Women in their 40s who suffer from fibroid symptoms are often advised to “wait it out” until they go through menopause. Their doctors reason that with the reduction in hormones during menopause will come a shrinking of the fibroids and reduction in fibroid symptoms.
Why waiting for menopause isn’t a good idea for fibroids
It’s estimated that 80% of women under 50 have fibroids. And many times, the period just before menopause (called perimenopause) can make fibroids (and their symptoms) worse.
In fact, many women who wait to pursue treatment for fibroids in the uterus end up with a hysterectomy because of worsening fibroid pain and symptoms. And women who wait to get treatment often end up with larger fibroids than when they were first diagnosed. Clearly, waiting for menopause is not only ineffective, but can actually be counterproductive.
How perimenopause worsens fibroids
But why does perimenopause worsen fibroids? The cause may be an influx of estrogen that appears months or years before menopause sets in. During this time period, menstrual cycles are dominated by estrogen. And estrogen has been proven to encourage the growth of uterine fibroids. So while a woman waits for menopause to alleviate her fibroids, they are getting the perfect environment to grow!
Other factors that contribute to fibroid growth
Other factors can also contribute to the growth of fibroids and the worsening of fibroid pain:
- A substance given off by fat cells that encourages fibroid growth in much the same way as does estrogen.
- Estrogen replacement therapy, which can stimulate fibroid growth. Many women undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to control hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
As a result, treating uterine fibroids promptly is the best course of action, even for women who feel as if menopause is approaching. If you suffer from symptoms of fibroids such as heavy cycles, back aches, pelvic pain and pressure, frequent urination, or anemia, you should consult a doctor to have your symptoms evaluated and to receive appropriate treatment.
There are newer fibroid treatment options
Some women wait to deal with their fibroids because they think that a hysterectomy is their only option. They want to preserve their fertility or avoid the complications and risks associated with that major surgery. However, today, there are minimally invasive procedures, such as uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), that can alleviate fibroid pain without the use of major surgical techniques. Proven effective in the majority of patients, the minimally invasive, non-surgical UFE procedure has a much shorter recovery time and far fewer risks than surgery.
Instead of hoping that menopause will solve your fibroid problem, consult a doctor today about dealing with your uterine fibroids. With their help and the availability of minimally invasive procedures such as UFE, you may be able to reduce your fibroids and enter menopause more comfortable and more healthy than you had ever imagined.
VIVA EVE: The Fibroid Experts can help
The doctors at VIVA EVE have years of experience in the treatment of uterine fibroids. We are specialists in the minimally-invasive procedure of uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) as an alternative to major surgery, such as hysterectomy or myomectomy.
At VIVA EVE we are committed to providing high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see. We will partner with you to diagnose and determine the best way to treat your problematic symptoms.