Tips for Managing Fibroids Until Your Next Doctor’s Appointment
Posted byChristine Yu
While an estimated 70 percent of women have fibroids, only 25 percent of women experience symptoms, according to Brigham and Women’s Hospital.1 But if you’re part of that 25 percent, you know that managing fibroids can be a pain … literally!
The Mayo Clinic defines uterine fibroids as noncancerous growths of the uterus, and they range in size and number.2 If you haven’t seen a doctor yet, make an appointment with your physician. While you wait to see your doctor to discuss treatment options, here are some tips for managing fibroids and their symptoms.
How to Manage Your Fibroid Discomfort
There are a number of common symptoms associated with fibroids, and they vary from person to person. Some people experience heavy and uncomfortable periods while others feel a heaviness or fullness in their pelvic region. Still others may have a sore back, constipation or pain with sex, among other symptoms, notes Medical News Today.3
Managing fibroids depends on the symptoms and level of discomfort you experience. Your doctor may recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication to help lessen some of the discomfort associated with your symptoms, the Office of Women’s Health suggests.4 You can also go low-tech and apply a heating pad to your belly.
Changing your diet may help, too. You should check with your doctor first before making dietary changes, but you can increase your intake of whole grains, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and water, which may help with symptoms, such as constipation, says the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation.5 Working in more anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, nuts and berries while decreasing your intake of inflammatory foods, such as alcohol, processed foods and caffeine, can help, says UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology.6
Prepare for Your Doctor’s Visit
While you hope to get some answers from your doctor, it’s also important to prepare for your visit, too.
Write down a list of questions to ask your physician. For example, you may want to ask about the number, size and location of your fibroids and how they may affect your fertility. If you experience heavy bleeding, you may want to ask your doctor to check for anemia and whether you should consider taking an iron supplement. You’ll also want to discuss treatment options. Do your fibroids need to be treated? What options are available and what are the side effects? Are non-invasive options available?
Managing your fibroids may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some simple strategies you can use to ease your symptoms while you wait to see your doctor. Then, work with your doctor to come up with the treatment plan that’s right for you.
1“About Uterine Fibroids.” Center for Uterine Fibroids, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. http://www.fibroids.net/fibroids.html
2“Uterine fibroids.” Mayo Clinic. July 6, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/home/ovc-20212509
3Nordqvist, Christian. “Fibroids: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” Medical News Today. August 3, 2016. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151405.php
4“Uterine Fibroids.” Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. February 6, 2017. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids
5“Uterine Fibroids.” National Uterine Fibroids Foundation. http://www.nuff.org/health_uterinefibroids.htm
6“Fibroid Treatment Options.” UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology. http://obgyn.ucla.edu/alternative-therapy
- Posted by Christine Yu
- On June 12, 2017