I'm 44 years old, and I recently had a vaginal ultrasound done, because during my routine gyn. exam, my dr. thought he felt a fibroid. Well, the ultrasound showed 4 fibroids! (I was recently diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, and have been thru all the tests trying to figure out what's causing it)
My dr. says it's too risky to try to remove the fibroids because I have four, and they are in different areas of my uterus.
So...he put me on a low dose (Allese) birth control pill and hopes this will lighten my periods and possibly help shrink the fibroids and get rid of my anemia.
He told me that the closer I get to menopause, that the fibroids should start to shrink and eventually (hopefully) disappear when I hit menopause. Well, you never know, I could have 8 or 9 years before I go thru menopause...I hate the idea of being on birth control pills for that long a time.
Has anyone out there been diagnosed with fibroids in their mid-forties? If so, is this something that's common in developing at my age? (all of a sudden within one years time)
If anyone's had more than one fibroid, were you able to have them removed? I hate being on the bc pills, and I don't want to have to have my uterus removed. Any solutions? Thanks!
It is very common for women to get fibroids around your age, due to fluctuating hormones and excess estrogen. Your situation sounds EXACTLY like mine. I was about 45, and having very heavy periods and cramps. My doctor felt a fibroid, did an ultrasound and found 4 of them. He said I would probably need a hysterectomy. Well, I wasn't going for that at all, so I decided to wait it out and see what happened. My periods continued to be heavy and miserable, and I became slightly anemic so I had to take special iron supplements (I continue to take a good multiple vitamin with iron and have not had any more problems with anemia since. I never took birth control pills, just iron supplements). Now I'm 51, and my periods have gotten much lighter (finally!) and further apart, and the fibroids aren't bothering me much at all. My periods will be ending soon, and the fibroids will shrink even more, or go away altogether.
My advice is, DO NOT get a hysterectomy unless you become REALLY miserable. I decided that I would have to be practically dying before I would let them remove my uterus, because I really believe it's essential to good health (though I know many people would disagree). Some women do fine after a hysterectomy, but others have numerous other problems and are very sorry they did it.
Ask your doctor to give you a prescription for iron supplements, which you take for about a month, then recheck for anemia. Then continue to take a multiple vitamin with iron. That will likely take care of the anemia, so you may not have to take bcp. You should go back every 6 months to a year and have your iron levels checked to be sure the anemia remains under control. And have an ultrasound once a year just to make sure the fibroids aren't growing too fast.
There's a good chance you will be able to wait it out and everything will be fine. Your periods might end much sooner than 8 or 9 years, and estrogen levels usually begin to drop even before your periods end, which will cause the fibroids to start shrinking.
Shadepra thanks for your post it is very encouraging. I found out I had fibroids when I was 32. At that time my uterus was 12 weeks. Now Iím 43 and my uterus is I think about 18 to 20 weeks (they measure your uterus size by weeks of pregnancy). I have 3 fibroids that can be measured the others are very small. Surprisingly my stomach doesnít stick out. I donít think you can describe my flow as heavy its more like a flood. I have to wear tampons and overnight pads. I wear the tampons just to control the (water faucet) flow. I am anemic because of the heavy bleeding but controlling it with over the counter iron pills. I do take supplements and drink Tahitian Noni juice for the severe cramping. I too am trying to hold out until menopause in hopes that my fibroids will shrink. I have been reading a lot of book on healing fibroids through diet, meditation, and exercise. Iíll continue to post to let everyone know how it goes.
Thanks for the information about your experiences with fibroids. It makes me feel better to know that there are other women out there who are living with numerous fibroids and not having hysterectomies.
I am taking iron supplements, my dr. told me to take over the counter ones twice a day, so I've been doing that for about two months so far. I do need to go get another set of bloodwork done within the next week or two to see if the iron supplements and the birth control pills have helped my anemia at all.
I don't have pain from the fibroids (that I know of), but my periods have always been heavy, that's why my gyn. put me on the birth control pills. I do have a follow up appt.with him on Monday. I want to discuss that procedure you can have (outpatient) to lessen your periods, so maybe I could have that done, and get off of the bc pills.
I'd like to know more about how diet, etc. effects fibroids...is there a specific book that you can recommend? Thanks!
I am 39 and was diagnosed with a fibroid and a cyst in my uterus. From what I have read, this is very common in women in their 30's and 40's. I think the statistics I read say that half of the women in their 30's and 40's will get them and only half of those women will have problems or symptoms. My symptoms were very heavy periods, HUGE clots, extreme cramps and spotting between periods. This all came about within the last year. There are lots of options to treat this besides a hysterectomy. I just had surgery on December 17th to remove the fibroid. It was done by hysteroscopic resection. This is done for fibroids inside the uterus. For ones outside the uterus they can be taken out laproscopically. If you do a search on fibroid tumours you can find more information about treatment options. If the tumours are not causing you any problems then I would say leave them as they will shrink when you start menopause. If they are bothering you then definitely look into the other options that are available to you besides hysterectomy. Good luck!