Illnesses

Uterine Fibroids


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Uterine Fibroids
from The Mayo Clinic

Fibroids
by Deborah A. Metzger, Ph.D., M.D.
Good discussion including treatment options

CAUSES/RISK FACTORS/PREVENTION

Causes
from About.com

What Causes Uterine Fibroids?
from New York Methodist Hospital

Uterine Fibroids
by Marcy Holmes
"What are the causes of fibroids?
One striking fact is the role of estrogen, whose basic function throughout the body is to stimulate cell growth.  Clearly estrogen stimulates fibroid growth and progesterone inhibits it. That makes estrogen–progesterone imbalance (estrogen dominance — a very common condition among perimenopausal women) a likely contributor to fibroid growth.

We doubt that estrogen alone creates fibroids, but the xenoestrogens in our environment (chiefly pesticides and growth hormones used in food production) could go a long way toward explaining why fibroids are so much more common today than a few decades ago."

PATIENTS' STORIES

Personal Stories
from the Mayo Clinic

Patient Stories
from Fibroids1.com

Myomectomy for Fibroids, No Hysterectomy Needed
from Project AWARE

TREATMENTS/THERAPIES

Hysterectomy – The Alleged Quick Fix with Lasting Consequences
by Lise Cloutier-Steele
"Gynecologists have traditionally downplayed the risks involved with the operation itself and its many lasting consequences. Side effects include hot flashes, depression, anxiety, osteoporosis, generalized fatigue, stress and urge incontinence, masculinization, insomnia, bowel dysfunction, mood swings, just to mention a few. More importantly, the removal of the uterus and the ovaries can lead to loss of sexual desire, diminished orgasmic response and pain with intercourse.

One would think that when a surgical procedure involves the alteration of a woman’s sexual anatomy, it would be discussed at great length.  It’s not."

Women Seek Choices When Fibroid Tumors Strike
by Linda Villarosa of the New York Times
"Women's health experts have aggressively questioned why the hysterectomy, performed an estimated 600,000 times a year in the United States, remains the fallback treatment for fibroids."

Hysterectomy Alternative Goes Unmentioned to Many Women
by Kevin Helliker and Lauren Etter
Staff Reporters of The Wall Street Journal
"Hundreds of thousands of women go to gynecologists each year with a common condition known as uterine fibroid tumors.  When it's severe, a majority of them get the same recommendation: a hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus.

In recent years, a less invasive procedure, known as uterine artery embolization or UAE, has been growing in popularity.  Yet some patients, and even some gynecologists, say many gynecologists aren't telling their patients about the alternative."

Uterine Artery Embolization
from the Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services
Facts and disadvantages of Uterine Artery Embolization

Fibroids
from DrLam.com
"Uterine fibroid is a warning sign from our body of a hormonal imbalance.   It can easily be treated with lifestyle adjustments, nutritional supplementation, and natural progesterone cream, most of the time.   Surgeries are seldom necessary.  The underlying cause is, frequently, estrogen dominance, which can also lead to a variety of other hormone related diseases such as breast and cervical cancer if not properly controlled.  On the first sign of estrogen dominance, preventive steps should be instituted."

Acupuncture as an Alternative Treatment for Fibroids
by Diana Barnes-Brown

Articles from the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation
Introduction
"The more you know about uterine fibroids and your reproductive system, the better equipped you are to understand your treatment options and how to maintain and/or achieve a higher Quality of Life, regardless of the presence of this disease.  Hysterectomy is certainly a treatment option. It isn't, necessarily, your only option."

The Uterus
"To gain an understanding of how the reproductive system works, it's really important that you also have a basic understanding of The Uterus and all of it's relevant components."

Uterine Fibroids
"Uterine fibroids (leiomyomas) are common noncancerous (benign) tumors of the uterus.  They grow from the muscular wall of the uterus and are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. "

Uterine Fibroids and Hysterectomy
"In the last 20 years, over 12 million women in the United States have undergone hysterectomy.  Out of those 12 million, roughly 177,000 to 366,000 were performed annually for the treatment of uterine fibroids.  3.5 to 7.3 million women in the U.S. over the last 20 years may well have undergone hysterectomy for a relatively benign disease, unnecessarily."

"While one could argue that 20 years ago there may have been limited solutions to the treatment of uterine fibroids, today there is simply no excuse for these numbers.  There are numerous procedures that directly treat the disease of uterine fibroids, and do so without removal of the uterus."

OTHER RESOURCES

Center For Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids1 Discussion Forum

Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services

National Women's Health Resource Center

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Please click on the picture of the book or the title to order.

Lise Cloutier-Steele, Misinformed Consent: Women's Stories About Unnecessary Hysterectomy

Scott C. Goodwin, M.D., What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibroids: New Techniques and Therapies--Including Breakthrough Alternatives to Hysterectomy

Allan Warshowsky, M.D., and Elena Oumano , Healing Fibroids: A Doctor's Guide to a Natural Cure

Stanley West, M.D. and Paula Dranov, The Hysterectomy Hoax: The Truth About Why Many Hysterectomies Are Unnecessary and How to Avoid Them

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