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Uterine fibroids are a common problem for couples trying to conceive. Both surgical and natural treatments can greatly increase the likelihood of bringing a healthy baby to term.

Fibroids are growths of muscle and connective tissue into the wall of the uterus. Since these growths cannot develop into the placenta, fibroids are effectively "dead zones" where a fertilized egg cannot be implanted and from which the embryo and fetus cannot acquire nourishment. Fibroids near the openings of the ovaries can prevent ovulation from ever occurring at all. Strong indications that fibroids are present include:

  • Constipation
  • Heavy periods
  • In severe cases, abdominal contour resembling pregnancy
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Urge to urinate when lying down

Since all of these symptoms can also indicate pregnancy, and it is possible to be pregnant while having fibroids, it is absolutely essential that the doctor run a pregnancy test before treating fibroids. Like other uterine tissues, fibroids grow in response to estrogen. This means that they are largest and most painful during the first half of a woman's menstrual cycle. They shrink during the second half of the menstrual cycle when estrogen levels decline.

When a woman who has fibroids manages to get pregnant, the massive release of estrogen during the first trimester causes explosive growth in fibroid tissue.

In about 10 per cent of women who have fibroids who manage to get pregnant, pressure the fibroids place on the placenta can cause unplanned, spontaneous abortion.

In the other 90 per cent, the pregnancy can proceed to term; it's only conception that is difficult.

Doctors usually treat uterine fibroids with hysterectomy, or non-surgical methods that are equivalent to hysterectomy, such as hot balloon treatment. Obviously, hysterectomy is not an option for women who wish to bear children. A less extreme medical treatment for uterine fibroids is a laser therapy called UAE, and there is also a "foam" therapy that cuts off blood circulation to fibroids so that they atrophy and die. In the mildest cases of fibroids, however, natural methods may be enough.

Here are the essentials for supporting recovery from uterine fibroids:

1. Avoid caffeine. Coffee and tea (except decaf) as well as chocolate and cola soft drinks all stimulate the growth of fibroids.

2. Eat green vegetables, and avoid beef, eggs, hot dogs, salami, and processed luncheon meat. Green vegetables contain compounds that block estrogen receptor sites in the lining of the uterus, and beef, eggs, hot dogs, salami, and processed luncheon meat contain n-6 essential fatty acids that encourage the production of inflammatory hormones. Another critical symptom for women who have fibroids who are trying to conceive is ringing in the ears. Ringing in the ears, along with pale skin, headache, and dizziness, are signs of anemia due to slow blood loss. It is critical to deal with anemia at the earliest possible stage during pregnancy for the health of body mother and baby. Anemia can only be diagnosed by a blood test, but it is easy to treat by changes in diet and by nutritional supplementation.