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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.

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.

But.

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.

Fibroids and Stress

stress and fibroids

There are many important aspects to raising Uterine Fibroid awareness. This includes encouraging women to look more closely at their bodies, learning more about treatment options, and helping them to feel less stressed and isolated. Suffering can be a daunting experience with fibroid symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, painful sex, and weight gain. These all add up and increase levels of anxiety and stress in a woman’s life. Finding ways to address and manage this stress are often neglected but can be an imperative part of the healing process.

The Relation Between Fibroids and Stress

Concerns for one’s health as well as dealing with painful fibroid symptoms can easily bring about stress. Not only do the symptoms associated with fibroids cause a physical pain, but also an emotional pain for women and their relationship with others. Day to day pain associated with fibroids and an enlarging uterus may make mobility and socializing a much more difficult and a particularly stressful endeavor. Other fibroid symptoms such as pain during intercourse may cause stress to a relationship, as well as the possibility of infertility for couples looking to start a family. Without managing stress, fibroids can quickly overtake a woman’s life and lead to feelings of isolation.

Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Finding the best way to cope with fibroids and stress is unique for every woman. If you’re unsure where to begin, try different type of stress relief techniques at least once to see which ones show the best results. Here are some of the most effective techniques to reducing stress and anxiety:

  1. Finding Support: Turning to family, friends, counselors, or support groups can provide emotional assistance and de-escalate isolation.
  2. Relaxation Exercises: Meditation, breathing exercises, and loosening muscle tension are effective and easy ways to bring stress down on a daily basis.
  3. Making Lifestyle Changes: Exercising and having healthy balanced meals are great for releasing pent up muscles, improving sleep, and metabolizing excessive stress hormones.
  4. Medication: For those who find it particularly difficult to get through stress even after trying the other techniques, medication prescribed by a physician or psychiatrist can be a beneficial alternative.

Find Fibroid Treatment with Fibroid Embolization

Putting an end to stress and pain associated with fibroids can be as simple as finding the right treatment. Embolization is a procedure that shrinks fibroids and alleviate fibroid symptoms, all without the need for invasive surgery. Learn more about fibroid embolization by contacting the Fibroid Treatment Collective at (866) 479-1523.

Can Fibroids Cause Anemia?

Sick woman sleeping at home

Anemia occurs when the amount of blood the body loses is greater than its ability to replace lost blood cells. This condition is common for women who either experience heavy bleeding due to menstrual periods or have uterine fibroids. In many cases fibroids can be the cause of a heavier menstrual cycle and anemia. A type of fibroids known as submucosal fibroids (located within the uterine cavity); can enlarge the surface area of the endometrium (uterine lining) subsequently causing heavier periods. Fibroids can also contribute to disorders in hormone production, which causes contractions and relaxation of the muscles in the uterus, creating greater blood loss.

Fibroids and Anemia

For women who are suffering from fibroids and heavy menstrual bleeding, the loss of blood can also mean loss of hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein found in red blood cells. When iron begins to deplete from the blood, it can no longer carry oxygen. This is known as iron-deficiency anemia. This type of anemia often shows symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, and weakness because the blood cannot supply enough oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. If left untreated, this can lead to severe problems such as pregnancy complications, irregular heartbeats, heart murmur, an enlarged heart, or even heart failure.

Fibroid Treatment Through Embolization

Put an end to the dangers of anemia by addressing fibroid symptoms with the help of effective treatment options. Embolization as well as hysterectomy or a myomectomy can provide women with relief from fibroids and the symptoms associated with them.

Embolization is unique because unlike surgical options, it does not cut, remove, or scar any uterine tissue and has a 90%+ success rate for symptom relief. If you believe the cause of your anemia may be due to fibroids, learn more about fibroid treatment by contacting us today at 1(888) 296-9422.

Fibroid Testimonials and Joining the Fibroid Community

fibroid awareness

While fibroids are very common and non-cancerous tumors, many women feel uncomfortable or uncertain speaking openly about them. Often, there’s silence around fibroid symptoms like uncontrolled bleeding, excessive pain, sexual discomfort or fertility issues. But talking about uterine fibroids is crucial. Not just to help with feelings of anxiety or isolation, but to shine the light on a problem that affects millions of women.

You aren’t alone. 1 in 4 women will have uterine fibroids at some point. Chances are, a friend, co-worker, or family member has fibroids and has shared your struggle. By talking to others, we find support, education and encouragement. You may also hear about fibroid treatment options or advances other women are exploring or have experienced.

If you are interested in openly joining the fight against fibroids, consider getting involved with COMPARE-UF. This registry is a patient-driven organization designed to bring women together and share their fibroid testimonials. The data, coordinated by the Duke Clinical Research Institute, will be used to help future patients make more informed decisions about their own treatment plans. We still have so much to learn about the treatment of uterine fibroids. By disclosing your treatment experience, you can actively help defeat this affliction.

