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True or False? Fibroids Disappear During Menopause

June 17th, 2010

False.  “Estrogen Bath” Prior to Menopause Can Stimulate Growth Spurt

Los Angeles – June 14, 2010 – Many women with painful fibroids decide to “wing it” without any treatment in the belief that their fibroids will disappear during menopause.  For years, doctors would tell their patients that fibroids shrink after the change of life.  But patients with fibroids ended up undergoing a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) instead before menopause because symptoms worsened.  Why?  It’s because there’s an unknown substance secreted by fat cells that mimics the effect of estrogen on fibroids.  It makes fibroids grow, as does estrogen replacement therapy.  Fibroids affect 40 percent of all females.

“At the Fibroid Treatment Collective (FTC) (http://www.fibroids.com), we observed an interesting phenomenon in the late 1990s after we introduced uterine artery embolization (UAE) to the U.S. in 1994,” said OB-GYN expert Bruce McLucas, M.D. and founder of the FTC.  “Women who had been our fibroid patients in previous years, returned in their early 50s to have UAE.  We asked why they waited, and they all had the same story. While they believe UAE would be successful, they believed that menopause would shrink the fibroids.  However, almost every patient returned during menopause with bigger fibroids.”  Hysterectomies which resulted in the inability to conceive children used to be the only treatment, but with UAE, fibroids can be successfully treated permanently without surgery and allows fertility to be preserved.

Dr. McLucas says that the best time to treat fibroids that are causing painful symptoms like heavy bleeding, frequent urination, back ache or leg pains, is right now.  “If you’re in your late 40s, you are also in what amounts to an ‘estrogen bath,’ ” Dr. McLucas said.   He added that right before menopause, when estrogen is removed from the body as the ovaries stop functioning, women will experience several months or years of estrogen dominated menstrual cycles.  Since fibroids are estrogen sensitive, there is almost always a growth spurt for fibroids.

Waiting for a few years for fibroids to shrink during menopause is likely to result in a few more years of growth and worsening symptoms of pain and bleeding instead,” the doctor pointed out.

Women interested in learning more can join a live chat Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST at www.fibroids.com.  A national fibroid Webinar is scheduled for Saturday, June 19th at 10 a.m. PT – visit http://www.fibroids.com/about-ftc/upcoming-events for more information.

For more information about fibroids, visit www.fibroids.com or call 866.362.6463 for a free consultation; visit Twitter @fibroiddoctor; and become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/fibroids.


8 Responses to “True or False? Fibroids Disappear During Menopause”

  1. NELLY says:

    This is a very educative piece of information but i still hava a question that i would appreciate if you could answer,do some women not experience symptoms even when they have fibroids?thanks in advance.Regaurds Nelly.

  2. beth says:

    Several women have fibroids but do not experience any symptoms and therefore find it unnecessary to get treatment.

    Give us a call at 866-362-6463 and schedule a FREE phone consultation with the doctor so that he can analyze your individual health situation and discuss whether treatment is needed.

  3. Dianne says:

    I am 56 years old, had tubal ligation after 2nd c-section, and am scheduled for hysterectomy in 3 weeks for heavy bleeding (hemo was 10) and large fibroid uterus (fundus at belly button, a lemon, 2 walnuts and a whole can of peas; endometrial biopsy normal, pap smear normal). Have had spotting between periods for 3 months, and this month, spotting instead of period (for 5 days at this point). Previous periods occurred regularly. Gyn prescribed Integra Plus 2x/day to get hemoglobin up; having taken it for 3 weeks. Right ovary appeared normal on ultrasound, left one a simple cyst. Should I be concerned about spotting rather than menstruating?

  4. IRIS ROSA says:

    I am 54, years old, with a in large uterus with lots and lots of fibroids ,and one of them is the size of a lemon .I went to see my gym doctor for a check up,but my doctor is worry about the fact that my fibroids are growing , because I have not had a period for more than 10 years now, she says that my fibriods should be shinking not growing, is there something I should be worrying about.

  5. FTC says:

    The myth is that fibroids shrink after menopause, but before menopause begins the body gets a rush of estrogen causing the fibroids to grow rapidly. Has your doctor told you that you have finished menopause? MRI imaging, and hormone testing can provide some insight. Your hormone levels and increased blood supply can cause your fibroids to grow rapidly, even though you have not had a menstrual cycle. If you have any further questions, feel free to give the FTC a call at 1.866.362.6463 or click on our Live Chat button to talk with a health care professional. Best of health to you.

  6. d says:

    i would like to know if you have uterine fibroids, can that cause a false reading on another blood test? thank you

  7. FTC says:

    Hello. Individual cases may require more details, it might be best if you contact our office at 866-362-6463 to discuss your concerns with one of our health professionals. You can also click on the purple Live Chat button located on the left of the screen.

  8. phil says:

    My fibroids are causing a lot of bloating and my final ultra sound indicated that they are pre degenerative . What is meant by pre degenerative fibroids ?

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