Can Medication Make Fibroids Worse?

Taking medication to deal with the symptoms of uterine fibroids improves the lives of many women and allows them to go on living a fulfilling life. Medications can help you take control of your symptoms during the time you spend trying to make that difficult decision about whether to have a procedure.

However, when choosing medications, it’s important to educate yourself on the possible side effects, especially if they could end up making your fibroids worse in the long run. Different women respond differently to certain medications, and you want to be sure to choose the right one for you.

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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)

You know NSAIDs as the over-the-counter pain medication that you probably take when you have a headache or sore muscles. Ibuprofen and aspirin help many women deal with monthly menstrual cramps and bleeding. However, it has not been proven to help with fibroid symptoms consistently.

If you do use NSAIDs regularly, it’s not likely that they will make your fibroids worse, but there are side effects. Stop taking the medications and talk to your doctor if you experience an upset stomach, heartburn, ulcers, or skin rashes. Don’t take an NSAID for longer than 10 days without consulting your doctor.

Birth control hormones

Many women take pills or use a hormone patch or ring to control bleeding and regulate their cycle. Birth control will not affect the growth of fibroids negatively or positively, but they do have possible side effects that include nausea, headaches, weight gain, depression, or skipped periods.

Progestin shot

Getting a progestin shot every three months may lighten or stop bleeding and prevent pregnancy. However, studies have shown that this may cause fibroids to grow more than normal. Talk to your doctor about whether a progestin shot is the right choice for you.

Other side effects may include headaches, nausea, bloating, and bone thinning. If you continue to use the shot for more than two years, bone loss may be irreversible.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRH-a) therapy

This therapy puts the body in a state similar to menopause, which lessens menstrual bleeding and causes fibroids to shrink. Most women that use this therapy do so right before having a procedure done in order to have a less-invasive experience.

While the therapy does shrink the fibroids, they will most likely grow back to the same size after the therapy ends. Other side effects can include hot flashes, vaginal burning or itching, bone thinning, and increased acne or greasy hair.

Learn more

If you want to learn more about medications that may help with uterine fibroid symptoms, read our blog post Common Medications for Fibroid Symptoms, or to find out more about fibroids and more permanent treatment options, visit our website at ask4ufe.com.

PLEASE NOTE: The above information should not be construed as providing specific medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand their lives and health. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician.

Challenges With A Myomectomy

You’re finally at the doctor’s office to undergo a myomectomy – the procedure you’ve waited for so long to have so you can finally live a life without uterine fibroids. But as the doctor begins to list the possible risks for the surgery you’re about to have, your heart sinks. Will these things happen to you?

While a myomectomy is a safe procedure used for the removal of uterine fibroids, there are unique risks involved that may present challenges for some women. While these risks are rare, it is important to be aware of them.

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Excessive blood loss

Women with uterine fibroids suffer from various symptoms, the most common of which are severe pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Because of the heavy bleeding, some women also suffer from anemia, or low blood count.

This can mean that these women are at a higher risk for having problems due to blood loss during the operation. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor about steps you can take before the procedure to build up your blood count.

Your surgeon will also take extra steps during the surgery to avoid excessive bleeding. This can include injecting medication around the fibroids to stop blood flow or blocking off the uterine arteries.

Scar tissue

Adhesions in the uterus or abdomen can result from incisions that are made to remove the fibroids. These are bands of scar tissue that can possibly entangle other organs if they are outside the uterus.

These entanglements can lead to blocked fallopian tubes, trapped loop of intestine, or, in rare cases, light periods and fertility issues. Normally, having a laparoscopic myomectomy lowers the risk of adhesions.

Complications with childbirth

For women who wish to become pregnant after having a myomectomy, there are some risks that may affect the childbirth. If a deep incision was made in the uterine wall, there is a very small chance that the uterus may rupture during childbirth.

If this applies to you, let your doctor know that you’ve had a myomectomy. He or she may recommend a Cesarean section delivery to avoid the possibility of a ruptured uterus.

Hysterectomy

During a myomectomy, the doctor may, in rare cases, need to remove the whole uterus. This can happen if the bleeding becomes too excessive or if other, more serious abnormalities are found.

