by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Pelvic Health

Benign fibroid tumors of the uterus (also called myomas) are present in 30–50 percent of women in the United States. They occur in women of all races and backgrounds, but they are more common in women of African–American or Caribbean descent. Fibroids arise from the smooth muscle and connective tissue of the uterine muscle itself. They can form on the inside or outside of the uterus; above, below or on the side of it. Though they can occur in women as young as their late teens or early twenties, they are most often diagnosed when a woman is in her thirties or forties. Lepine1 During pregnancy, preexisting fibroids can grow rapidly and can sometimes cause uterine contractions that can result in premature delivery. The good news is most fibroids don’t cause symptoms, don’t require any fancy treatment, and almost never require a hysterectomy, despite what you may have heard.

Listen to Your Body

Most women with fibroids don’t even know they have one until their doctor discovers it during an annual pelvic exam. Of course, depending upon the size, number, and location of the fibroid, some women experience pain, heavy bleeding, or pressure. If the fibroid is large, 10 cm. or greater, the lower abdomen can swell slightly and make it appear that a woman is a few months pregnant.

Whether a fibroid is symptomatic has to do with its size and location within the uterus. Those that are located in the muscle wall of the uterus just under the surface (subserosal) may not be symptomatic. But those growing into the uterine lining itself (submucosal) often cause heavy or irregular bleeding. Women with both fibroids and endometriosis may experience menstrual cramps, pelvic pain, or both. A fibroid may start to degenerate if it outgrows its blood supply, causing the nerves at the center of the fibroid to register a lack of oxygen as pain, in the same way that frostbitten toes do. Sometimes the positioning of the fibroid causes symptoms by pushing on another organ, such as the rectum or the bladder, leading to a sensation of pressure or fullness in the rectum, lower back, or abdomen. A fibroid’s positioning can also interfere with pregnancy in some cases.

What Causes This

Fibroid growth is stimulated by estrogen, and in women with estrogen dominance, they can grow quite quickly and become quite large, especially during perimenopause. The baseline energetic patterns that result in fibroids are related to blockage and stagnation of the energy of the second emotional center. Caroline Myss, Ph.D., teaches that fibroid tumors represent our creativity that has never been birthed. Fibroids may also result when we are flowing life energy into dead end jobs or relationships we have outgrown. Fibroids are often associated with conflicts about creativity, reproduction, and relationships.

If you have fibroids, ask yourself the following questions: What are the creations within me that I want to put out in the world before I’m no longer here? If anything at all were possible, what would my life look like? If I had six months to live, what relationships would I release from my life immediately? What relationships would I give more of my time and attention to? What relationships truly feed and nourish me? Which ones drain my energy? Write your answers in a journal. Discuss them with supportive friends. Deep within you, you have all the answers you need. You just need to be open to hearing them.

Healing Alternatives

One effective way of treating fibroids is through hormones. Hormonal treatments may include bioidentical progesterone or low-dose oral contraceptive pills, which can smooth out the estrogen dominance that so often causes fibroids to grow or become symptomatic. GnRH agonists, such as Lupron or Synarel, can also be used to shrink fibroids and are sometimes effective as alternatives to surgery.

Fibroids that cause heavy bleeding can be treated through a number of surgical options. Endometrial ablation causes destruction of the uterine lining by heat, laser, or other techniques. It results in the cessation of menstruation and infertility. Myomectomy is a surgical procedure in which fibroid tumors are removed, but the uterus is repaired and left in place. Small fibroids can be removed through laparoscopic surgery or sometimes by surgical removal through the vagina (hysteroscopic surgery). Larger ones may require more extensive abdominal surgery or uterine artery embolization, a catheterization procedure that blocks blood flow and causes them to shrink.

A new treatment for fibroids called ExAblate combines MRI imaging to map out uterine fibroids followed by high-intensity, focused ultrasound that heats up and destroys fibroid tissue. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and is noninvasive, leaving the uterus and ovaries intact. It involves lying on your abdomen in an MRI tube for up to three hours while ultrasound waves heat up and destroy the uterine tissue. Side effects may include blisters on the abdominal skin, cramping, nausea, and some pain that can be managed with over-the-counter medication. Studies show that ExAblate successfully reduces fibroid symptoms in about 70 percent of women, but that 20 percent will require additional surgery within a year. Note: Do not use ExAblate if you want to get pregnant because not enough data is available to determine what happens to the uterine wall and lining following the procedure.

Hysterectomy is probably the option most commonly offered to American women who have fibroids, but one which deserves careful consideration. Hysterectomy should be the last resort, reserved for those women who, in addition to their fibroids, also have intractable bleeding or pain problems that simply have not responded to other measures. When this is the case, hysterectomy can be a real blessing, dramatically enhancing the quality of a woman’s life.

