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fibroids in uterus

(37 Posts)
Clovissa Mon 21-Sep-09 16:16:48

Does anyone know about this? I realise I have to go to the doc but with a newborn it's had to find the time.

I had a c-section two weeks ago and the surgeon asked me if I knew I had two fibroids in my uterus. He said they could cause a problem with an embryo embedding.

I knew I had one when I got pregnant. I also know they can come and go.

Thing is, we want to try again when the baby is 3 months (crazy I know) so I'd like to get an idea of whether I'll need more surgery to remove them (incredibly unappealing prospect right now) or if they could treat them some other way?

Thanks as ever...

salvadory Mon 21-Sep-09 16:25:28

I have these, up to 10 I think shock, I only found out when being having my antenatal scans.
As both scanners felt the need to comment I got a little concerned but was told that the most problems I could expect were heavy periods if I didn't already have them (I didn't before I got pregnant). There was mention that they may be a problem in future pregnancies if the embryo decided to implant onto the fibroid and not the uterus wall. When I asked what my options were as to their removal the radiograpger mentioned as I had so many the best way may be a hysterectomy!!
I mentioned to my doc at my next scan and she downplayed the whole thing.
I wouldn't be too concerned with 2 though as I think they're pretty common in women above a certain age (I'm 29 36).

MrsMerryHenry Mon 21-Sep-09 16:32:03

I investigated the whole alternative route and then opted for surgery in the end, which was brilliant. But you won't be able to try and conceive quite so soon as when your baby is 3 months' old.

AFAIK once they're there they stay (apart from during preg, when they become diffuse and seem to disappear. Unless they're big, should cause you no problems). However they do recur again after surgery, and little can be done about this.

Diet is important - eat only organic meat products as they are filled with hormones during farming, which affects our hormone balance. Also dark green leafy veg help to regulate your hormone balance - not sure if you're bfing but you could try wheatgrass or barley grass juice powder as this packs a massive dose of dark green leafy goodness and does my fibroids loads of good. One woman on MN claims I helped her conceive with this advice (I think she had PCOS or some other hormone-related uterine problem)...obviously that's not been medically proven!

If a medic tells you to wait until the menopause, when they'll shrink naturally, then give them a hefty verbal slap. They should not take this 'put up and shut up' attitude as women do not have to suffer with this.

Although fibroids are tumours, they are almost never malignant, so don't worry about that aspect of things.

Finally, get a scan and establish the size of the tumours - I think if you have 2, anything under about 5cm sq should not be a worry.

Good luck!

Clovissa Mon 21-Sep-09 16:52:15

Thanks Salvadory and MrsMerry

MrsM, I was aware of one when we were ttc (we had ivf, but without trying naturally) and they said as due to its position it was not a problem for conception. I don't know where the other one is yet.

BTW, why would we not be able to start ttc at 3 months? We are in an awful hurry!

Good advice on diet. We only eat unprocessed foods and I'll try the wheatgrass juice.

MrsMerryHenry Mon 21-Sep-09 16:57:21

If you have a myomectomy (op to remove fibroids) you'll need a few months to heal fully before conceiving. That said I had my op in July and by December was preg (first time, mind - so had to wait all that time) - so it wouldn't be a huge waiting time.

Where is your fib which you know about? Inside, outside or embedded in the wall of the womb? Inside is the most problematic for conception, embedded is not ideal but not disastrous; outside should be no prob.

If you're bfing check whether wheatgrass is ok - I don't know about that.

Clovissa Mon 21-Sep-09 17:03:48

Thanks again. What does a myomectomy involve? is it abdominal surgery?

I definitely couldn't wait that long to ttc, I turn 42 next month so we really need to get number 2 on the way if possible.. We may have ivf again, so they'll give us their advice on whether the fibroids would be problematic.

The one I knew about was inside, but not embedded in the wall, which is why they were happy to proceed.

Thanks, it's great that you know so much about this..

MrsMerryHenry Mon 21-Sep-09 17:10:03

Yup - tear ab muscles, cut through womb, cut out fibroids.

You need to ascertain the size before you do anything - go to your GP asap.

Am a bit of a lay expert so only glad to help grin.

I think it's possible that your other fib will be in a similar position - i.e. inside the uterine cavity. If you follow the diet stuff it will help keep growtn under control. Also acu and Trad Chinese Medicine will help (TCM can help shrink them apparently, if you take the herbs).

