HEALTH & MEDICINE: Treatment Options for Women with Fibroids After Menopause
By Space Coast Daily // October 9, 2018
link between fibroids and hormones
Fibroids are the most common type of non-cancerous tumors in women and they usually appear during the childbearing years. Most of them are asymptomatic, but there are also women who experience pain and other unpleasant symptoms due to fibroids.
Hormones are influencing the growth of fibroids, so pregnancy and menopause influence the growth of these formations. Despite the myths, entering menopause is not going to cure the fibroids. Here are the things you need to know about fibroids and menopause.
The link between fibroids and hormones
Fibroids are influenced by estrogen and progesterone. During menopause, the level of these two hormones drops, so the risk of developing new fibroids also drops. According to doctors from Viva Eve, specialists in fibroid treatments, menopause can also trigger a decrease in the size of fibroids.
Despite the drop in hormones, there are other factors which can increase the development of fibroids after menopause. These are obesity, vitamin D deficiency, hypertension, long-term exposure to extreme stress and race, as African American women have a higher risk of developing fibroids.
Fibroids symptoms after menopause
In postmenopausal women, fibroids can lead to symptoms similar to periods, such as heavy bleeding and spotting, cramps, bloating and anemia. Other symptoms are enlarged abdomen, incontinence, painful intercourse, lower back pain, nausea and headaches.
Treatment against fibroids after menopause
Depending on the symptoms caused by the fibroids your doctor can advise on a treatment or surgery. The first option comes in the form of birth control pills, which balance the hormone levels in your body. However, your body is now entering a new hormonal phase, so you can only use birth pills that contain progestin. They won’t post-pone menopause but they will prevent fibroids’ growth and the development of new tumors. The treatment can also soothe specific menopause symptoms.
If the treatment is not a good option for you, the doctor may consider surgery. There are two types of surgeries available: myomectomy and hysterectomy.
Myomectomy is a surgery during which the fibroid is removed, but the uterus is left intact. The incision is similar to the incision from a C-section and is not going to leave a significant scar. Full recovery after this surgery takes between four to six weeks.
This surgery can also be performed laparoscopically, making the incision smaller and the recovery shorter. But not all women can benefit from laparoscopic surgery because it is only performed when the fibroid is small.
Another type of surgery is hysterectomy, which removes the uterus completely or partially. This is the last resort, so it is only used when the fibroids grow back after myomectomy or when the tumors cause severe symptoms. A hysterectomy is usually performed in postmenopausal women as the last option, because you still need your uterus, even if you can’t have more kids.
Fibroids can only be cured by complete hysterectomy, but having this surgery is not mandatory if you are diagnosed with this condition. If you suspect you might have fibroids or you’ve been diagnosed with this condition and you experience some of the unpleasant symptoms mentioned above, you need to talk to your doctor and find the best treatment for you.
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