Spiritual and Holistic Options

The first thing to consider is that a fibroid may not need to be treated. A watch-and-wait attitude is not unreasonable in many cases; you can live with fibroids for years with no adverse health consequences if they are not bothering you. (And the falling estrogen levels that come in late perimenopause and menopause often shrink fibroids considerably.) There are times, however, when you may wish to seek treatment for a fibroid. You may not want to live with a growth that makes you look pregnant, or you may want to take action if your symptoms include pain, heavy bleeding, cramping, or backache.

Dietary change is the mainstay of my treatment approach for women interested in alternatives to drugs and surgery. Since the uterus is estrogen–sensitive, any dietary or alternative approach that counteracts estrogen dominance often works for fibroids. Eating a diet high in protein and healthy fats and low in high-glycemic carbohydrates such as sugar and starch can help. “White” foods like sugar and starch increase insulin, which changes the way estrogen is metabolized, creating compounds that are more likely to cause cellular inflammation and fibroid symptoms, including enhanced growth of existing fibroids. (Further evidence of the diet-estrogen-fibroid connection is the fact that fibroids are more common in overweight women.)

Nearly all women can benefit from taking phytoestrogens—plant-based hormones found in soy and flaxseed. Not only are phytoestrogens a safe alternative to synthetic hormones, these phytoestrogen-rich foods decrease the effects of estrogen levels naturally by blocking the estrogen receptors on the cells in fibroids and other estrogen-sensitive tissues. Studies have shown that eating soy and flax helps the body produce smaller amounts of unhealthy estrogens. Flaxseed is high in both fiber and omega-3 fats, which help reduce inflammation and tumor growth throughout the body and rid the body of toxins, including excess estrogen.

A wide variety of herbs help balance estrogen levels naturally. These include chasteberry, dong quai, and black cohosh—all of which have been used for centuries for various gynecological conditions. Other effective alternatives include weight loss, aerobic exercise, tai chi, meditation, acupuncture, castor oil packs, polarity therapy, homeopathic medicine, and massage.

A relatively new therapy known as NAET (Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique) has been used to treat fibroids and a wide variety of other illnesses as well. NAET was developed by Devi Nambudripad, an acupuncturist and chiropractor who had very severe allergies herself. It is based on the premise that allergies (and other illnesses such as fibroids) are the result of allergic and emotional reactions that are originally programmed in both the brain and body simultaneously. Using a process known as kinesiology (muscle testing), the NAET practitioner pinpoints the offending allergens and the accompanying emotional pattern. Then, using specific acupuncture or acupuncture points, these patterns are cleared from the body. The philosophical basis for this technique makes a great deal of sense, and I recommend it if used by a well-trained practitioner.

Learn More — Additional Resources


  1. Lepine, L. A., et al. (1997). Hysterectomy surveillance — United States, 1980–1993. MMWR, 46, 1–15.
Last Updated: October 9, 2006

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


Add comment
  1. Ernest Davis
    4 years ago

    This is the perfect Herbal Arc fibroid cleanser to stop heavy bleeding and remove fibroids, growths, lumps, and tumors from your body.
    you need to visit the more information

    1. staybnyc
      4 years ago

      Their website doesn’t list the ingredients, and there are no reviews on this product.

  2. sangeeta
    4 years ago

    Recently, I had my hysterectomy and removed both ovaries, going through Estrogen dose adjustment, used patches and now on Pills (Premarin.9mg). still don’t feel good .. feel depressed ..would you recommend something? I am 48.

  3. Sue
    6 years ago

    help please
    I’m 47 years old .bleeding a lot during my period. because of the fibroid I have 4.3 sentemter. last month i went to the hospital was bleeding crazy they couldn’t stop my bleeding and Dr there said you need surgery now, and said will talk your fibroid out and she wasn’t able to take itt all took have and bleeding stoped. but bleeding back in my next period but less .but now she said u have to take your uterus out to stop bleeding because my iron and homoglabin very low .I don’t want to take my uterus out .what do you think Dr of talking the fibroid out and go with natural treatment I know they back but what can I do any help please .talking uterus not fixing the problem. I’m looking for the root cause which is hormone imbalances.
    what the side affect of talking uterus I heard that never feel good and normal after taking it .
    please help just help me to take the right decesion ladies.