Preventing complications

There are several steps you can take to avoid the risks associated with a myomectomy:

  • Hormonal treatment or iron supplements; both of these can be used to help with anemia and allow you to build up your blood count before the surgery.
  • A separate procedure to shrink the fibroids; uterine fibroid embolization can be used to shrink the fibroids prior to having a myomectomy. In some cases, this can allow you to have a laparoscopic myomectomy instead of requiring a large incision.

Learn more

While there are some risks, a myomectomy is a safe procedure that has few complications in most cases. To find out everything you need to know about having a myomectomy, read The Facts About a Myomectomy.

PLEASE NOTE: The above information should not be construed as providing specific medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand their lives and health. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician.

10 Ways to Get More Out of Life

Living with fibroids can become overwhelming to your lifestyle. Taking time for yourself can seem unimportant, your living space can become chaotic, and your health can suffer in other areas.

That’s why it’s important to fight through your challenges and aim to get the most out of every day. Do not wait till tomorrow. Start living your life the way you want.

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1. Get more sleep

Getting behind on sleep can have a negative effect on daily life. Experts say there is no “magic number” for the number of hours to get, but that it differs for each person, even independent of age, gender, and lifestyle.

Find out yourself how many hours of sleep enable you to perform the best. Keep in mind that in the same way it’s not healthy to get too few hours of sleep, it can also be unhealthy to sleep too long as well.

Once you hit the number that works for you, stick to it! Leave your electronics outside your bedroom, slip under the covers early, and wake up refreshed and ready for a new day.

2. Avoid mess

Studies have found that women have a higher amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, if their homes or workplaces are cluttered. Your anxiety can even be affected by the number of things stuck in a refrigerator door.

However, when it actually comes down to decluttering your home, it can be difficult to get rid of things, especially those that hold emotional value. One way to preserve these memories is to take a picture of the item, which is a lot easier to store than the item itself.

For five minutes every hour, try spending the time putting a few things away or wiping off the counter. It’s a small commitment that will add up, and enhance your mood at the same time.

3. Meditate

Although meditation was originally used to try to understand the deep and spiritual meanings of life, it is now used to manage stress and help you feel more at peace. It can also make a big difference in your self-awareness and your ability to gain a new perspective on stressful situations.

Better health can be another benefit of meditation, especially if you suffer from anxiety disorders or depression. Meditating before you go to sleep can help you sleep more soundly and wake up refreshed.

There are several types of meditation to try, including mantra meditation, guided meditation, and mindfulness meditation. In mantra meditation, you softly repeat a phrase or word to draw yourself away from distractions. Mindfulness meditation is similar, but instead of focusing on a phrase, you concentrate on your own consciousness and your experience during the meditation.

To do guided meditation, you can focus on senses or places that make you feel something. Another option is to listen to a recording that guides you through a series of sensations. You can find several guided meditation recordings on YouTube.

4. Spend time in nature

The closer you live to nature, or the more time you spend outside in green spaces, the healthier you’ll be. The same study found that those who exercise surrounded by trees and grass feel more rejuvenated and less anxious than those who work out in gyms.

Even if you live in a city, chances are that there’s a hike or a beach not too far away. Take some time every week for a walk or even a picnic on a park bench. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel!

5. Keep learning

Once you leave school, life takes over, and as time passes, you may realize you’re not learning as many new things as you did when you were younger. However, it’s important to make a conscious effort to keep learning throughout your life. You’ll be more successful, live life more deeply, and it will prevent you from getting bored.

A few ways to expand your brain include online classes like The Great Courses (they even have courses on meditation and one on optimizing brain fitness), apps and websites like Duolingo or Lumosity, or even just teaching yourself a new skill through online videos or articles.

6. Drink more water

You’ve heard it before: water will solve every problem you can possibly think of. While this isn’t exactly true, you will see a difference in how you feel when you start drinking the right amount of water. Your muscles will be more energized and your skin will look incredible.

If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, try bringing a water bottle with you wherever you go or using an app like Waterlogged, where you can track how much you drink and get reminders to drink more.

