Uterine fibroids are fibrous, muscular growths that develop in the wall of the uterus. Also called leiomyomas, myomas or fibroid tumours, they affect women in their reproductive years, most commonly after the age of thirty. There are a number of ways in which you can shrink your fibroids.
Familiarise yourself with facts about fibroids. The growth of fibroids results from a hormonal imbalance in the female reproductive hormones. This happens when the levels of oestrogen in the body are abnormally higher than levels of progesterone. You can shrink your fibroids by restoring the normal, natural hormonal balance in your body.
Consider using herbal remedies to shrink your fibroids. A number of herbs have traditionally been used to formulate remedies for this gynaecological condition. Red clover and black cohosh, for example, can be prepared as herbal teas that are rich in active biological agents called phytoestrogens (See Resources for how to brew an herbal tea).
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived oestrogen-like compounds that are structurally similar to the oestrogen hormones in your body. Phytoestrogens help to lower the levels of oestrogen by blocking the hormone's access to oestrogen receptors. This deprives the fibroids of oestrogen, which they need to grow, causing them to shrink.
Adjust your diet to include foods that are rich in phytoestrogens. Soybeans and soy products such as soy milk, tempeh and miso, are one of the richest, dietary sources of phytoestrogens.
According to the herbalist James A Duke (See Resource #2 below), a number of other foods are good sources of phytoestrogens, including legumes such as black beans, lima beans, anasazi beans, and red kidney beans. Flaxseed, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds as well as rice, alfalfa sprouts and pomegranates also provide beneficial amounts of the plant-derived hormone.
Use progesterone cream to shrink your fibroids. This cream contains plant-derived progesterone. Applying this hormonal cream helps to increase progesterone levels in the body, which helps to counterbalance the effect of elevated oestrogen levels. The cream is applied to the face, neck, hands or breasts up to two weeks before your menstrual cycle begins.
For women who are nearing menopause or who suffer minimal fibroid symptoms, health professionals will often recommend watchful waiting. No treatment is administered, but the doctor conducts regular pelvic exams to monitor fibroid growth and any associated symptoms. With the onset of menopause, levels of oestrogen in the body drop, causing the fibroids to shrink and their symptoms to subside without further treatment.