    1. Cheri
      4 years ago

      I take the herbal supplement called slow flow by vitanica. Keeps bleeding at bay. They show a caution if you are taking warfarin

  4. Iliana Bohème
    6 years ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup,

    Thanks for this article. I have a fibroid and I will get a Laparoscopy in May. My doctor wants me to take Lupron for 3 months before the surgery to stop my anemia and shrink the fibroid. I’m scared (terrified) to take Lupron, but I need to do it. I’m looking for a diet, supplements, or any tip that I can get to make the time of my treatment less scary. Please, I know this article is old, but if you can help me, I will be very grateful. Kind regards, Iliana.

    1. Allison
      5 years ago

      Serrapeptase works! Jesus is the healer..God bless you!!

  5. Pumpkin Spice
    7 years ago

    I’ve had fibrocystic breasts since high school in addition to a family history of endometriosis, miscarriage and generational trauma. For these and other reasons I chose to remain child-free and have managed my symptoms through diet (vegetarian starting in 8th grade, anorexic through most of high school, vegan for a hot minute, pesce-vegetarian now) exercise including yoga, running, weights and daily meditation. I drink a variety of green juices, eat all the super-foods, have followed an untold number of exclusion and prescribed diets which has been mildly risky given my eating disorder history but I did it, I take all the supplements and am currently doing black cohosh since going into peri-menopause over the past year. I’ve also read and applied to the very best of my ability all the psycho-spiritual book wisdom and meditations about boundaries, nurturing myself vs others and I’m doing all that too. I light scented candles. I dry brush. I paint my toe nails.
    Here’s the thing: I’m NOT giving up coffee. Ever. I’ve done it. It’s miserable. There are like 3 things worth living for and coffee is one of them. What do men have to give up? Nothing. Women, we go on all these special diets of grass juice and fern salads and rainbow magic to heal all the sads. I’m over it. Dear insurance companies I’d like an elective surgery to scoop out all my broken lady parts so I can go on living my life without feeling like a lumpy blow-up doll. Any other ladies out there who feel the same? Ugh. Pass the milk free, sugar free, nut free, non-gmo, organic 75% cacao Dr. approved dark chocolate. Geeez.
    Peace, love and amen.

  6. C
    7 years ago

    Foods in the USA have too much soy in them. That’s why women are getting fibroids.

  7. C
    7 years ago

    By the way, soy is the worst thing for fibroids.

  8. C
    7 years ago

    I realize your intentions may be good and you think you are trying to help women, but to say fibroids are caused by relationships or thoughts is wrong and hurtful. This seems like new age bullying to me. Be an advocate for women not a new age bully. Nobody deserves to be blamed for creating fibroids. Comments about nutrition are one thing, but to say somebody caused them by thoughts, energy, or interactions with other humans is ridiculous.

    1. Carmon Palmer
      6 years ago

      As a certified Therapist working with many women on the body mind healing,the women that come to see me,become very empowered to understand the connection they have to, how they brought it on and how they have the power to heal,I myself included.Its not an intentional connection,it’s an ah ha moment! Example, I was in a marriage for 23 years, it was not about me but my old fashioned up bringing, made it all about the man and my family, I have these fibroids that get increasingly larger, after my divorce I look pregnate, in my schooling, I am working on releasing negative energy, all the years of placing others before myself and I start to understand, the lump growing in me is a false growth, I Do not choose to be cut into again, I choose to look at how can I let this go, forgive all the years I put him first, my cramping subsides, my stress level lessons, my fibroid that has me look six months pregnant becomes smaller, I say to myself ” I got this, the Lord brings me to it, he will bring me through it, the bully was me, judging myself, taking away my power…i am strong because I am part of a sisterhood…God Bless…

      1. taisha
        6 years ago

        AMEN, thank you for sharing

      2. Johanna
        5 years ago

        Thank you for sharing this.

    2. Mel
      6 years ago

      All physical ailments are the end result of some sort of toxic thinking. Let’s all take just a modicum of personal responsibility for our health, shall we? Besides once we realize we caused the issue, we become empowered to be the only one that can fix the issues. So then I ask… spiritual bullying? Or empowerment? I choose empowerment.

      1. Heather
        5 years ago

        Come on. Women living next to Superfund site who develop cancer en masse are sick because of “toxic thinking?”

        Sure. There are times when we can change our health by changing our relationships and ways of seeing the world but that can be taken too far and can be absolutely harmful to persons who are suffering.