Clovissa Mon 21-Sep-09 17:41:00

Thanks, going to get to the doc asap and get a referral. I don't think more abdominal surgery would be an option for quite a while, so soon after my section, so I'll need to get all the info on other options,

Many thanks,

purplepeony Mon 21-Sep-09 17:56:23

Just one word of caution- I know you are 42, but your body needs time to read just after having a baby- you will be exhausted I would have thought, so soon after 1 birth. medical advice is usually to wait a year to give your body a chance to recover.
Fibroids are incredibly common- I never knew I had 1 until my gynae said so at a check up in my 50s! if they are very big they can cause heavier periods, but normally they are left alone- unless they are growing.

I have one friend who had hers removed and it was massive- like a grapefruit. Most people do not have then removed.

Tillyscoutsmum Mon 21-Sep-09 18:06:00

Oooh - MrsMerryHenry - am I that woman ?! Fame at last grin

OP - I have fibroids. I had them when pg with dd - it took me around 2 years to conceive her and I had 2 mc's before I had a successful. They couldn't say for definite, but they were both around the time of implantation, so it was assumed it was because of the fibroids. I had about 10 of them - the largest was 12 cm in diameter, with another couple around 8cm.

My pregnancy and birth were both fine though (despite some fears it might not be).

I then read about Wheatgrass/Barleygrass on here (courtesy of Mrs MH smile) and took it for about 4 months before ttc dc2. I got pregnant on our second month of trying and am now 28 weeks. My largest fibroid has shrunk to 5cm in diameter and I have another couple of very small ones.

It could of course be coincidence....

Fibroids are very common though - I believe its something like 1 in 4 women over 30 have them (could be wrong though). If you didn't have any issues conceiving first time, then I really wouldn't consider surgery just yet but I would perhaps give the wheatgrass a go (not sure about b'fing contraindications though ??)

purplepeony Mon 21-Sep-09 18:11:41

Fibroids are just over growths of the muscle in the uterus. The reason they are removed is that they increase the surface area of the uterus and can lead to more bleeding at period time. They are not dangerous in themselves. I can see how they might interfere with implantation, but you need to know the size and location I imagine. I would have thought that most embryos had a fibroid-avoidance gene and went elsewhere!

sincitylover Mon 21-Sep-09 19:35:14

Mrs Merry Henry - did you feel a reduction in bulk after myo and did you notice a physical difference at all?

alypaly Mon 21-Sep-09 19:46:25

are they actually inside the uterus or embeded within the wall of the uterus. I have got 3 and my consultant said it was too risky to try and cut them out. If they had been inside my uterus he said the op would be easy...so find out if embedded or not as the outcome is entirely different.

Clovissa Mon 21-Sep-09 20:40:45

One is inside, but not in the wall of the uterus, I was told it would be no problem for conceiving.

I'm glad to hear its a common problem, well if you see what i mean.. Right now I'm really not considering any surgical solutions
I know it's a bit nuts trying again so soon, but what option is there? My ovaries are good to go though, they were tested last time.

Tillyscoutsmum, congratulations on your pregnancy, wishing you a whole lifetime of happiness with your baby! I have to say, I'm loving mine..

MrsMerryHenry Mon 21-Sep-09 20:47:28

Mine were embedded and I had a fantastic gynae who did a brilliant job of removing them. It was on private health insurance, though (in the days when I had a paid job with benefits). Possibly NHS surgeons wouldn't have the luxury of quite so much time to attend to the surgery - at least, that's what I've heard about having your wisdom teeth out, so I'm just assuming here that the same rules apply. Feel free to contradict me.

Tillyscout!! Of course, yes it was you! How's the preg? I do hope you'll name your child Merry (for a girl) or Henry (for a boy) wink.

Good advice re waiting to heal, peony. FWIW when a fibroid gets to the size of a grapefruit, IME that is the absolute limit. Normally at that stage the fibroid would be interfering with your life in one way or another - my gynae always said 'If it's interfering with your life we'll do something about it. If not, we won't. I think that's an excellent maxim. At their worst mine caused me crippling pain around ovulation time - had to call DH to pick me up from the station once as I was in so much pain that I could barely get up the escalator let alone do the 15 min walk home.

Also the heavy periods were a real bugger to deal with, and finally, I do believe that they interfered with my fertility - we only tried for about 5 months before I had my op, but then since then I've conceived three times - first go each time. It's anecdotal evidence, of course, but it's significant to me.

