Nikita Johnson Student Midwife, Birth Assistant, Certified Obstetrics & Gynecology Surgical Technologist, Certified Doula, Patient Care Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Phlebotomy Technician, Certified Placenta Encapsulator - CEO/Founder DMV Birth Doulas.
What are fibroids?
Uterine fibroids, or leiomyoma, are benign uterus tumors that feed off estrogen in the uterus and may cause severe pain, bleeding, and infertility. Estrogen is a steroid hormone that manages the growth of the uterus and replaces its lining, which is shed each month during menstruation. Progesterone controls menstruation itself by getting the body ready for pregnancy each month by supplying the uterus sustenance to encourage the implantation of a fertilized egg.
If estrogen levels are too high, it can lead to fibroid development and growth, and if you don't have sufficient progesterone, the body can't stop the growth. Progesterone not only limits the effects of estrogen on fibroids but also can deter their development and may limit their size.
Subserosal fibroids grow outside the uterus, intramural fibroids are located inside the uterine wall, and submucosal fibroids are inside the uterus or womb. Fibroids can range in size and location. Some are very small, while others can be large and distort the uterus.
It's possible to have fibroids and not know it since they don't always produce symptoms. If you do experience fibroid symptoms, you might notice: Heavy or long menstrual periods
Irregular bleeding between periods
Lower back pain
Lower abdominal pain
Pain during sex
African-American women are more likely to have fibroids than women of other races. Additional risk factors include being overweight, being over age 30, and having been pregnant.
Statistical Evidence about Fibroids, Infertility, and Pregnancy
According to statistics, Fibroids are present in 5-10% of infertile patients and may be the sole cause of infertility in 1-2.4%. Fibroids may cause infertility by obstructing the fallopian tubes. Having fibroids doesn't interfere with ovulation, but submucosal fibroids can make it harder for your uterus to support conception and maintain pregnancy. In some cases, this type of fibroid can cause infertility or pregnancy loss. Having fibroids while pregnant can increase your risk of complications during labor and delivery, including the likelihood that you'll need a cesarean section. Your risk of placental abruption or preterm delivery might also be higher if you have fibroids.
Treatment of Fibroids
Treating or preventing uterine fibroids before pregnancy may improve your fertility risk and decrease your labor and birth complications. One way to avoid fibroids is by maintaining a low estrogen diet. By paying attention to your diet, you can impact your hormonal balance and tune up the internal ecosystem working with estrogen overload. Of course, a diet cannot cure uterine fibroids but a fibroid diet plan can deliver good results. Fibroid diet also can help manage unpleasant symptoms and potentially slow down the growth of the tumor(s). A plant-based diet is effective for fibroids, as the plant substances contained in it have a regulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiproliferative effect.
These substances have an inhibitory effect on fibroids:
Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG): green tea
Resveratrol: grapes, mulberries, peanuts
Isoliquitritigenin: licorice root tea
Ellagic acid: pomegranate, berries
Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, papaya
Sulforaphane: broccoli (raw) and broccoli sprouts. Another way to treat fibroids is to remove them with a procedure called an Abdominal Myomectomy. It's a major surgical procedure involving making an incision through the skin on the lower abdomen, known as a "bikini cut," and removing the fibroids from the uterus wall. The uterine muscle is then sewn back together using several layers of stitches.
Whether you choose diet control to inhibit fibroids or opt to surgery, our team can help provide support along the way. Our group has surgical and holistic experience. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with us to see how we can customize support for you.