Fibroids and Options

suziequeSeptember 19, 2005

Hi - I've never posted to this site before but find myself with a need for input and advice.

I'm 49 and in peri-menopause. I've just been diagnosed with fibroids, the largest of which is the size of an orange (I didn't ask if it was the size of a naval orange or a tangelo! L0L).

My doctor suggested checking it again in 2 1/2 months.

I did a search on 'fibroids' on this site and found several posts, but they're back around 2001 and perhaps treatments have changed a bit.

In your opinions, should I hope that she'll recommend a hysterectomy, removing (scraping) the fibroids but not doing a hysterectomy, doing nothing, or what?

I'm not a big person; I'm 5'2" and have, for the past 10 years, weighed about 112. In the past 8-10 months I've gained about 10 pounds and my clothes don't fit! The Dr. says it's the fibroid. She said I'm about the size of a 12 week pregnancy.

Drives me nuts - I can't stand my big tummy! Other than that, I don't have too many symptoms. Weird and irregular periods, but no pain. The ultrasound was very uncomfortable, though, when she pressed down on that big fibroid!

So -- what's happening these days with these? Of course my doctor and I will continue talking, but I'm just looking for advice from folks who have gone through it.

Thanks - Suzieque

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You got me thinking. I know I have had large fibroids for years but I put on an extra 7 lbs. in the last month. I started a new medication and blamed that for the weight gain. Does anyone know if the fibroids could have grown and thus caused the weight gain? I'm 54 and still get regular periods but during the past couple of cycles, they were much heavier than before.

Around 2001 the doctors gave me a choice to wait until menopause because the fibroids should shrink after that. I'm still waiting.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 4:50PM
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There was a good book I found about five years ago, The Fibroid Book. It explains the causes, symptoms and treatment of fibroids. Treatment depends on your age,general health and whether you want to preserve fertility. Treatment ranges from mild, wait and see, to extreme, surgery. I suggest you read this book. And don't rush into hysterectomy. Discuss with your doctor. Me, I chose the wait and see option. Check your library.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 10:18AM
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Do some research on embolization. The link below gives a nice overview of the procedure. I have fibroids also and if treatment becomes a neccesity I'd opt for this over a hysterectomy. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Embolization

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 2:51PM
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I had a fibroid and endometriosis. My doc opted to do a laparoscopy. I still have my uterus and one of my ovaries. He did another part this procedure (can't remember what it's called! My memory is fading fast!) :) This other procedure blocked flow so I no longer have to deal with a period. I was already menopausal (at 39) when he did this procedure. I was in over night, although it is frequently a day surgery procedure. I took a week off work not knowing what to expect, but I could have been back to work after 3 days.

It's been a great more pain, no more periods, no more endometriosis.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 11:10PM
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There is an excellent group on Yahoo for fibroids. It takes registration to join, but is a very good resource. You should also check out the information at the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation

Here is a link that might be useful: Yahoo Uterine Fibroid group

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 11:36AM
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I had a 12 pound fibroid removed some years ago. Several OB Drs. were concerned it would block my ureters, and I felt like I was pregnant. It grew quite quickly. Because it was so large I had to have an abdominal hyst. vs vaginal route. They left my ovaries. I do not have the worry about getting uterine cancer and I didn't think the surgery was all that bad. Just another opinion.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 8:37AM
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Suzieque, I see your original post was some time ago, but I found a relatively new type of treatment for fibroids called ExAblate, which is non invasive. you might look into it. i googled "focused ultrasound" plus the name of my city and came up with several docs who perform the procedure here.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 1:30PM
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Fibroids can shrink if you change your diet. I got rid of mine myself. I wasn't going to let them cut on me.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 9:28PM
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arum, do you have any proof of this? My mother, extreme health nut, vegetarian and nurse... her diet, which I can hardly fault, didn't stop her fibroids. I have them as well, I've added on extreme exercise to the diet... still growing, not too fast, but growing.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 10:18PM
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Well, all I can tell you is what I personally have experienced. My fibroids, though not big, were causing me a lot of pain, from the front to the back, heavy periods, swelling my uterous(I think they even effected my spelling), :)-to the point that I had problems with my bladder. This is what "I" did. I took SOY, FlAXSEED, B-Complex, and a good multivitamen. Stuck to a LOW FAT diet as much as possible, and exercised,( which consist of a regular program of WALKING which is very good). Very little, (if ANY), caffine,low sugar, low alcohol. ( I call it the "LOW" diet. It's VERY important to loose weight because...