I've just remembered, Clovissa, that if your fibroids reach the size of a grapefruit (or even one of them does) you'll be asked to go on Zoladex to shrink them. Zoladex is a subdermal (I think) hormone injection which artificially induces the menopause - thus allowing the fibroids to shrink enough to allow for successful surgery. This is done in both private and NHS practice. I used it for a couple of months before my op, and I then was 'menopausal' from around May to September - hot flushes, the works! I was around 31 at the time but I have no idea whether it might be considered more risky the closer you are to the menopause. If there's no risk at your age, it might be a good alternative to surgery - though of course you'd then have to wait for your cycle to set itself back to normal.

alypaly Mon 21-Sep-09 23:03:32

Clovissa if they are only in side the uterus they are easy to remove and if you are young it is worth it as they can grow quite big. I am 53 now so menopausal ..so they have started to shrink as the old oestrogen is disappearing.

MrsMerryHenry ....you were lucky ..mine was also a private consultant ..one i have known for many years and he told me if he dug mine out of the wall,i could have had severe catastrophic internal bleeding. Advised a hysterectomy and escpecially as no more babies were on the horizon,he said it wasnt worth the risk.
Still havent had it done and they now seems to have shrunk a little bit.

Clovissa Tue 22-Sep-09 09:59:43

I've just checked my notes and the fibroid I knew about was under 5cm2 - I'll ask my doc for a scan to find out about the other one. Thanks for all your posts..

sincitylover Tue 22-Sep-09 16:06:56

MrsMerry

In case you missed my question I was interested to know whether you felt the myo improved the appearance of your abdomen and whether you felt less bulky and whether yourenergy improved post myo.

I ask because I have fibroids, don't want any more dcs but would prefer myo over hysterectomy.

And in fact have put off having anything done.

MrsMerryHenry Tue 22-Sep-09 23:58:24

alypaly, so sad for you that you had such an ass of a consultant - and, more insultingly, that you were paying him to be such an ass.

Sincity - sorry, forgot to answer.

Abdomen - I think I should have done more sit-ups, perhaps it would have looked better! Much better now, though (well, that was before my baby belly started to appear grin).

Periods - revolutionary! Regular for the first time ever, light and manageable. It felt weird - just a year before I'd been so heavy I was seriously considering getting a transfusion during one particularly nasty period. Actually what saved me from the hospital was seeing a herbalist - I had to swallow grim-tasting herbs but they were bloody brilliant. So if you can afford it in terms of time and money I'd recommend trying TCM first. If that doesn't work go for myo. I have a feeling that acupuncture will help to reset the balance in your body and so may possibly reduce the likelihood of new ones appearing - the myo cannot do this.

MrsMerryHenry Tue 22-Sep-09 23:58:51

energy - can't recall it being a problem, but the ovulation pain vanished after the op.

Tillyscoutsmum Wed 23-Sep-09 09:33:46

MrsMerry - pregnancy is going really well so far smile Much easier than it was with dd (no bleeding, pain etc.) and the consultant is happy with the fibroid situation so has signed me off until 37 weeks.

Congratulations on yours smile How far along are you ?

alypaly Wed 23-Sep-09 10:29:30

MrsMerryHenry

i have known my consultant for 16 years, deliverd DS2 and has been in charge of all gynae things for as long as i can remember.I have always found his advice really sound and i trust his judgement.He also discusses things with me at his level because he knows i dont want layperson jargon. He showed me the ultrasound and how big the fibroids were. He would have had to make massive holes in my uterus wall to extract them and because of the size they were...the complications could most definitely have been life threatening. I couldnt have had it done vaginally, so i would also have had a scar a similar size to a caesarean. So the best option would have been a hysterectomy.

I am fairly clued up on most of the issues around this as i have been in medical profession for 35 years and he was 100% correct in his decision...FOR ME.

MrsMerryHenry Wed 23-Sep-09 10:58:18

alypaly - apologies, crossed wires. I got the impression from your 'you were lucky' statement that you were saying I was lucky in terms of my consultant, not my prognosis. With that in mind the rest of your post sounded like you were saying that you felt yours had taken a gung-ho approach.

Tilly - 10 weeks and counting!

alypaly Wed 23-Sep-09 11:08:57

no meant you were lucky that you were able to have them removed successfully. Presumably your must have been smaller and not the full thickness of the uterus. He was acting in my best interests as he said the op could be dangerous...so i respect him for that..
I still cant decide what to do even tho i am post menopause. I feel as tho it will take some of my feminine side away to have it all removed.I suppose the one plus point is that i will have a flatter tummy.
|Not sure if i want any more surgery as i have only just had gall bladder out 3 months ago.

MrsMerryHenry Wed 23-Sep-09 11:12:16

Will they not continue shrinking now that you're post menopause, then?

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