More Fibroid Testimonials

If talking freely about fibroids just doesn’t feel right, you can still join the conversation by visiting https://fibroids.com/success-stories. Here, you’ll find patient videos from a broad spectrum of women discussing fibroid symptoms, fibroid surgery and a non-surgical treatment approach called fibroid embolization. Many of the interviews come from women who have lived with fibroids for years or endured multiple surgeries before finding non-surgical relief. You can learn more about embolization by contacting the Fibroid Treatment Collective at (866) 479-1523.

Dealing with fibroids doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavor. Engaging with others to discuss fibroid symptoms, share stories and evaluate fibroid treatment options truly helps us feel more in control and more confident about the steps we take to deal with them.

Can Fibroid Surgery Risk Spreading Cancer?

I know this is difficult news

For most women with Uterine Fibroids, cancer is not an issue because fibroids are essentially benign growths in the uterus that can be removed or shrunk. However, in extremely rare cases, instead of a non-cancerous growth, women may be dealing with a type of cancer known as uterine sarcoma. Unfortunately for these women, there is no definite way of knowing prior to surgery if the tumor is benign or cancerous.

Typical Fibroid Surgery

When undergoing a hysterectomy or myomectomy through the laparoscope, a device known as a morcellator breaks up tissue into tiny pieces that can then be removed through a small incision. After surgery, the study of the tissue can indicate if cancerous cells are present. When the morcellator cuts tissue to extract it, small pieces of a cancerous growth have the potential to spread.

Due to growing concern, the FDA investigated the correlation between women diagnosed with uterine sarcoma and those who have received this procedure. Through public hearings with gynecologists and manufacturers of the morcellators, the FDA has asked for further studies and for gynecologists to discuss with their patients the small possible risk involved with the use of morcellators before proceeding with surgery.

While the spread of cancer may make women want to second-guess getting treatment for fibroids, the worst thing to do is put it off. At the Fibroid Treatment Collective, we can help treat women with an alternative option for their fibroids. Embolization, a non-surgical fibroids treatment in Los Angeles, has helped women around the world achieve a fibroid-free life.

Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatment

Unlike a hysterectomy or myomectomy, which surgically remove the uterus or fibroids, fibroid embolization keeps the uterus completely intact and shrinks fibroids by removing their blood supply. In the rare case embolization fails, our team will know within a two-week period and help our patients find the cause, which may be a uterine sarcoma.  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. 

How Fibroids Affect the Menstrual Cycle

Sad and lonely teenager portrait in the city street

For the majority of a woman’s reproductive life, the regularity of her menstrual cycle is closely associated to her well-being, while an irregular menstruation can often be a sign of abnormal activity in the body. In some instances, Uterine Fibroids are the cause of these abnormalities. For more information on the types of fibroids and steps you can take towards effective fibroid treatment, contact the top fibroids specialist in Los Angeles, Dr. Bruce McLucas for a consultation.

The three types of fibroids: intramural, subserosal, and submucosal can produce different symptoms based on the size and location of the fibroids. Intramural and submucosal fibroids are usually the cause of heavy or abnormal bleeding during a menstrual cycle.

While the main reason for these symptoms are unknown, abnormal bleeding is believed to be caused by the way fibroids change the muscular contraction of the uterus which can prevent it from controlling the amount of bleeding during a cycle. Fibroids have also been shown to compress veins in the uterine wall, creating a dilation of the uterine lining. As the pressure increases in the veins, the lining of the uterus expands, and may result in abnormal bleeding. Heavy menstrual bleeding is usually caused by either intramural fibroids found deep within the wall of the uterus, or submucosal fibroids, found just under the inner lining of the uterus.

Heavy and abnormal bleeding not only increases clot formation, but can also prolong periods, lead to weakness, fatigue, painful cramps in the abdomen and back, and in some cases anemia. Women who have experienced heavy or difficult periods may often not consider fibroids a viable reason for the irregularity in their cycle. If you undergo any of these abnormal symptoms or suffer from overnight excessive flow, consistent bleeding through super tampons or maxi pads, consider making an appointment with your ob/gyn to see if fibroids may be the cause.

Fibroids Specialist in Los Angeles

If fibroids are the cause of your heavy or painful menstrual cycle, don’t delay in seeking effective treatment from a qualified fibroids specialist in Los Angeles. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a non-surgical procedure especially suited for today’s active, and busy lifestyle. It’s also a great alternative treatment for younger women who may wish to have children because it protects fertility by not cutting, removing, or scarring any uterine tissue. For more information on how embolization can put an end to irregular menstruation, contact The Fibroid Treatment Collective at (866) 479-1523.

Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Woman Has Stomach Ache Sitting on Bench at Park

At some point, most of us will experience abdominal pain. Most causes of abdominal pain are not worrisome and can easily be diagnosed and treated. The following is not intended to diagnose or treat abdominal issues, but merely to familiarize you with common causes and related conditions.

