The female reproductive system is quite complex and can experience many different issues that women need to be aware of. One of these conditions is uterine fibroids, which are compact tumors that are made of muscle cells and connective tissue. These tumors are benign and grow in the uterus, and it has been estimated that up to 80 percent of women will develop them at some point in life.
Since fibroids are so common but often misunderstood, here is some information about fibroids and how to treat them naturally.
What Causes Fibroids?
Unfortunately, researchers aren’t 100 percent sure what causes fibroids, which means that prevention can be tricky. Some research suggest that fibroids develop from aberrant muscle cells and then multiply due to the presence of estrogen.
There are several types of fibroids, and they can range from about the size of a bean to the size of a melon. The most common type are intramural fibroids that are embedded in the muscles of the wall of the womb. Other types are submucosal, cervical, and subserosal fibroids.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Many women who have fibroids don’t experience any symptoms at all, while other women suffer greatly from them. Common symptoms of fibroids are lower back pain, heavy menstrual periods, pain in the pelvis, pain during sex, and frequent urination. Women who have fibroids may have trouble getting pregnant and bleed between their periods too.
Risk Factors for Fibroids
Fibroids commonly affect women between the ages of 16 and 50, but they are most common among women who are approaching menopause. This is likely due to the exposure during this time to high amounts of estrogen. African American women are more likely to have fibroids than women of other races, and obesity is also a risk factor. This is why regular exercise, including yoga, are recommended for fibroid prevention.
Natural Treatments for Fibroids
A doctor may be able to diagnose a woman with fibroids by taking an x-ray, MRI, ultrasound of the vaginal area, or performing an endometrial biopsy. Many fibroids go away on their own at the onset of menopause, so doctors often recommend simply monitoring them before taking any drastic treatment measures. For women who have symptomatic fibroids or ones that are very large, a doctor may recommend a hysterectomy, taking anti-hormonal drugs, or taking anti-inflammatory painkillers to relieve the symptoms.
However, there are also natural ways to approach fibroid treatment that are worth exploring. Women who are overweight and have fibroids benefit from losing weight because fat cells produce large amounts of estrogen. The foods you eat also impact fibroids, so avoid simple carbs, like crackers and white rice. Instead, fill you diet with raw and cooked fruits and vegetables, like pomegranate and broccoli, as well as whole grains and lentils. Beta carotene rich foods, such as carrots, are also part of a fibroid-free diet.