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If you think you have fibroids, schedule an appointment for a professional diagnosis. One of our gynecologists will talk to you about your symptoms and perform a pelvic exam. We may order further testing including an imaging procedure such as an ultrasound. If diagnosed, uterine fibroid embolization may be your best treatment option it has a 95% success rate with patients. Here at the Fibroid Treatment Collective, we offer free consultations in-office or over the phone. For more information on fibroids and their symptoms, feel free to contact us at 1 479-1523 or request a free consultation online.
Causes Of Postmenopausal Bleeding
Some of the most common causes of postmenopausal bleeding include:
- This includes endometrial, uterine, cervical and vaginal cancers.
- Ninety percent of women who were diagnosed with endometrial cancer reported postmenopausal bleeding.
Because there are so many potential causesand some of them are life-threateningan appointment with one of our doctors is imperative. We can usually schedule an appointment within that same week.
However, the good news is that the most common causes of postmenopausal bleeding are not cancerous. These causes include vaginal atrophy, uterine fibroids or polyps.
What Is The Treatment For Fibroids
If fibroids do not cause symptoms, no treatment is needed. Fibroids may go away on their own if estrogen levels in the body decrease. This typically happens during menopause, but may also occur when taking certain medications, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists or antagonists.
For those who have problematic symptoms, treatment for fibroids includes medications or surgery.
Medications used to treat fibroids include:
- Iron and vitamins for women who are anemic due to heavy periods
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen for menstrual cramps
- Hormonal birth control including pills, skin patches, vaginal rings, shots, hormonal intrauterine devices , and implants to reduce bleeding, cramps, and pain during menstrual periods and to correct anemia
- Antifibrinolytic medicines such as tranexamic acid to help slow menstrual bleeding quickly
- Progesterone receptor modulators to stop heavy menstrual bleeding and cause some fibroid shrinkage
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues to cause the ovaries to temporarily stop producing estrogen and progesterone and reduce heavy menstrual bleeding
Types of surgery used to treat fibroids include:
- Myomectomy: surgical removal of fibroids
- Endometrial ablation: destroys the lining of the uterus
- Uterine artery embolization or uterine fibroid embolization: cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids
- Hysterectomy: surgical removal of the uterus
Fibroids After Menopause: Will They Go Away
As the most common tumor of the female reproductive tract, fibroids affect more people than you might expect. In fact, approximately 33 percent of women develop them during their childbearing years and 70-80% of women will have developed them by the age of 50.
Because fibroids are noncancerous, many people experience a few problematic symptoms, and some may not know they have fibroids at all.
If you already have fibroids and youre approaching the stages of perimenopause, youre probably wondering if you can delay treatment and let them resolve on their own. Although fibroids are not cancerous, they can cause serious complications if left untreated. In some cases, these complications can impact the uterus long term, causing unpleasant symptoms of fibroids after menopause.
If you have uterine fibroids, its best to get them treated right away. Thankfully there are treatments available today that dont require surgery for removal of the fibroids.
Where Do Fibroids Grow
There are several places both inside and outside of your uterus where fibroids can grow. The location and size of your fibroids is important for your treatment. Where your fibroids are growing, how big they are and how many of them you have will determine which type of treatment will work best for you or if treatment is even necessary.
There are different names given for the places your fibroids are located in and on the uterus. These names describe not only where the fibroid is, but how its attached. Specific locations where you can have uterine fibroids include:
- Submucosal fibroids: In this case, the fibroids are growing inside the uterine space where a baby grows during pregnancy. Think of the growths extending down into the empty space in the middle of the uterus.
- Intramural fibroids: These fibroids are embedded into the wall of the uterus itself. Picture the sides of the uterus like walls of a house. The fibroids are growing inside this muscular wall.
- Subserosal fibroids: Located on the outside of the uterus this time, these fibroids are connected closely to the outside wall of the uterus.
- Pedunculated fibroids: The least common type, these fibroids are also located on the outside of the uterus. However, pedunculated fibroids are connected to the uterus with a thin stem. Theyre often described as mushroom-like because they have a stalk and then a much wider top.
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Does A Fibroid Ever Go Away On Its Own
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How Are Fibroids Diagnosed
Fibroids may be suspected if a doctor determines the uterus is enlarged or has an irregular shape. Many women dont know they have uterine fibroids because they have no symptoms.
Tests used to confirm fibroids or to rule out other conditions include:
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An Overview Of Menopause And Fibroids
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop from the muscle tissue of the uterus. Most uterine fibroids are diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 54. However, fibroids can occur in women younger than 35. And depending on your situation, you may have one or several. Whats more is that fibroids can be at different locations, differ in size, and either stay that way or grow at different rates.
