Natural Alternative Treatments for Uterine Fibroids

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Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths that form from muscular tissue in the uterus. They are one of the most common noncancerous tumors for women. By age 45, it’s estimated around 70% of women will develop at least one.

Uterine fibroids can vary in size from microscopic to several inches across. You might have one fibroid growth or several. If you suspect that you have fibroids, you should always check with your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment options. For some women, following fibroid diet suggestions and other natural remedies can help make a difference in their symptoms. 

Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

While most uterine fibroids are small and don’t cause symptoms, larger fibroids are more likely to cause symptoms. Some common issues are:

  • Heavy or painful periods
  • Bleeding between periods
  • A feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen
  • Pelvic pressure or pain
  • Constipation
  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Pain during sex
  • Lower back pain
  • Reproductive problems (such as infertility, multiple miscarriages, or early labor)

Natural Treatments for Uterine Fibroids

The following natural treatments have been shown to be effective for some women in reducing fibroids and treating symptoms. Their usefulness depends, in part, on the severity of your condition. Always check with your doctor before trying any treatment to make sure it’s right for you.

Nutrition/Fibroids Diet

Diet and nutrition may play a role in whether you have uterine fibroids. In particular, people who eat more red meat and drink alcohol have been found to be more likely to have fibroids.

A study found that those who drink a beer or more a day increase their risk of developing uterine fibroids by 50%. A diet low in fruits and vegetables has also been found to increase the risk.

To help reduce your chance of fibroids, cut back on:

  • Beef
  • Ham
  • Other red meat
  • Alcohol

Add these foods and drinks to your diet:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Green vegetables
  • Soybeans
  • Fruits, especially citrus
  • Green tea
  • Skim milk

Eating foods with vitamin D may also have a protective benefit. Studies show that those who were deficient in vitamin D had the largest fibroids. Vitamin D can be found in fish, such as tuna and salmon, as well as fortified foods, like milk and cereal. 

Weight Management

Women who are overweight have been found to be more at risk for fibroids.

One study found that women with a body fat percentage greater than 30% are at higher risk. Another noted that obese patients are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids.

By maintaining a healthy weight through a nutritious diet and exercise, you may be able to reduce your risk for uterine fibroids. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The most common traditional Chinese medicine for uterine fibroids is Gui Zhi Fu Ling Tang, which has been shown to be effective in treating menstrual cramps, either by itself or with a standard treatment for fibroids.

A study found that combining Gui Zhi Fu Ling Tang with the medication mifepristone, a standard therapy for fibroids, was found to be more effective than mifepristone alone.

Green Tea

Drinking green tea could help get rid of fibroids or manage their symptoms. A 2013 study found that the flavanol EGCG, found in green tea, reduced the size of uterine fibroids and improved symptoms of anemia and blood loss.

Acupuncture

For women in the U.S. who use natural medicine to treat fibroids, about 16% try acupuncture for symptoms. While studies show it can help with menstrual cramps and bleeding, there is still a lack of evidence on its effect on fibroids.

Those who try it may find it useful in combination with other natural remedies and standard medical therapy.

Standard Treatments for Uterine Fibroids

Most women with fibroids don’t have symptoms. In those cases, treatment is not required, although your doctor will monitor them to make sure they’re not changing. 

If fibroids get bigger or start causing symptoms, your doctor may suggest using medications or possibly surgery. The most common medication for fibroids is gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. This medication can block hormone production and shrink fibroids, relieving symptoms like heavy bleeding and pain. It’s usually taken for less than six months because it can reduce bone density if taken for longer.

Your doctor may also suggest progestins, which can help control bleeding but may not reduce the size of fibroids. Other medications include mifepristone, raloxifene, danazol, or tranexamic acid.

Surgical options are also available if your symptoms are severe or your fibroids are getting too large. One option, a myomectomy, allows the fibroids to be removed while the healthy areas of the uterus are left in place. Most women who have a myomectomy can still have children. However, new fibroids can still grow back, and about one-fourth of women will need a hysterectomy several years later. 

In a hysterectomy, the uterus is removed during surgery. It is the only permanent solution for getting rid of fibroids, but it’s only performed if you don’t wish to become pregnant. 

What Causes Uterine Fibroids?

The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unknown. High levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone may stimulate the growth of uterine fibroids. Fibroids tend to get bigger during pregnancy, as these hormone levels increase, and shrink during menopause, as hormone levels decrease. 

A Word From Verywell

Always consult your doctor if you suspect you have a medical condition, including uterine fibroids. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences. Likewise, if you are already undergoing standard medical treatment for fibroids, speak with your doctor before trying any natural solutions.

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  3. Yang Y, He Y, Zeng Q, Li S. Association of body size and body fat distribution with uterine fibroids among Chinese women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014;23(7):619-26. doi:10.1089/jwh.2013.4690. 

  4. Roshdy E, Rajaratnam V, Maitra S, Sabry M, Allah AS, Al-hendy A. Treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids with green tea extract: a pilot randomized controlled clinical study. Int J Womens Health. 2013;5:477-86. doi:10.2147/IJWH.S41021.

  5. Liu T, Yu J, Kuang W, et al. Acupuncture for uterine fibroids: Protocol for a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019;98(8):e14631. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000014631.

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