7. Make time for family

Spending time with family is another stress reliever. Having family dinner at least five times a week saves money and makes your kids less likely to get into trouble. You’ll make valuable memories that will last a lifetime and distract yourself from your daily woes.

Try setting a goal to have dinner with your family two extra times next week, or plan a family outing to a mini-golf course, the movies, or a frisbee game at the park.

8. Treat yourself

In the hectic, chaotic state of daily life for most women, you can often forget to pay attention to yourself. But while you’re trying to do it all for everyone else – your family, your neighbors, your friends – you should remember that it’s important to do it all for yourself too.

Treating yourself to a little something special every now and then can help you feel more rejuvenated, be more motivated, and even allow you to give more in the long run because you’ll have taken care of yourself first.

So next time you’re feeling down or a little burned out, head over and get yourself a cupcake or a fresh manicure. You deserve it!

9. Keep indoor plants

While studies have found quite a few emotional benefits correlated with keeping plants in your home, there are other perks as well. For instance, plants purify your air, making it cleaner and healthier. Researchers at NASA recommend having one plant per 100 square feet.

If you’re worried about keeping plants alive, there are certain species that grow well in low light or without being watered frequently. For a list of sturdy indoor plants, check out an article from the Today Show.

10. Be grateful

Even though dealing with fibroids can be difficult and overwhelming, take the time to appreciate the things that are going well in your life. Be thankful for your family, for the meals on your table, for compliments, and for life and breath.

Gratitude improves your relationships, your health, and allows you to connect with yourself and others on a spiritual level. After all, it’s hard to feel down when you’re remembering all the things you’ve got going for you.

If this post inspired you to change your life for the better, follow us on Facebook. We post motivational and educational links daily for those battling uterine fibroids.

Can Uterine Fibroids Look Like Pregnancy?

Can you imagine what it would look like if you had a tumor the size of a baseball growing in your abdomen? What about the size of a grapefruit? Or a football?

For some women, this is a reality. Those who suffer from uterine fibroids – noncancerous tumors that grow on or in the muscle lining of the uterus – can have tumors so large that they are physically noticeable. Because of this, a woman with fibroids may appear bloated or even pregnant when in fact, she is not.

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What causes fibroids?

While 20-40% of women older than 35 are affected by fibroids, doctors are not sure exactly what causes them. The growth of the tumors seems to be directly influenced by the hormone estrogen. Usually, fibroids tend to shrink or disappear after menopause.

There are a few other factors that may influence whether or not a woman develops fibroids:

  • Family history: Women whose mothers or sisters have had fibroids are more likely to develop them.
  • Ethnicity: African-American women have a higher risk of developing fibroids.
  • Early menstruation: Women who have their first period before age 10 are more likely to develop fibroids.
  • Pregnancy: Women who have had children are less likely to develop fibroids.

How do fibroids resemble pregnancy?

One of the symptoms of fibroids is a bloated abdomen. Fibroids can range in size from the size of a peanut to the size of a cantaloupe, and in some cases, even larger. This causes the tumor to press against the walls of the uterus and abdomen, resembling an early stage pregnancy.

Other symptoms of uterine fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, severe pelvic pain and pressure, and urinary incontinence. If you are experiencing any of these, talk to your doctor about doing a test for uterine fibroids.

What treatment options are out there?

Most women who suffer from fibroids opt for one of three main treatments: hysterectomy, myomectomy, or uterine fibroid embolization.

In a hysterectomy, the entire uterus is removed, including the fibroids. This is an option often used by women who do not plan to have any more children. One side effect is the immediate plunge into menopause following the surgery.

A myomectomy is a surgery that involves the removal of only the fibroids. There are several ways this procedure can be performed, whether it is laparoscopically or through a more invasive approach. Large tumors usually require a longer incision in the abdomen.

Uterine fibroid embolization is a less invasive procedure that involves blocking the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink. Women who want to be back on their feet within a few days often choose this procedure, and 90% of women are satisfied at follow up.

Learn more

If you are interested in learning more about fibroids, how they can affect your body, and how to get treated, visit our website at ask4ufe.com.

PLEASE NOTE: The above information should not be construed as providing specific medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand their lives and health. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician.