What are the Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids?

In some cases uterine fibroids symptoms develop slowly over a number of years. In other case they develop very rapidly within a few months. There are women who have fibroids and never have symptoms, while others experience quite an array of symptoms. Uterine fibroid symptoms may vary depending on the location, size and number of fibroids.
The most common symptoms associated with Uterine Fibroids are:

  • A sensation of fullness or pressure in the abdominal area
  • Excessive bleeding during menstruation
  • Excessive length of menstruation
  • Extreme cramping during menstruation
  • Lower back pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • A frequent urge to urinate

During pregnancy fibroids may cause placental abruption and premature labour, so it is advisable to seek help before getting pregnant.

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are also known as myomas. Uterine fibroids grow within the muscles of the uterus, on the outside of the uterus, hang in the uterine cavity or very rarely form within the cervix. They can range in size from microscopic to many pounds.

Types of Uterine Fibroids

Submucosal: grow in the innermost layer of the uterus
Intramural: grow in the middle layer of the uterus
Subserous: grow in the outer wall of the uterus
Pedunculated: attached to a stalk either outside of the uterus or within the uterine cavity
Cervical: in the cervical tissue
Interligamentous: between the uterine broad ligaments

Causes of Uterine Fibroids

From a fertility point of view, fibroids can inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg.  No one knows for sure what causes fibroids, but we do know they are affected by the body’s levels of estrogen and progesterone.  They grow rapidly during pregnancy, when hormone levels are high.

Uterine fibroids, as just mentioned, are hormone dependent. They develop during the hormonally active years and decline in menopause. Fibroid tissue has a higher amount of estrogen and progesterone receptors.  Other hormones play a role in the growth of uterine fibroids as well, including prolactin, parathyroid hormone, insulin growth factor, and pituitary growth hormone.

Fibroids are two to three times more likely to develop in African American women compared to any other ethnicity.

Factors that May Increase Fibroid Development

  • Increased lifetime exposure to estrogen.
  • Exposure to xenoestrogens such as plastics, pesticides, herbicides, synthetic hormones in both meat and dairy products, or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Poor estrogen metabolism. Some women’s bodies have a harder time removing and metabolizing excess estrogen.
  • Infection complications from IUD use
  • Anovulatory cycles

How Acupuncture and Reproductive Wellness Treat Uterine Fibroids 

Reproductive Wellness, San Diego’s leading Acupuncture and Functional Medicine Clinic, believe fibroids are caused by an obstruction of blood flow into and through the uterus.  Acupuncture near the site of the birboid has been seen to reduce the proliferation of the abnormal cells.  We use Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements to restore optimal blood flow to the pelvic organs.  Maya Abdominal Massage (MAM) helps to manually breakdown the tissue and aid the body in recovery.  By incorporating all of these therapies we can see results in a shorter period of time.

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