What You Need to Know About Uterine Fibroids
Eight out of ten women will develop fibroids in their lifetime. These tumours are noncancerous. In some cases, symptoms will develop, and in some, treatment is not required. Let us explore the different types of fibroids, the symptoms and steps to treat them.
What is Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are growths made up of muscle and fibrous tissue that develop in or around the uterus. They come in different sizes and some can grow to the size of a basketball.
What Causes Fibroids?
While the exact cause of fibroids is not known, they are largely linked to oestrogen, the female reproductive hormone. It is responsible for the uterine lining to regenerate itself during each menstrual cycle and may cause fibroids to grow.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective
According to TCM, the formation of uterine fibroids is due to an accumulation of stagnated Qi and Blood in the pelvic area.
Who Is At Risk?
Your risk of fibroids is three times higher if someone in your family has it.
Women who are overweight have a higher risk of developing fibroids.
Although younger women can have it as well, fibroids are more common as women age, especially during their 30s up to menopause. After menopause, fibroids are less likely to form and will usually shrink even if they are present.
What Are The Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids?
Symptoms of fibroids vary according to the number and size of the tumours. Some women may not even have symptoms at all. Here are some symptoms of uterine fibroids that you should take note of:
- Heavy bleeding with thick blood clots during your period
- Bleeding between your periods
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Lower back pain during periods or sexual intercourse
- Swelling or enlargement of the lower abdomen
Diagnosis of Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids are often discovered during a routine medical health check. Ultrasound and MRI are the most common diagnosis for fibroids. We strongly recommend you to seek medical attention if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Home and Natural Remedies for Uterine Fibroids
While is it is difficult to prevent uterine fibroids, some home remedies can have a positive effect on reducing the risk of fibroids.
Green tea contains antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress. Although there is a lack of research linking green tea and its benefits to uterine fibroids, there is a 2013 study that shows women who took green tea extract had less severe fibroid symptoms.
Cutting down in red meat and sugar may help with fibroids. A study from 2011 suggested that women who ate more food that is rich in Vitamin A are less likely to develop fibroids. Include more food such as salmon, mackerel, berries and broccoli that are rich in Vitamin A.
Chinese Medicinal Herbs
Ginseng and Angelica improve the flow of Qi and blood in the pelvic area, reducing stagnation. These herbs are also known to alleviate female disorders such as heavy periods and irregular menstruation, both are symptoms of uterine fibroids. Meditrina QiActiv® Pelvic Care Essential Oil contains angelica, you can apply it daily to your lower abdomen or use it during your massage sessions at your spa.
Phyto-hormone herbal Creams
Progesterone-like treatments can help control heavy menstrual bleeding but they do not shrink fibroids. We recommend herbal creams that do not contain hormones instead. A combination of wild yam (dioscorea), chasteberry and fenugreek, found in Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream, is known to help shrink uterine fibroids in women who have used it. While there are not enough scientific studies to back up the link between the use of Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream and fibroids, women who have used it regularly share similar feedback about experiencing improvement in their uterine fibroids.