The Basics of Abdominal Pain

The abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower margin of the ribs and diaphragm above, the pelvic bone below, and the flanks on each side. Organs in the area include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas. Also the female reproductive system is within the abdominal cavity.

Typically, various amounts of pain can arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity (such as the skin and abdominal wall muscles) and can range in intensity from a mild stomach ache to severe, acute pain. The pain is often nonspecific and can be caused by a number of different conditions such as inflammation, infection, or the stretching or distention of an organ (obstruction of the intestine or swelling of the liver), or by loss of blood supply to the organ (ischemic colitis).

Diagnosing Abdominal Pain

Doctors determine common causes of abdominal pain by relying on physical examinations or tests, the actual characteristics of the pain, and by surgical or endoscopic options.

Information can also be obtained by taking down a patient’s medical history in order to better determine the cause of pain. This might include tracing back the origins of the pain by time, specific location, pattern, and duration, as well as looking at things that might allow the pain to worsen or relieve itself on its own. Associated signs and symptoms, such as fever, diarrhea, or bleeding also are taken into close consideration.

Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Whether it is a mild stomach ache you are suffering from, or sharp pain and cramps, abdominal pain–as mentioned– has many causes. For instance, it might merely be indigestion or constipation. Or perhaps it is a stomach virus, or, if you are a woman, monthly menstrual cramps.

Other possible causes include:

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
• Crohn’s Disease
• Food poisoning or food allergies
• Gas
• Lactose Intolerance
• Appendicitis
• Diverticulitis
• Fibroids
• Colitis
• Gallstones
• Kidney Stones
• Obstruction of the Intestine
• Ulcers
• Hepatitis
• Endometrioses
• Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
• Colon Cancer
• Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
• Viral Gastroenteritis
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Persistent, severe or reoccurring abdominal pain simply isn’t normal. There may well be an underlying health condition related to internal organ issues, tissue inflammation or food sensitivity. The sooner you consult with a doctor, the sooner you can determine probable cause and appropriate treatment.

Chronic abdominal pain is a warning sign that should not be ignored. Women often endure pain in this area, assuming it’s associated with monthly menstrual discomfort or changes within the reproductive system. Which it may well be. But it’s always better to investigate and know…than to suffer in uncertainty.

Could your abdominal pain be fibroid related? A few simple tests can confirm or rule out the presence of fibroids. Contact The Fibroid Treatment Collective for fibroid-related diagnostic and treatment advice, click here for a free, online consultation.

What is the Difference Between Endometriosis and Fibroids?

Doctor and patient consulting on a table

Both endometriosis and fibroids have a role in menstrual irregularity and pelvic pain. They can present similar symptoms and can cause similar problems. And both are leading causes for a hysterectomy. But they are very different conditions.

What is Endometriosis?

The muscular walls of the uterus bear a lining called the endometrium. Every month, the endometrium adds additional layers in preparation for a fertilized egg. When fertilization occurs, the fetus is nourished by this lining. When fertilization does not occur, various portions of the lining will be shed, along with the unfertilized egg, in the monthly menstrual cycle.

Endometrial cells may migrate to different organs, such as the fallopian tubes, bladder, large intestine, and even the lungs. Outside the uterus, these cells may grow and create endometrial tissue in areas where it doesn’t belong. The body reacts to this irregularity with scarring, cysts, inflammation and discomfort.

Endometriosis is the presence of tissue normally found in the uterus, outside the uterus.

Common Symptoms of Endometriosis

o Infertility
o Pain during and before menstrual cycles
o Pain during sexual intercourse
o Painful urination during menstrual period
o Painful bowel movements during menstrual period
o Nausea, constipation, diarrhea

What are Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are solid tumors containing smooth muscle fibers and connective tissue that develop within the uterine walls. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors. But they can seriously impact health, depending upon their size and location.

Fibroids vary in size and shape. They can grow slowly or very quickly. Fibroid symptoms such as hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy and prior to menopause, are believed to trigger sudden, rapid fibroid growth. For most women, fibroids will remain small and asymptomatic. But for some patients, fibroids create persistent, life-impacting challenges.

Fibroids are benign tumors that grow within the walls of the uterus.

Fibroid Symptoms

o Heavy, excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
o Infertility
o Pelvic pain and pressure
o Pain during menstrual cycles
o Back pain
o Pain in the upper thighs
o Pain during intercourse
o Frequent urination
o Constipation
o Abdominal swelling
o Weight gain

Causes

The exact causes for these two conditions remains unknown, but many doctors believe that estrogen may be the main culprit.

Only a doctor can determine the presence of endometriosis or fibroids. Medical imaging and other tests are needed to confirm which (or both) conditions might be present. While symptoms may be similar, these are two distinct diseases. They require distinct and specific treatments. Remember, the sooner you identify the problem, the more likely you are to successfully handle it. Endometriosis and fibroids rarely solve themselves.

Questions concerning endometriosis or fibroid symptoms? We’re here to help. Click here to speak with us.

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