Fibroids thrive on Estrogen, and persons who are overweight have more of it, therefore it's good to loose the weight. That way you STARVE the fibroids. You just have'ft to do this till you go throught menopause, because then your estrogen count goes down naturely and kills those buggers. Do I have proof? Mine are GONE.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 8:49AM
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Gone? Jeez! I haven't had one of my annual sonograms lately... since the progesterone cream I am using has helped my cysts. I wonder... that used to be my diet, but I was a long distance runner... I wonder if my menopause is starving them of estrogen? I really don't want to get another ultrasound, they ain't pleasant, but I wonder if they've shrank.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 11:33AM
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Well, do you have pain? Do you feel swollen and bloated? Does your uterus feel like it's going to drop out of your your body and hit the floor? Are your periods heavy? Do you feel like you weigh a 1000 lbs? Any problems with your bladder, peeing?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 12:34PM
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well, most of my symptoms are perimenopause, my fibroids aren't that big, except for one on the outside of my uterus. Every once in awhile, I have cramping that's not related to my period, but other than that, I'd barely know they're there. Since I am a week late, I am hoping against hope (crosses fingers) that I am near the end..... PLEASE! I don't need menopause and PMS ANYMORE! :o)
Oh, I digress... the big one is near the top of my uterus and doesn't press on the bladder at all. I always feel bloated and swollen during PMS, before I ever had fibroids :o(

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 6:43PM
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Don't do anything. As soon as you hit menopause and your Estrogen drops they will go away. Menopause isn't that bad. I got really depressed, so I took a natural anti depressant, 5-HTP and progesterone cream and I felt fine. I had bad night sweats for a while and I still have hot flashes, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 6:14PM
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wow...happy to have found this site although it's quite dated...i was diagnosed several months ago with several small fibroids, two submucosal and i've been coping with heavy bleeding for about a day and a half during my period, otherwise fairly manageable...started eating high fiber, low fat veggie diet which i'm loving, and losing weight and exercising in hopes that this may improve my condition naturally although personal accounts seem to suggest that this is hit or miss...i've been granted the "wait and see" approach for now with a routine biopsy scheduled in june...i'm 45 which puts me somewhat close to menopause, but not really...i don't want a procedure unless absolutely necessary...i had a consult with a interventional radiologist and they concluded that i'm a good candidate for embolization however my gyn confirmed that with submucosals there can be complications...any thoughts or advice, i'm all ears, thank you.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 3:46PM
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I had a UFE for fibroids after doing the wait and see thing for awhile until nasty symptoms became life altering. It worked great for me - though I will add that I had to have it done a second time by a more experienced IR since the first IR didn't have much experience with fibroids the size of mine.

I've been reading about all kinds of fibroid treatment options and several other forums for probably five years. Everything I've read leads me to believe many gynecologists are biased against UFE and they often do not provide their patients with unbiased information about it. They are not experts on UFE - interventional radiologists are. If there's a difference of opinion on UFE, I would trust the IRs opinion. I've never heard of complications related to submucosal fibroids that would preclude the procedure.

There are a couple of excellent forums on Yahoo - one for Uterine Fibroids and one for UFE called EMBO. I would highly recommend checking them out.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:27PM
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I'll concur with the opinion that some gynos are biased against UFE. My regular gyno flat out refused to discuss it, and would only discuss hysterectomy with me. I'm only 32 (yeah, I know this is the menopause forum and I'm nowhere near approaching menopause, but it's the only place discussing fibroids!), and even though I don't have plans to have children, I'm not prepared to go through such major surgery unless I absolutely need to.

I've made an appt. to get a second opinion with a different gyno who's hopefully more open-minded. My feeling on it is that I'd rather try UFE once, see if it works, and then if it doesn't, then I'll take the more extreme measure of hysterectomy, if necessary. But I don't want to jump to the most extreme solution immediately, if I have other options.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 1:01PM
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Yes, as apalling as it seems most GYNS will not suggest an alternative to hysterectomy as a treatment for fibroids-especially for perimenopausal women.

I have been a member of the Uterine Fibroids group at Yahoo for well over a year and highly recommend it to anyone who has been told by a GYN that they need to have a hysterectomy to treat fibroids. The information I obtained from that group was invaluable. The treatment route I chose was myomectomy, surgical removal of the fibroids only. Through the group I learned about the various options and was able to find a surgeon in my area who was unbiased and had the skills to perform the surgery I wanted. It has been just about a year since my surgery and I feel great. The fibroids are gone and I still have all my parts intact.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 9:29PM
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I'm in Menopause now, my last period was August 2007, and my fibroids have stopped bothering me. No bleeding, no pressure, no backaches. Organic Donna is right!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:41PM
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thank you for all your thoughts...very helpful!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 9:24AM
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