Living With Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids can be difficult to live with. The benign, non-cancerous growths can lead to frustrating symptoms such as heavy bleeding, high pressure, and fatigue. You may also find it difficult to cope with life-threatening symptoms every day.

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Megan Billow is a minimally invasive gynecologic doctor who shares her tips for living with fibroids.

Is treat ment always necessary for fibroids? You might wonder what to do if your doctor found fibroids in the uterus during an imaging or pelvic exam. Are fibroids treatable with medication? Is it possible to treat fibroid symptoms by eating certain foods? If you ignore them, can they lead to other health issues?

"Fibroids don't usually pose a life-threatening threat, so many sufferers have only mild or none symptoms. However, severe symptoms can impact your quality life and negatively affect your ability to function. Dr. Billow agrees. To determine the most effective treatment, it is always best to talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

These strategies can be used to manage fibroids.

Heavy periods are a hallmark of uterine fibroids. You might consider a reusable product if standard tampons or pads don't work for you.

Dr. Billow states that some people suffering from fibroids have found it helpful to use a menstrual cup and/or period underwear, or both, in order to prevent leaks. This allows for you to use disposable products less frequently and can absorb blood more effectively than these products.

However, heavy bleeding doesn't have to be a problem. Your body can experience iron depletion over time if you have a high blood loss month.

Dr. Billow explains that anemia can be caused by low iron levels. It affects oxygen supply to the organs. Anemia can lead to fatigue, weakness and an inability to breathe. Anemia can cause severe complications that could even lead to death.

Regular blood testing is recommended for heavy period sufferers. This will ensure that your iron levels remain within the healthy range. Your provider might recommend iron supplements if you are having low iron levels. Iron infusions may be recommended if levels are high.

It can be very painful to relieve pelvic pain or pressure from Uterine fibroids. Pressure in the abdomen or low back, as well as severe cramps and pains may occur. Intercourse pain can also be experienced by some people, and this may impact their mental health as well as relationships. You may find it exhausting to deal with constant pain, which can deplete your energy.

You might find some relief for mild to occasional fibroid symptoms by:

Use a heat pad, or hot water bottle to warm your stomach or lower back. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like naproxen or ibuprofen. Although there aren't any solid evidence that they can be used for managing fibroid pain, acupuncture and meditation may work. You should be cautious about using over-the-counter pain relief medications as it can lead to side effects.

Dr. Billow advises that if you depend on pain medication for your daily use, talk to your doctor about other ways of managing your fibroid pain. The use of prescription medications to control hormone levels may make it easier for your periods and reduce the pain and cramping.

Manage your mental wellbeing If you believe that your mental state is being negatively affected due to uterine fibroids treatment, then you're not in the minority. Fibroid-positive women had higher levels of self-harm, depression and anxiety according to a large study.

Dr. Billow states that pain, bleeding, or painful intercourses can have an impact on one's quality of life. Uterine fibroids could also trigger or worsen mental disorders. Your mental health could be affected if you're unable to take part in or enjoy daily activities.

Don't dismiss your mental health issues or think that you have no choice but to accept them. Stresses that depression and anxiety could interfere with your personal and professional lives. If you have the desire to harm yourself, you should seek immediate medical attention.

You may find these strategies helpful if your symptoms of mental illness are not severe.

Reduce your caffeine intake: Limit or avoid caffeine. This can worsen anxiety symptoms. Your diet can help you reduce anxiety and stress, such as foods high in omega-3 oils and B vitamins. Walking, even if it's just a walk, can reduce stress and help with mild to moderate depression. Sleep is a priority. Lack of sleep can negatively affect moods and mental health. Try to sleep seven hours a night or more. When you are feeling anxious or stressed, try yoga or meditation. Fibroids: When should you seek treatment? Keep an eye on your health, and especially your period. If you are not feeling well, speak to your provider.

Period bleeding or bleeding during menopause. Constipation and diarrhea are common digestive problems. You may feel compelled to urinate frequently or have pain when you urinate. Larger blood clots. Anemia symptoms include shortness of breath and dizziness. Fibromas can be treated with many different options. These are signs that you should seek treatment.

Dr. Billow states that there are many options for treatment and you don't have to suffer. The treatment options include medications, procedures, and minimally-invasive surgeries such as myomectomy.

Which treatment should I pursue? It is up to you whether or not to treat uterine fibroids. Begin by speaking with your healthcare provider to determine which treatment is best for you. You can change your mind at any time if necessary. When you make any modifications to your medication, it is important that you consult with your doctor.

No matter what your path, it is important to continue seeing your doctor for regular checkups as well as to talk about your general health.

Dr. Billow explained that fibroids symptoms may mimic other medical conditions and require treatment. Tell your physician about any symptoms such as bleeding, pain, or other signs so they can diagnose the problem and give you all options.