and fertility. It was time for a new study.

A Landmark UFE & Fertility Study

Minimally Invasive Therapy and Technology, a medical journal known for articles on cutting edge, non-surgical advances, published a study by Dr. Bruce McLucas, that investigated the ovarian reserves in fibroid patients after embolization. The study tracked and tested a group of 89 women, between the ages of 23 and 40, for four years after their UFE procedures. The resulting data indicated UFE did not diminish ovarian reserve. UFE did not impair fertility. In fact, 32 of the 89 patients actually had a rise in ovarian reserve, post-procedure.

A Few Other Interesting Facts the Study Revealed

Fact #1: The ability for the uterus to function normally for conception, pregnancy, and delivery is not impaired by UFE.

Fact #2: Fertility in women of normal childbearing age is preserved and even enhanced by UFE when infertility issues are being caused by fibroids.

Fact #3: Ovarian reserve levels, which naturally decline as a woman ages, are not further diminished by UFE.

For Women Who Want Children, But Also Want Time to Decide

Myomectomy, a common surgery to remove fibroids from the uterus, has roughly a six-month window of opportunity for pregnancy. Fibroids tend to grow back after myomectomy. 50% of all myomectomy patients will experience fibroid recurrence within a year. Which means the time to try for a child after a myomectomy can be short. Uterine Fibroid Embolization has 0% incidence of fibroid regrowth. The possibility for pregnancy after UFE is only bound by the normal decline of ovarian reserves as you age.

Read about the landmark UFE & Fertility study here.

Testimonials about pregnancy after UFE here and here and here.


Uterine Fibroids and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Is There a Connection?

PCOS Polycystic ovary syndrome written in a notebook on white table

Uterine fibroids and Polycystic Ovaries are conditions that cause growths to form in female reproductive organs. Fibroids are benign, (not cancerous), tumors that spontaneously appear in the uterus. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome causes cysts, (also not cancerous), that suddenly occur in one or both ovaries.

Both conditions can disrupt menstrual cycles, cause pelvic pain and impair fertility. Both have been linked to hormone imbalances. So is there a connection between fibroids and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

What Causes Fibroids?

Fibroids are thought to be triggered by high levels of the female hormone, estrogen. When estrogen elevates, fibrous tumors often appear and grow in the uterus. The most likely time to discover fibroids? During pregnancy or just before menopause, when estrogen is spiking.

Probable Causes of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS occurs when an overproduction of hormones, called androgens, affect the ovary’s ability to develop and release eggs normally. The ovaries respond by developing cysts. The most likely time for PCOS is during a woman’s childbearing years, in her 20s and 30s.

Risk Factors for Fibroids

  • Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone
  • Race (African American women have a higher incidence)
  • Fibroids in your family
  • Menstruation at an early age
  • Obesity

Risk Factors for PCOS

  • Elevated levels of androgens
  • Elevated levels of insulin
  • PCOS in your family

Are Women with One Condition, Likely to Develop the Other?

The medical consensus is that there is no connection between fibroids and PCOS. While both are influenced by hormone imbalances and can cause similar symptoms, they are separate medical issues and don’t appear to be related.

But a six-year study of 23,000 pre-menopausal African American women challenges this thinking. Boston University Slone Epidemiology Center examined the data and noted that the incidence of fibroids was 65% higher among women with PCOS, than those without. Why? One theory is that when androgens affect normal production and release of eggs, estrogen levels rise in response. And when estrogen rises, so does the incidence of fibroids.

Non-Invasive Fibroid Treatment

Are you experiencing abnormal periods, pelvic pain, or fertility issues? Fibroids or PCOS may be the cause. Get a medical assessment from Dr. McLucas when you contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective.

For information on how non-invasive fibroids treatment, learn more about embolization here.

Woman Shows Up at Hospital with 61 Pound Uterine Fibroid

World’s Largest Fibroid…

A 53-year-old Malay woman living in Singapore recently grabbed international headlines when it was discovered that she was carrying a 61-pound tumor in her uterus. It was reported that the tumor—a uterine fibroid—had first appeared in the woman’s uterus many years before. This just might be the World’s largest fibroid.

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors; in fact, they are the most common pelvic tumor for women to be diagnosed with. They are especially prevalent amongst post-menopausal women aged 50 and over. Fibroid symptoms may include: long and heavy periods, pelvic pain, frequent urination, and constipation. However, most women never suspect they have a uterine fibroid until their doctor discovers one during a routine checkup.

Emergency Hospital Visit

This was not the case for the (unnamed) Malay woman, who stayed home and suffered for too long, apparently avoiding a doctor visit because she was afraid of surgery. By the time she finally arrived at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore, complaining that she had been struggling to breathe for six months, she was also bedridden and unable to move. What her doctors found upon examining her came as a shock—the mass in the woman’s uterus had grown to 61 pounds or roughly the size of the average second grader.

Giant Fibroids

According to one report, extremely large uterine fibroids (more than 25 pounds) are rare even among the “giant fibroid” class. This is because a doctor usually detects them during routine examinations, or else the patient complains of symptoms before they can grow to that exaggerated size.

