If painful fibroids are affecting your wellbeing, your sex life, and even your marriage, you are not alone. Almost 70 percent of all women will experience fibroids — and the pain that comes along with them — in their lifetimes. However, you don't have to let fibroid pain ruin your life. OB-GYN and sexual health expert, Dr. Jessica Shepherd, has treatment options and has tips for living with fibroids to help you take control of your life and your health.
When it comes to removing fibroids, a hysterectomy is not your only option. A myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids that cuts out the growth. This is the best option if you want to get pregnant.
Uterine Artery Embolization
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a procedure that destroys fibroid tissue. UAE uses a catheter to go through the leg and into the uterus to shrink the fibroids. This procedure can help ease fibroid symptoms.
Radiofrequency ablation, known as RFA, is a new, FDA-cleared, minimally-invasive procedure to treat fibroids. RFA is an outpatient laparoscopic procedure that uses heat to destroy fibroid tissue. RFA can treat fibroids of varying sizes and in many locations and shrink them.
While you’re waiting for treatment, Dr. Shepherd also has tips to reduce the pain while living with fibroids.
Part of a healthy lifestyle is taking time to care for yourself. Dr. Shepherd recommends implementing a self-care regimen to help bring back balance and joy into your life while living with fibroids. She suggests practicing activities that include mindfulness such as yoga and even therapy. But even self-care practices like reading a book or going on a walk can help improve your everyday life.
Try a Plant-Based Diet
Dr. Shepherd says that some studies have found a decreased risk of developing fibroids or getting more fibroids when you are on a plant-based diet. Along with the many benefits of a plant-based diet, it can also help you maintain a healthy weight which can help with fibroid pain.
It’s important to maintain a proper plant-based diet to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Dr. Shepherd warns of the risk of anemia that comes with increased bleeding from fibroids and suggests that those who choose this diet increase their spinach-intake.
Add Intimate Acts to Your Relationship
The pain from fibroids often diminishes intimacy in the relationships from those who suffer. But it’s important to not let them ruin your relationship. Dr. Shepherd recommends slowly adding intimate acts like a couple's massage or even taking a bath together to start rebuilding intimacy with your partner. In your sex life, Dr. Shepherd suggests you try changing positions to help you feel more comfortable or using a pillow under your pelvis to alleviate pain.