Fibroid growth is a concern since fibroids can get quite large. But even smaller fibroids, depending on the location, can lead to symptoms such as:
- Periods that last longer than usual
- Pelvic pain or pressure
Meanwhile, menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. Its diagnosed after youve gone 12 months without a period and typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. While a natural part of life, menopause is not something women look forward to, as symptoms can range anywhere from hot flashes and vaginal dryness to irregular periods and sleep disturbances.
Additional menopausal symptoms include:
- Mood changes, including depression and anxiety
- Chills and night sweats
What Causes Bleeding After Menopause
Imagine this scenario:
Youve been in menopause for three years, and instead of menstrual cramping and PMS, you seek treatment for the inconvenience of hot flashes and night sweats. Then one day, you start bleeding again, just like you did when you had your period. You wonder why it is happening and if its the indicator of something more serious.
To be clear, any bleeding after menopause is not normal, said Dr. Miller. This is a clear indicator that you need to schedule an appointment with us so we can determine the cause. While most causes of postmenopausal bleeding are not life-threatening, it can be an indicator of serious diseases such as various cancers, including endometrial cancer.
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How Are Uterine Fibroids Diagnosed
In many cases, fibroids are first discovered during a regular exam with your womens health provider. They can be felt during a pelvic exam and can be found during a gynecologic exam or during prenatal care. Quite often your description of heavy bleeding and other related symptoms may alert your healthcare provider to consider fibroids as a part of the diagnosis.There are several tests that can be done to confirm fibroids and determine their size and location. These tests can include:
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Postmenopausal Fibroids And Aromatase Enzyme Expression
UF cells have been shown to express aromatase enzyme, which is present in subcutaneous fat, and locally synthetizes estrogen from androgenic substances such as androstenedione. This may explain why UFs sometimes do not consistently regress in postmenopausal women even in the absence of ovarian hormonal influence. This also suggests a possible therapeutic role for aromatase inhibitors in treatment of symptomatic UFs .
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Why Get Them Checked Out
Uterine fibroids are generally harmless and often go away on their own. When symptoms occur, however, untreated fibroids can interfere with a personâs quality of life and may lead to complications such as anemia. Anemia is a condition when the body doesnât have enough healthy red blood cells to function properly. This can happen when uterine fibroids cause heavy bleeding .
Some uterine fibroids may also interfere with the probability of becoming pregnant, and may increase the chance of miscarriage, but more research is needed here . In these cases, treatment can help people become and stay pregnant.
Rarely, uterine fibroids can become very large, twisted, or infected. These situations can create symptoms that are intense, and may require immediate medical treatment .
Hormone Replacement Therapy And Menopause
Many women approaching menopause want to preserve their uterus by taking Hormone Replacement Therapy . If you are thinking about taking HRTs to prevent the symptoms of menopause, its important to be aware of the risks.
HRTs can provide significant benefits for women diagnosed with osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, hormone replacement can have negative effects on health, and can sometimes increase the risk for fibroid growth.
Talk with your doctor or one of our specialists about what will work best for you and your long-term well being.
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How Are Fibroids Connected To Hormones
To understand how fibroids and hormones interact after menopause, you need to understand the various phases in the menopause process.
Premenopause is the time between a person’s first period and the onset of perimenopause.
Perimenopause is the transitional period leading up to menopause. This phase commonly starts in your early 40s and lasts up to 10 years. During this phase, the ovaries produce fewer hormones, and periods become unreliable. Since the ovaries are still producing estrogen and other hormones, however, its still possible to become pregnant or have estrogen trigger fibroid growth.
It’s worth noting that women who have had their ovaries surgically removed for any reason will not experience perimenopause and instead will experience sudden menopause.
Menopause and postmenopause can be challenging to differentiate at times. When a woman has gone without a period for 12 months , she has reached menopause. The postmenopause period is the period after a woman has gone through menopause. At this stage, the hormonal fluctuations tend to be less drastic and stay at a consistently low level.
Do Fibroids Go Away After Menopause
Uterine fibroids are benign tumours that develop in the smooth muscle tissues within the uterus. They are also called leiomyoma or “myoma”.
Fibroids are the most common pelvic tumours in women. Fibroids occur in 7 out of 10 women by the time theyre 50 years old. They can vary in size from a couple of centimetres to very large. Some fibroids can grow as large as 20 centimetres, which is many times larger than the size of a normal uterus.
For some women fibroids may cause no symptoms, or they may be mild, while for others their symptoms can be debilitating. Symptoms can include heavy bleeding or painful periods, pain during intercourse, lower back pain, or feeling of fullness in the abdomen.
The hormone estrogen increases a womens risk of fibroids because it can stimulate growth of all types of tissues. Therefore, fibroids are most common in women of childbearing years.
