Uterine Fibroids are benign tumor outgrowths in the uterus. These tumors usually begin arising around the age of 30 to 40 in a woman and they develop just below the myometrium of the uterus although some outgrowths have known to develop between the uterine muscles. Uterine fibroid growth can start with one abnormal cell that continually reproduces abnormal cells until it becomes one abnormal mass. The fibroids are pale in color and are rubbery and firm. They may grow as one nodule or in clusters with varying sizes. Uterine fibroids (UFs) are not rare and in fact, affect around one fourth to one half of the women in the United States.
UF typically do not manifest any painful symptoms; however, if they do, women experience urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, spotting between periods and heavy bleeding during menstruation among others. Other symptoms of UF are low back pain and pain during sex. Women with UF usually experience infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy complications. Some UF pains are the result of a degenerating fibroid affecting an adjacent tissue. UF rarely leads to cancer although some cases that led to cancer have been reported from time to time.
Diagnostic and pelvic examinations are needed to identify and diagnose UF although it is known as an idiopathic disease. Scientists believe that genetic or hormonal defects can result in UF. Records have shown that women who gave birth to at least one child are less likely to develop UF. Diet can affect the formation of UF. It is known that trans-fatty acids, sugar, alcohol, dairy and meat and caffeine can increase the likelihood of UF. Vitamin D has helped greatly in limiting abnormal fibroid formation.
UF is only treated when symptoms manifest especially when miscarriage, pain or hemorrhage is involved. One way of removing UF is by a process called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This procedure and surgery in the form of hysterectomy are very invasive procedures. A staggering 300,000 women undergo hysterectomy each year mostly to get rid of UF. Other less invasive procedures are diet, specific exercises or by hormone therapy. The common hormone therapies are gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gnrh), progestins, progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD), antiprogestins, androgens, selective estrogen receptor modulators (Serms), luteinizing hormone releasing factor and oral contraceptives
Acupuncture Bellingham, an ancient oriental medical tradition of using filiform needles inserted into specific parts in the body to remove pain and treat various kinds of maladies is now seen as an effective way to manage back and menstrual pain for women with UF in a non-invasive and safe way. Further research is ongoing to explore more of the potentials of acupuncture in treating UF and its symptoms although many more women are opting for this treatment known for its ability to remove body pain without the need for drugs or surgery.