Uterine Fibroid Growth

The sizes of uterine fibroids can range from “undetectable” to the human eye to big, bulky masses that can enlarge the uterus. It is typical for women of childbearing age to develop one of these masses in her uterus. If not treated, uterine fibroids grow gradually over the years at a rate of about 9% over six months. Though they hardly ever develop into cancer, uterine fibroids can become life-threatening when they grow so large that they deform the surrounding organs. Such was the predicament of the Malay woman when she entered the hospital that night.
When the woman arrived at the hospital, “the mass had taken over most of her abdominal and pelvic cavities. She also had been struggling to breathe for six months because the air had not been able to travel freely to her lungs.”

Surgery to Remove Uterine Fibroid

Singaporean doctors were successful in removing the abnormally large uterine fibroid, along with the woman’s uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. The process of removing the mass involved several major operations, followed by plastic surgery to reconstruct her abdominal wall. She was discharged two weeks after surgery.
Two months later she was able to breathe easier, move around on her own, and her abdominal scar had healed, the report says.

What Causes Uterine Fibroids

Doctors still aren’t sure what causes fibroids. However, research suggests it has to do with a combination of hormones and genetics. Estrogen and progesterone both promote the growth of fibroids. As far as heredity, African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids—and at an earlier age. Also, if any woman’s mother or sisters have fibroids, it is likely she will develop them as well.

It is critical that women seek professional help immediately if uterine fibroids are suspected. learn more about your options for non-surgical fibroid treatment and everything there is know about fibroids.

Fibroids, Your Sex Life, and What to Do About It

Depressed woman in bed with hand on forehead

Uterine fibroids often come with symptoms that can have a significant effect on daily life. One of the common, but often undiscussed challenges is how fibroids impact your sex life. While it isn’t particularly dangerous to have fibroids and engage in intercourse, it can still be a very uncomfortable experience. And certain fibroid symptoms such as weight gain, excessive bleeding and fatigue may contribute to physical and mental issues that cause many women to avoid sex, thanks to fibroids.

Fibroid Symptoms During Sex:

Pelvic and Cervical Pain

Depending on their location, fibroids can have several adverse effects during intercourse. Fibroids that grow along the lining of the uterus, known as submuscosal fibroids, may cause very heavy or unusually prolonged menstrual bleeding. Anxiety, embarrassment or just the fatigue from blood loss can make anyone uninterested or unwilling to engage in sex.

Fibroids located along the outer surface, called subserol fibroids, cause pain by pushing on the pelvic nerves. If the fibroids happen to be on or near the cervix they will make intercourse acutely uncomfortable and may cause spontaneous bleeding. While positions to minimize vaginal penetration may help with this discomfort, sex often becomes a struggle many women choose to avoid.

Weight Gain

Fibroid symptoms such as excessive weight gain and abdominal bloating can negatively impact a woman’s confidence and self-image, reducing her desire to engage with a partner. Very large fibroids, which may extend the uterus to pregnancy dimensions, tend to make sex awkward and unfulfilling.

Heavy Bleeding and Fatigue

A heavy or constant menstrual flow is another significant factor that may inhibit your desire for intercourse. Heavy bleeding that lasts weeks instead of days isn’t just embarrassing or annoying, it can lead to iron and hemoglobin deficiency, a medical condition known as anemia, which causes nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

All of these fibroid symptoms and side-effects take a toll. Not only physically, but also psychologically. Fibroids that impact your sex life have very real consequences. Whether you are married, in a relationship or dating, a medical issue that influences the way you feel about yourself, your body or your sexual desire, shouldn’t be ignored.

Possible Fibroid Symptom Solutions for your Sex Life:

Every woman is different. Every woman’s body is different. There isn’t just one solution to a fibroid problem that’s impacting your sex life. But here are a few simple suggestions that may help. If pelvic and cervical pain are the primary issues, consider changing to one of the following sexual positions to help alleviate pain and pressure:

  • Instead of standard missionary, place a pillow under the buttocks, elevating the angle of penetration
  • Side Lying
  • Doggy Style

Dietary changes that lower estrogen and slow fibroid growth (there is a proven link between estrogen and fibroids) may be useful. Avoiding red meat and dairy, eating more vegetables and organic food, may lessen food-related hormones. While this won’t eliminate fibroids, it may help slow their growth.

Talk to your partner. While fibroids are very personal, so is sex. If fibroids are causing sexual issues and your partner isn’t aware how they affect you, a lack of communication will only cause more problems. A partner who knows you have constraints or physical limitations is far more likely be understanding than someone who assumes you just don’t like sex or don’t like them.

Fibroids that cause life-altering symptoms are not likely to go away by themselves. Yes, there are steps you can take that may lesson uncomfortable intercourse, but professional treatment is ultimately a more practical and lasting solution. Surgeries, like myomectomy, physically remove fibroids. Hysterectomy will remove the uterus and consequently, any uterine fibroids. But something far less drastic or invasive, is a treatment more and more women are choosing: fibroid embolization. Embolization shrinks fibroids instead of surgically removing any tissue or organs. It offers immediate fibroid symptom relief, preserves your fertility, and could get your life (especially your precious and important sex life) back on track.

Is embolization right for you? A free consultation can help you decide.

Am I a candidate for non-surgical treatment?

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