By definition, a myoma is a benign growth of smooth muscle on the uterine wall. These non-cancerous tumors are made of fibrous tissue and are often referred to as fibroids, fibroid tumors, leiomyomas, fibromyomas, and myomas. There can be just one, or they can grow in a cluster of many, size varies from microscopically tiny to quite large. Growth is usually very slow but can be quite rapid during pregnancy. Approximately 25% of myomas cause symptoms and require medical treatment.
Symptoms include heavy and prolonged bleeding, pelvic pain and/or pressure, pain during love-making, weight gain, enlarged abdomen, infertility, pain in back of legs, and pressure on the bowel and/or bladder. They can develop inside the uterus, on the uterine wall, and even outside the uterus.
The cause of normal tissue forming into myomas in unknown, it is, however, most common during reproductive years. Hormone fluctuations are necessary for them to form, they will not occur in pre-pubescent women.
Traditionally hysterectomy has been the treatment of choice, as doctors and patients learn more there are several less invasive ways to alleviate some symptoms.
Avoiding birth control pills appears to help prevent fibroids, this is due to dosages of hormones that are the nature of these pills. Foods and supplements that mimic estrogen should also be avoided, and bleached feminine products can mimic estrogen as well.
Eating at least 3 servings of whole grains and/or beans daily helps to shrink the fibroid growth. Minimizing excess estrogen can be highly beneficial in reducing myoma size, some natural ways to do this include dandelion, milk thistle, and yellow dock. Other herbs found to be helpful include black cohosh, Siberian ginseng, red clover, dong quai, motherwort, goldenseal, and red clover.
Some women find relief by adhering to a vigorous exercise regimen, detoxification of the liver, and drinking plenty of water. Warm castor oil packs and ginger compresses applied to the abdomen can also offer relief.
Even with rather severe symptoms most doctors are willing to allow you to try natural methods first, some even highly recommend it. An invasive, expensive, surgical procedure no longer has to be your first choice.