Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomas, are growths of tumour like fibrous tissue (non-cancerous) inside the uterine tissue. Fibroids affect 20-25 percent of women aged over 35.
Fibroids range from tiny to large, from symptom free to painful. They impair fertility by interfering with the ability of the ova to implant in the uterine wall, and can increase the risk of miscarriage.
The most common symptom is heavy bleeding. Larger fibroids can cause you to urinate frequently and cause feelings of heavyness or pressure in the lower abdomen. Some women have the feeling or sensation that “everything might fall out” before or during their period.
Many women have no symptoms at all, with the fibroid only being detected during a pelvic ultrasound. Fibroids can occasionally be associated with pain due to complications that may arise from them, such as a restricted blood supply.
What causes a fibroid to grow?
It is not know why fibroids first develop, but it has been established that their growth is dependent on the presence of the hormone oestrogen. Fibroids seldom develop before the first period and usually shrink after the menopausal years.
Women with other conditions in which oestrogen plays a role, like endometriosis or endometrial hyperplasia are more likely to develop fibroids.
What can natural treatment do for fibroids?
Naturopathic management of fibroids involves using herbs and nutrients which help reduce excess oestrogen levels and improve uterine tone.
Herbal medicines can also help reduce symptoms like heavy periods and help to prepare your reproductive system for pregnancy.