Woman resting dealing with menopause and fibroids

Fibroids and Menopause: Symptoms Shrink or Persist?

Fibroids are benign tumors that can develop in the uterus of women of reproductive age. Symptoms of fibroids are severe menstrual bleeding, pelvic discomfort, lower abdomen pain, and pressure on nearby organs.

I have a family history of fibroids and I was experiencing all of these issues. I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids when I was pregnant with my first child. As the years moved on, I developed more fibroid growth. Some of the fibroid sizes were as small as a grape, while others were close to a grapefruit.

I have a family history of fibroids and I was experiencing all of these issues.

 I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids when I was pregnant with my first child. As the years moved on, I developed more fibroid growth. Some of the fibroid size was as small as a grape, others close to a grapefruit.

 

Fortunately, fibroids are treatable, and many women can find relief from their symptoms. As women approach menopause, their hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, decrease, which can affect the size and number of fibroids. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how menopause impacts fibroids and whether they will shrink or continue to grow. By staying informed and discussing any concerns with their healthcare provider, women can manage their fibroids and alleviate any associated discomfort.

Understanding Menopause

Menopause is a natural event that occurs when a woman’s menstrual cycle ends, usually around the age of 50. This marks the end of her ability to have children and her menstrual periods. Menopause occurs due to a decrease in the levels of hormones in the body, especially estrogen and progesterone.

In my late 40’s to early 50’s, I started experiencing heavy bleeding, which caused my iron count to stay low. I was torn between having surgery or waiting it out, hoping that menopause would alleviate my symptoms. Nonetheless, I was unsure about what to do.

According to Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms are:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems

While menopause can be challenging for some women, it is a normal and natural part of life. I just wanted to wait it out and remain hopeful that the tumors would shrink

 

Hormonal Influence on Fibroid Growth

According to the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the exact cause of fibroids is unknown. However, some research suggests that they develop from misplaced cells that are present in the body before birth. The growth of fibroids is known to be influenced by the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for the development and maintenance of female reproductive organs, while progesterone is essential for the growth and development of the uterus.

 

Hormone Levels

When the levels of these hormones are high, fibroids can grow larger or increase in number, which is why fibroids are more common in women of reproductive age. As women approach menopause, there are fewer hormones present in their body, which can lead to changes in fibroid size and number. Hence, it’s essential to understand how these hormones impact fibroid growth and the changes that occur in their growth pattern as women age.

Menopause and Fibroids: Hormonal Changes and Shrinkage

Fibroids may shrink after menopause due to the decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. As women approach menopause, the levels of these hormones gradually decrease, which can have an impact on the growth of fibroids. Since fibroids rely on estrogen and progesterone to grow, a decrease in these hormones can cause them to shrink. As a result, women who experience menopause may see a reduction in the size or number of their fibroids. It’s essential to understand the role that hormones play in fibroid growth and how their decline after menopause can lead to fibroid shrinkage. This information can help women make informed decisions about their healthcare and manage their fibroids effectively.

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Fortunately, I experienced fibroid shrinkage after undergoing a myomectomy, which resulted in the removal of the fibroids, a year before entering menopause. Tests revealed that one of the fibroids inside my uterus was pressing against my endometrial lining, causing heavy bleeding as a side effect. Following the surgery, my menstrual cycles gradually decreased and eventually ceased altogether. When I was examined by the doctor, they informed me that the fibroids had decreased in size. This is a testament to the effectiveness of medical interventions in managing fibroids, especially when they cause significant discomfort or interfere with daily life.

Do All Fibroids Shrink After Menopause?

Not all fibroids will shrink after menopause. Some fibroids may continue to grow or remain the same size even after menopause. According to medical experts, a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that while fibroids did tend to decrease in size after menopause, this was not the case for all fibroids. The study found that 36% of fibroids increased in size, 22% decreased in size, and 42% remained the same size. 

My Fibroids

I am grateful that my fibroids did shrink. I was concerned that if they didn’t, I would have had to undergo a total hysterectomy, which would have entailed significant costs, hospital stays, and recovery time. Fortunately, my healthcare provider was attentive to my concerns and presented me with various treatment options. This allowed me to make an informed decision about how to manage my fibroids without undergoing major surgery. It’s essential to have a healthcare provider who listens to your concerns and provides appropriate guidance when dealing with fibroids or any other medical condition. By doing so, you can achieve better health outcomes and lead a comfortable life.

The likelihood of Fibroids shrinking after menopause

Various factors, such as the size, and location of the fibroid can influence the chances of fibroids shrinking after menopause. These two aspects are especially important to take into consideration. 

Submucosal fibroids, however, which are situated within the uterine cavity, may be more affected by hormonal fluctuations.

Large Fibroids

Additionally, large fibroids are less likely to shrink than smaller ones. A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that women with larger fibroids and those with multiple fibroids were less likely to experience a reduction in the size of their fibroids after menopause. Conversely, women who had smaller fibroids before menopause often noticed reduced size or complete disappearance of their fibroids in postmenopausal women.

Post-Menopausal Fibroid Care

I think it’s important for women who have fibroids to continue receiving regular medical care and monitoring, even after menopause. Although I no longer experience severe symptoms, I want to be proactive about my health.  I want my doctor to detect any changes in fibroid growth and manage them accordingly. Fibroids may shrink after menopause, but they can still cause uncomfortable symptoms such as heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, and urinary frequency. Moreover, some fibroids may even continue to grow despite menopause. 

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Regular Check-ups

By getting regular checkups, women can monitor the size and growth of their fibroids and detect any changes early on. If you experience any changes in your symptoms, such as an increase in intensity or the emergence of new ones, it is important to inform your healthcare provider since this could be a sign of growth in your fibroids or that some other condition has developed.

Understanding Fibroid Shrinkage After Menopause

To sum up, the question of whether fibroids shrink after menopause is complex, and the answer depends on several factors. While some women may see a decrease in the size or number of fibroids after menopause, others may not notice any change or may even experience growth in their fibroids. Therefore, it’s crucial for women to receive regular medical care and monitoring, regardless of whether or not they have experienced menopause. This will ensure the best possible outcomes for their health and help detect any changes in fibroid growth early on. By staying informed and maintaining open communication with their healthcare provider, women can manage their fibroids and alleviate any symptoms effectively.

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8 thoughts on “Fibroids and Menopause: Symptoms Shrink or Persist?”

  1. Informative post! The relationship between fibroids and menopause is an important topic, and you’ve provided valuable insights. Understanding the symptoms and how they may change during menopause is crucial for women’s health. Thank you for shedding light on this issue and helping on navigate this phase of life. Keep up the great work!

  2. Informative post! The relationship between fibroids and menopause is an important topic, and you’ve provided valuable insights. Understanding the symptoms and how they may change during menopause is crucial for women’s health. Thank you for shedding light on this issue and helping us navigate this phase of life. Keep up the great work!

  3. So much good information here. Having just gone through menopause myself it was very informative. I feel very lucky not to have had the added issue of fibroids.
    Julie

  4. Great information! It’s great to share your experience so that hopefully you can help someone else.

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