Uterine fibroids

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My periods have been getting heavier over the past several years so I just got an ultrasound done to see if I have uterine fibroids, and it turns out I have two of them.

Has anyone else had fibroids and care to share your experiences? I am not currently on hormonal birth control, and the potential side effects of hormonal birth control kind of horrify me. The surgical options will either leave me infertile, or there is the chance the fibroids would grow back anyway.

I guess the hormonal option most appealing is the Mirena IUD. But even the small possibility of weight gain, acne, hair loss, and decreased sex drive are extremely off-putting to me. Not to mention the actual insertion!

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by divegirl; 01-24-2013 at 01:19 PM.
I have them and had surgery about 3 years ago. I didn't have the surgery laproscopically, so the recovery time was fairly long. Maybe a month or so. You'd be surprised how much you use your stomach muscles for! Laughing, coughing, sneezing, turning over in bed, sitting down, standing up, walking. But I digress.

My fibroids started growing back and my ob/gyn put me on the pill Tri-Sprintec. But I don't think it's doing much for me. My periods are still crazy heavy and the tennis ball sized fibroid I have now hasn't shrunk at all. I'll be looking into alternatives also.
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I've had them for probably 20 years (I'm 50 now). They started acting up pretty badly in my early 30's and causing really heavy bleeding. I already had 2 kids, but I didn't want to screw up my uterus for future pregnancy with surgery, so I just dealt with it. I had a baby at 35 and that seemed to cure all my symptoms. The fibroids were still there, but didn't cause any fuss. I had yet another baby at 38, and still the fibroids remained dormant. I'm in menopause now...still have my fibroids, but I'm sure they'll shrivel up along with my uterus as the years roll on.

Do you plan on having any babies in the relatively near future?
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I have them and am just leaving them alone. My gyno says this is fine as long as they're not causing major problems. (She tends to frown on the surgical-type procedures because the fibroids grow back). My bleeding was MUCH worse when I was on the pill; going off it helped a lot.

I did have one of them partially removed once (myomectomy, I think they call it?). It's similar to hysteroscopy -- no incisions. But I really only did it because I was having day surgery, anyway, to have an ovarian cycst removed. I don't know how much of a difference it made, long-term, because going off the pill is really what stopped the bleeding. And the fibroids grew back.

They looked into the possibility of doing a uterine ablation for my bleeding, but I guess they can't do that if the fibroids are embedded in the uterine lining, as mine are.

I think there are a lot of other procedures/treatments that people try, though. I might if symptoms become bad enough. Good luck!
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Thanks ladies, I appreciate your input.

I've had them for probably 20 years (I'm 50 now). They started acting up pretty badly in my early 30's and causing really heavy bleeding. I already had 2 kids, but I didn't want to screw up my uterus for future pregnancy with surgery, so I just dealt with it. I had a baby at 35 and that seemed to cure all my symptoms. The fibroids were still there, but didn't cause any fuss. I had yet another baby at 38, and still the fibroids remained dormant. I'm in menopause now...still have my fibroids, but I'm sure they'll shrivel up along with my uterus as the years roll on.

Do you plan on having any babies in the relatively near future?
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I am 37 and do not have kids. I am unsure if I want to have kids.

I guess I will just deal with the heavy bleeding. It's two days a month where I pretty much need to be near a bathroom at all times. Last cycle, I bled through 5 ultra-size tampons overnight. I can't use the Diva Cup during the first couple of days because my cervix sits low at that time and fills up the cup. I don't have spotting between periods, and my period only lasts about 4-5 days so it's not as bad as it could be.

I do feel like I have trouble urinating occasionally, and it might be caused by the fibroids.
My best friend had a UAE for her fibroids. Was very happy with the results. But she didn't want kids, and that option is only for women who do not want to get pregnant.
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So is heavy/ extended bleeding a symptom? I have a couple ( found during my last pregnancy just over a year ago. This month I've had 3 periods & called my gyno- they suggested to take a pregnancy test ( though I got tubes tied at last birth & I'm now 44).

Otherwise I thought it might be early/jacked up menopausal stuff.
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Yes, heavy bleeding is a symptom. They can also result in bloating and frequent urination, if they press on your bladder. Mine were getting painful also but they're not usually painful.
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I have one large fibroid that was discovered when I was pregnant with my son 17 yrs ago. My OB/GYN advised me to leave it alone and watch. He also told me that taking the pill would make it grow larger so I did not use the pill after my son was born. I then had my daughter 3 1/2 yrs later.