After menopause, a womans estrogen levels drop and produce far lower levels of estrogen. This estrogen drop usually results in a reduced risk of developing fibroids. This decrease in estrogen may also cause fibroids to shrink, resulting in fewer or no fibroid symptoms at all for women who have reached menopause.
It is important for a woman who is experiencing vaginal bleeding or other symptoms of fibroids after menopause to see her doctor. Any vaginal bleeding after menopause should be evaluated by a medical specialist.
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How Do Fibroids Evolve During Menopause
The transitional time leading up to menopause is called perimenopause. During this time, women experience a gradual decrease in hormone production. Levels of estrogen and progesterone are lower but are still present and can still allow for the continued growth of uterine fibroids.
Fibroid symptoms are likely to continue during this time. As hormone levels decline, periods can become more irregular. Women may skip periods altogether and then experience longer, heavier cycles. This unpredictability can make menstrual cycles even harder to manage. However, longer stretches of missed cycles can be a relief for women whose most significant symptom is heavy bleeding.
For women with pelvic pain, bloating, and urinary frequency, these symptoms may continue or worsen during the perimenopausal period as fibroids continue to grow.
Once menopause has begun, overall hormone production is lower. There are typically fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels at this time that can lead to symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sexual discomfort, night sweats, chills, sleep disturbance, mood swings, and weight gain. Low hormone production will also allow fibroids to stop growing and begin to decrease in size.
Are There Any Risks Related To Fibroid Treatments
There can be risks to any treatment. Medications can have side effects and some may not be a good fit for you. Talk to your healthcare provider about all medications you may be taking for other medical conditions and your complete medical history before starting a new medication. If you experience side effects after starting a new medication, call your provider to discuss your options.
There are also always risks involved in surgical treatment of fibroids. Any surgery places you at risk of infection, bleeding, and any inherent risks associated with surgery and anesthesia. An additional risk of fibroid removal surgery can involve future pregnancies. Some surgical options can prevent future pregnancies. Myomectomy is a procedure that only removes the fibroids, allowing for future pregnancies. However, women who have had a myomectomy may need to deliver future babies via Caesarean section .
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What About Traditional Surgery
If you have a number of fibroids or fibroids that are very large, your doctor may need to remove the fibroids by making a large incision in your abdomen. Your doctor may also recommend a hysterectomy. During a hysterectomy, your doctor removes the entire uterus from your body. A hysterectomy can be done through an abdominal incision or through a vaginal incision.
Can Fibroids Change Over Time
Fibroids can actually shrink or grow over time. They can change size suddenly or steadily over a long period of time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but in most cases this change in fibroid size is linked to the amount of hormones in your body. When you have high levels of hormones in your body, fibroids can get bigger. This can happen at specific times in your life, like during pregnancy. Your body releases high levels of hormones during pregnancy to support the growth of your baby. This surge of hormones also causes the fibroid to grow. If you know you have fibroids before a pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider. You may need to be monitored to see how the fibroid grows throughout the pregnancy.Fibroids can also shrink when your hormone levels drop. This is common after menopause. Once a woman has passed through menopause, the amount of hormones in her body is much lower. This can cause the fibroids to shrink in size. Often, your symptoms can also get better after menopause.
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Are You A Candidate For Non
At Fibroid Institute Dallas, we are dedicated to treating fibroids and reducing symptoms without surgery using Uterine Fibroid Embolization . This treatment is unique because it uses diagnostic imaging tools and tiny particles to non-invasively stop blood supply to fibroids, therefore causing them to shrink and die. As a result, you have less pain and a quicker recovery time than fibroid surgery, all while reducing your symptoms.
Advantages of UFE include:
- Procedure typically takes less than an hour
- Tiny wrist puncture, no need for vaginal access
- No blood loss
- All fibroids may be treated at the same time
- Recovery time only 7-10 days versus 4-6 weeks for surgery
- No abdominal incision
UFE has helped thousands of women significantly reduce or remove their fibroids symptoms.
Is Vaginal Bleeding Normal In Post
Evaluation of fibroid-related symptoms in any woman who has begun menopause requires careful consideration for cancers of the pelvis, including ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and cervical cancer. Although they are relatively uncommon, it is important to have appropriate screening for these types of cancer. In particular, any amount of vaginal bleeding in a menopausal woman is abnormal and requires a thorough evaluation which will typically include a pelvic exam, ultrasound, Pap smear, and an endometrial biopsy.
Abnormal uterine bleeding can sometimes be associated with fibroids after menopause. Occasionally, women who are receiving HRT for menopausal symptoms may have a recurrence of fibroid-related bleeding. HRT can help with symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbance, and vaginal dryness, but the presence of hormones can cause fibroids to grow and resume bleeding. Unlike normal menstrual cycles, this bleeding is usually seen in the form of irregular spotting or random stretches of heavier flow. It is often unpredictable and difficult to manage, leading to leakage and accidents.
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