Fibroids, also known as uterine fibroids or myomas, are benign tumors that originate from the muscle layers of the uterus in roughly 25 percent of all women. While fibroids may be benign, they can cause women to experience excessive bleeding and discomfort during menstruation. The typical menstrual cycle lasts between three and seven days, but women with fibroids often tend to have heavier menstrual flows that last for days on end.
Fibroids are comprised of fibrous tissue and smooth muscle, and can range in size from a bean to a melon. Larger fibroids can sometimes result in more pain and bleeding as a result of putting added pressure on the lining of your uterus. Additionally, you may experience more intense cramping as your body and uterus work harder at shedding the lining with the fibroid in place.
Consult with your gynecologist if you’re suffering from severe pain you think might be caused by fibroids. Your gynecologist can perform an examination and recommend or prescribe the best course of treatment. In the meantime, here are several ways to help relieve symptoms caused by fibroids.
Pain relief medicine
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain caused by menstrual cramps. These types of medications are known as prostaglandin inhibitors, which help stop your body’s production of prostaglandins at the start of menstruation. Consult with your doctor prior to taking NSAIDs to verify whether you also need to take an iron supplement to help prevent anemia.
Some health care experts suspect that fibroids are caused by hormonal imbalance, or problems with elevated estrogen levels. Fibroids tend to be more prevalent in women who have higher-than-average levels of estrogen. Consult with your doctor about treatments that can help regulate your hormones, especially estrogen. Birth control pills can sometimes help relieve symptoms, but may not shrink the size of your fibroids. Additionally, consume more healthy, whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and get the amount of sleep needed every night to help combat hormonal imbalance.
Consider applying heat to your abdominal region using either a hot water bottle or heating pad to help improve blood flow and relieve abdominal or pelvic pain. Alternately, you can take a warm, soothing bath to help you relax and relieve symptoms.
Exercising regularly will help improve blood flow in your entire body, including your uterus and reproductive system. If you’re not already exercising regularly, start doing so immediately. The CDC recommends that all adults engage in at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise every week, and practice strength-training exercises at least two days per week to maintain optimal health. In addition to helping improve blood flow, exercise can help regulate your hormones, which may eventually result in the shrinkage of fibroids.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing women with top-tier, comprehensive gynecological care. To learn more about our gynecological and women’s services, contact CarePoint Health at 1-201-791-7000 or visit our website to find a doctor.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.