There is so much that has been learned about fibroids over the years, including the various types, symptoms, who’s most at risk, treatment options, and the steps women can take to reduce their chances of developing uterine fibroids. Yet, researchers still aren’t entirely sure how to answer: what causes fibroids to grow? Since no one knows for sure what causes fibroids, we also don’t know what causes them to grow or shrink.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop from the muscle tissue of the uterus. The majority of uterine fibroids are diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 54. However, fibroids can occur in women younger than 35 and until menopause. Depending on your situation, you may have one or several. What’s more is that they could all differ in size and either stay that way or grow at different rates.
The growth factor is of particular concern to women since uterine fibroids can get large and lead to painful, life-altering symptoms.
Do You Have Any of These Fibroid Symptoms?
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Difficulty urinating
- Need to urinate more often
- Back or leg pain
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Periods that last longer than a week
Hormones Are the Main Culprit in What Causes Fibroids to Grow
What causes fibroids to grow? There are several factors, but what we do know is that they are under hormonal control—specifically, estrogen and progesterone—and tend to grow at a more rapid pace during the reproductive years when hormone levels are at their highest.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, estrogen and progesterone stimulate the development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy. This causes fibroids to swell, and in many cases, they can vary from the size of a bean to a melon.
Complications due to excessive uterine fibroid growth are rare, but they can be serious and also include:
- Pregnancy and labor complications
- Repeated miscarriages
- Fertility problems
Most clinicians believe uterine fibroids shrink when a woman goes through menopause, which stands to reason since this is a period during which hormone levels are much lower.
There are additional factors beyond hormones that can cause fibroids to grow.
1. Birth control pills
Birth control can help with certain side effects of fibroids, but they will make existing fibroids grow.
2. Insulin-like growth factors
Certain substances naturally help the body maintain tissue, leading to fibroid growth.
3. Certain foods
Red, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, salty foods, and certain carbohydrates cause fibroids to grow.
Ways You Can Reduce Your Risk of Fibroids
- Eat more fruits, especially citrus, and vegetables
- Get more exercise
- Avoid consuming too much alcohol
- Drink more dairy
- Increase your Vitamin D intake
- Lower your stress levels
Get a FREE Phone Screening with Fibroid Institute Dallas
Uterine fibroids can cause painful and life-altering symptoms for many women, especially as they get larger and put more pressure on your uterus. At Fibroid Institute Dallas, we don’t believe you need to decide between suffering in silence or having a hysterectomy. If you suffer from painful uterine fibroids, schedule a telehealth or office consult with Dr. Suzanne Slonim. Dr. Slonim is voted top doctor in interventional radiology for women in North Texas and the leader in fibroid treatment in Dallas. Or request a 15-minute free phone screening with an expert fibroid nurse to determine if you are eligible for fibroid treatment without surgery. To learn more about the revolutionary, non-surgical, fibroid treatment Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) call 214-838-6440.
Fibroid Institute Dallas serves the DFW area including Dallas, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Hutchins, Irving, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Allen, and all of North Texas.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.