FACT SHEET covering top issues on fibroids
- 1Fibroids are a hormone dependent tumor – both estrogen and progesterone is necessary for the fibroid to grow
- 2Women may begin to develop fibroids as young as the early twenties
- 3Fibroids may cause reproductive problems
- 4Some fibroids grow in multiple numbers they often look like a single fibroid due to their tendency to grow in a cluster
- 5The most common symptom of fibroids is abnormal periods
As the cause of fibroids is still unknown, there are no clear guidelines for preventing them. However, there are some things you could do that may help prevent fibroids.
Firstly, keep your weight down. This will help minimize the estrogen levels in your body. The risk of developing leiomyoma is higher in women who are heavy for their height.
Eat green vegetables and fruit, and avoid red meat. It was found that women who eat little meat but a lot of green vegetables and fruit seem to be less likely to develop fibroids than women who eat a lot of red meat and few vegetables.
Although the high estrogen levels in oral contraceptive pills has led some clinicians to advise women with leiomyomas to avoid using them, there is good evidence that oral contraceptive use decreases the risk of leiomyomas. The combined pill or mini-pill may protect against fibroids by keeping hormone levels from peaking and falling. However, the pill comes with its own set of side effects, so talk to your doctor about whether or not it’s right for you.
The risk of developing leiomyomas is lower in women who are smokers and in women who have given birth.