I am now 46yrs old and and now post-menopausal and I still have my fibroid and have no issues with. I guess it will shrink since my estrogen is very low.

My sister had a few and was having back pain and she was advised to have a hysterectomy. Long story short....the back pain was still there after her hysterectomy
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My periods have been getting heavier over the past several years so I just got an ultrasound done to see if I have uterine fibroids, and it turns out I have two of them.

Has anyone else had fibroids and care to share your experiences? I am not currently on hormonal birth control, and the potential side effects of hormonal birth control kind of horrify me. The surgical options will either leave me infertile, or there is the chance the fibroids would grow back anyway.

I guess the hormonal option most appealing is the Mirena IUD. But even the small possibility of weight gain, acne, hair loss, and decreased sex drive are extremely off-putting to me. Not to mention the actual insertion!

Thanks in advance.
Originally Posted by divegirl
Did the doctor tell you that? Maybe it depends on the type you have, or where they are located but...

My girlfriend had some very large ones that were discovered when she pregnant with her first. She had them removed surgically, and got pregnant very easily with #2 a couple years later (at 37, iirc)
My periods have been getting heavier over the past several years so I just got an ultrasound done to see if I have uterine fibroids, and it turns out I have two of them.

Has anyone else had fibroids and care to share your experiences? I am not currently on hormonal birth control, and the potential side effects of hormonal birth control kind of horrify me. The surgical options will either leave me infertile, or there is the chance the fibroids would grow back anyway.

I guess the hormonal option most appealing is the Mirena IUD. But even the small possibility of weight gain, acne, hair loss, and decreased sex drive are extremely off-putting to me. Not to mention the actual insertion!

Thanks in advance.
Originally Posted by divegirl
Did the doctor tell you that? Maybe it depends on the type you have, or where they are located but...

My girlfriend had some very large ones that were discovered when she pregnant with her first. She had them removed surgically, and got pregnant very easily with #2 a couple years later (at 37, iirc)
Originally Posted by LAwoman
Sorry, that was ambiguous. I meant that the surgical options that don't leave me sterile (i.e., the options where my uterus is kept intact) also come with the likelihood that the fibroids will grow back.
I have a couple of fibroids. The last time I had an ultrasound done, which was a couple of years, they weren't that big. They were discovered around 5 years ago, before I went back on the pill. At the time, my periods weren't excessively heavy, but they were long-lasting 7 or 8 days. Since they haven't interfered with my life, I've chosen to leave them alone. My BFF has fibroids too and she's chosen to leave them alone. Then again, she just turned 52 and with menopause, they'll shrink eventually anyway.
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Having myomectomy surgery (removing fibroids, leaving uterus) can have adverse effects on later pregnancies...leaving the uterus weak and sometimes unable to support late pregnancy, which can increase the risk of uterine rupture. Most OB's want women who have had a myomectomy to have a c-section (often a bit early, like at 37-38 weeks) for delivery if they have a subsequent pregnancy. Those risks weren't acceptable to me, so that's why I left my fibroids alone. As I said, pregnancy seemed to "cure" them.
I had them. I bled constantly, severely anemic. Dr put me on hormonal birth control to stop it, NuvaRing, which didnt work. So we added progesterone to the mix...that worked for a while bit every time I changed the NuvaRing I'd bleed heavy for ages until it would level off. It was random and I could never do anything. I had surgery for a cyst and during dr did a thorough d&c which he thought would help...for a bit it did...but bleeding came back. Clots were scary. Then one day I was in awful pain...it lasted about a week. When I moved I felt my uterus slosh when I moved. I was painfully bloated, and if have random sharp terrible pains.

I am 34..I never wanted kids. So my choice was fairly easy. The myomectomy recovery was just as long as a hysterectomy and at my age the damn fibroids would grow back and I didn't want that.

