Uterine fibroids are asymptomatic, non-cancerous cysts that sometimes grow on women’s uteri. Typically, they’re no big deal. Many women can go their through their entire adulthood never feeling any of the signs and symptoms of fibroids, despite having several.
The keyword there being “can.”
Though most women will never need uterine fibroid surgery or any of the other uterine fibroid treatments, there are some cases when the removal of uterine fibroids is an absolute necessity. Women sometimes need fibroid treatments because their cysts cause prolonged and painful periods, abdominal pressure, pain during intercourse, fertility problems, and worse.
As previously mentioned, many women won’t ever have to worry about dealing with fibroid treatments. However, doctors have found that there are certain risk factors that can lead to fibroids. Here are just a few.
As women age and get older, the risk of getting fibroids increases, which is to say that the cysts get more common as women age. This is especially true during women’s 30s and 40 through menopause. However, the good news is that after menopause, fibroids have a tendency to start shrinking.
As is the case with most medical issues, family history can affect a woman’s risk of getting fibroids. If other family members have had to get fibroid treatments, then chances are the patient will develop fibroids as well. Having family members with fibroids increases risk. If this family member happens to be the patient’s mother, then her risk of having them is three times higher than average.
Unfortunately, more African-American women have to get fibroid treatments than white women do. Though no one is really sure why, statistical evidence shows this to be true.
Women who are overweight tend to need fibroid treatments more than women who are either at the weight they’re supposed to be, or underweight. For heavier women, the risk of fibroids can actually be two or three times greater than average.
You are what you eat, after all. Women who eat a lot of red meat, like steak or ham, have been linked with having a higher risk of getting fibroids. The good news is, though, that eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women against getting fibroids.
If you find yourself at a higher risk of getting these cysts, schedule an appointment with your doctor and talk to him about the risks involved with fibroids. If you have any questions about fibroid treatments, feel free to ask in the comments.