There is a popular myth that menopause can cure uterine fibroids. It doesn’t. It makes sense to think that when you are no longer having periods, chronic conditions of your female reproductive organs (like fibroids) will also go away. But that isn’t necessarily true. Women who are close to menopause are often advised by their doctors to “just hang in there,” and a lot of women do just that for many years, without seeing their fibroids shrink or their symptoms diminish.
Fibroids (non-cancerous tumors in the uterus) affect up to 80% of women of childbearing age and are most common in African American women ages 35-50. It has been reported that many women experience more severe fibroid symptoms before the onset of menopause, which is called perimenopause. Perimenopause usually begins several years before menopause. It’s the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier. Symptoms of perimenopause can begin years before menopause, and they often continue for years afterward.
Every woman’s body is different. Some women are fortunate and their menopause does cause their fibroids to shrink, although this change does not always mean that the fibroid symptoms go away completely. And, for some women, menopause does not cause the fibroids to shrink at all, and THEY MAY EVEN CONTINUE GROWING, causing these women to experience painful, uncomfortable, and often debilitating symptoms long after they stop getting their periods. If you are approaching menopause and are experiencing symptoms caused by fibroids, read the entire article in the March/April 2020 issue of ONYX Magazine to learn what to do.
This story by VIVE EVE originally ran in www.blackdoctor.org.