I'm currently home recovering from my total hysterectomy, they took my cervix too because I had hpv. I was in the hospital for 2 days. I'll be home for another month..it's been 2 weeks so far. I'm sore and tired...but so far so good. No spotting since the first day, this is the longest I haven't bled since October when this started so I'm happy!!
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Oh and I have one ovary...so no menopause
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I am currently suffering from fibroids. At first it was heavy bleeding and long periods. My doctor put me on Lysteda to help with the bleeding but it only got worse. She finally did a ultra sound and discovered I have a fibroid in my uterus. Now she put me on the BC pill (can't remember which one) to help with fibroid. My bleeding has lessen a little but I have very intense cramps during my periods. I feel so much pressure on my lower pelvis that I can hardly sit up straight in a chair. I have to sit leaned back because it hurts so bad. I also get so bloated and have horrible back pain. I suspect that my fibroid is getting bigger.

My mom had the same problem when she was my age and she ended up getting a hysterectomy. I badly want kids so that is not an option for me. I would like to know of other alternatives that wouldn't hurt my chances of becoming pregnant or carrying a baby.

Oh and the pill has not caused any weight gain and my acne has gotten better. The only side effect is bigger boobs. They get a little swollen.
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Last edited by tnatural; 01-25-2013 at 06:27 PM.
I suffered with uterine fibroids for more than 3 years. I had HORRIBLE periods! For the first 2 days I could not be away from a bathroom for more than an hour. I would go through a super tampon and pad about once an hour for the first 2 days. Trying to sleep at night those first 2 days was a nightmare. My regular OBGYN wanted to do traditional surgery to remove them (she was not trained in the robotic/laparoscopic surgery). This would have required a pretty lengthly recovery which was something that I couldn't do for financial reasons. I started researching laparoscopic procedures and even watched a procedure online. I found a doctor that used the DaVinci Robot. He explained all of my options (do nothing, traditional surgery, etc...). I chose to do the robotic surgery because I wanted the madness to stop and because this method would preserve my fertility. It was the best decision! I was out of the hospital the same day and back to work in 5 days. Of course the first 2-3 days were rough but not excruciating. I took it easy for a few weeks after my surgery but was pretty much back to my normal routine. He did tell me that the fibroids would likely come back and possibly require more surgery down the road. He also said that if I were to get pregnant I would more than likely have to have a C-section as the uterus would not be able to handle labor.

This June will be 2 years since my surgery and my periods are totally back to normal (they have been since the surgery). My only regret is not doing the surgery sooner and allowing it to go on for so long. If they come back I would not hesitate to do it again. The doctor told me that my uterus was over two times the normal size because of the fibroids. He even gave me pictures that he took during the procedure. I didn't realize until after they were gone just how distended my abdomen was because of the fibroids.
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I suffered with uterine fibroids for more than 3 years. I had HORRIBLE periods! For the first 2 days I could not be away from a bathroom for more than an hour. I would go through a super tampon and pad about once an hour for the first 2 days. Trying to sleep at night those first 2 days was a nightmare. My regular OBGYN wanted to do traditional surgery to remove them (she was not trained in the robotic/laparoscopic surgery). This would have required a pretty lengthly recovery which was something that I couldn't do for financial reasons. I started researching laparoscopic procedures and even watched a procedure online. I found a doctor that used the DaVinci Robot. He explained all of my options (do nothing, traditional surgery, etc...). I chose to do the robotic surgery because I wanted the madness to stop and because this method would preserve my fertility. It was the best decision! I was out of the hospital the same day and back to work in 5 days. Of course the first 2-3 days were rough but not excruciating. I took it easy for a few weeks after my surgery but was pretty much back to my normal routine. He did tell me that the fibroids would likely come back and possibly require more surgery down the road. He also said that if I were to get pregnant I would more than likely have to have a C-section as the uterus would not be able to handle labor.

This June will be 2 years since my surgery and my periods are totally back to normal (they have been since the surgery). My only regret is not doing the surgery sooner and allowing it to go on for so long. If they come back I would not hesitate to do it again. The doctor told me that my uterus was over two times the normal size because of the fibroids. He even gave me pictures that he took during the procedure. I didn't realize until after they were gone just how distended my abdomen was because of the fibroids.
Originally Posted by floridajovigirl
Oh, this sounds amazing. My periods are very similar to how yours used to be. Surgery is the most appealing option to me. I know many women use hormonal birth control with no problems but I am very wary. Now that I am thinking about it more, I am wondering if the backaches I get when I stand for more than an hour are related to my fibroids, as well as my rounded lower abdomen which I just thought was a side effect of getting older!

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