    3. Han
      2 years ago

      Stress does trigger illnesses unfortunately
      Most people if honest can view their lives and work out if sone trauma/upset has helped trigger something
      To dismiss is to cut yourself off – to get upset – why? Sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves and open our eyes if we are to heal

  9. Marissa
    7 years ago

    Hi Dr. Northup,
    Your article really resonates with me, especially your note regarding unfavorable emotional patterns creating blockages in the flow of life energy. I have a job that does not satisfy me and the culture at work has caused me much distress. I’ve been exploring other avenues of healing like acupuncture and Reiki, but have not tried NAET. I’ve also been very fortunate to run across a woman who suffered with fibroids for much of life and was able to shrink them naturally. She created a step-by-step program ( which i’ve been following for some time now and have seen only progress. I really do believe that the approach that she offers and the insight you’ve provided have really offered me a comprehensive understanding of the true nature of fibroids, one that I would have not received from counseling my gynecologist. I have also taken your advice of eliminating “white” foods and minimizing my consumption of starch, and it has helped immensely. I will continue down this journey with hope. Thank you for sharing this great information.

  10. bunmi
    7 years ago

    Really encouraged reading comments even as far back as 2014! Got lots of extra tips, though I go organic 80-9% there’s room for improvement.
    I’m based in the UK and will contact too. This is clearly an under-served area in women’s health.

    Also is Almond Milk a good substitute ie no bad phytoestrogens?

  11. Kirsten
    7 years ago

    I just learned that I have a small fibroid. After reading this article, I can say that I identify with the blockage of energy and the life questions listed are those that have been swirling in my head. Thanks for this useful information.

  12. Wairimu
    7 years ago

    I am 44 years and just had an open mymectomy done 3 weeks ago. By the time I made a decision it took me 10 years and the fibroids were making me look 36 weeks pregnant, my bleeding was not as heavy, but the fibroids were, weighing 4kgs when removed. As a petite lady the ongoing question was when are you expecting the baby. My first statement after surgery was how empty I felt, all the bulk was gone. It was an intensive surgery because it took 4 hours, 5 pints of blood, a vertical incision, 4 hours to recover from the surgery and 4 days in hospital. Now heading to the 4th week of recovery, every day is better. I had massive fibroids and so far very happy to have finally made that decision to have the open mymectomy. If you are stuck on the fence about what to do, don’t wait until they take over your uterus, just remove them, when the procedure is less complicated.

    1. Lisa
      7 years ago

      Hi Wairimu,
      How are you doing now, at this stage of your recovery? I am scheduled to have the same surgery on April 10th and am feeling quite frightened.
      Any advice would be much appreciated.
      Thank you, Lisa

      1. Lisa M
        7 years ago

        Wairimu and Lisa – How are you both doing now? I can understand the fear about having surgery. I opted to get a second opinion and was told by a different doctor that I didn’t need surgery. I hope you’re both doing better.

  13. Summer Whitten
    7 years ago

    Hello Dr. Northrup, I am so grateful for your desire to educate, help and ultimately empower women to take charge of their health. I read one of your books about 7 years ago because I had been having extremely heavy flow and horrible, debilitating cramping leading up to and during my monthly cycle. You shared that the condition could improve by eliminating dairy and/or caffine from my diet. I removed both immediately and saw a huge improvement during my next cycle and then at some point realized I had no symptoms prior to starting my cycle WHICH WAS HUGE and then NO HEAVY bleeding during my cycle. I WAS THRILLED!! I later reintroduced small a amount of caffine (one cup of coffee a day) and experienced no ill effects. Thanks again for your recommendations!!!
    Question: I try my best not to eat any form of dairy, but occasionally I would like to enjoy foods that contain dairy or hard to make without dairy. I have two boys and husband who LOVE dairy. I have learned to live without dairy 90-95% of the time, but if I do have a small amount of dairy another symptom appears – during my next cycle I will pass walnut size (sometimes larger) “blood clots.” If I avoid dairy completely, the “blood clots” do not occur. I recently stumbled upon myomas (benign fibroid tumors of the uterus) and wondered if this could be the cause of the “blood clots?”

    1. T. Timberlake
      5 years ago

      In response to Summer Whitten, I’m in peri-menopause and discovered the link between dairy and clotting/fibroids for me. If I ate dairy, I had a never-ending clumpy period. And it was a quickish reaction, dairy today, bleeding tomorrow. I discovered it by putting my mother with Alzheimer’s on a dairy-free diet, and joined her as her caretaker and the never-ending period stopped. YEAH!! So I then experimented and found that I could freely indulge in butter and heavy whipping cream, but not in ANY dairy (goat included) that contained any protein – protein containing dairy would lead to bleeding the next day. I can draw no conclusions from this beyond myself, but can advise others to experiment and see what to avoid. I’ve found scant information on the internet about this association.

      1. Cheri
        4 years ago

        Interesting about the protein. I feel that way. Eat something bad and pay for it the next day. I teid having goat cheese only and still had issues so I am going to eliminate that too.

  14. Robin B.
    8 years ago

    I am SO confused. I was dx with UF about 10 years ago. My GYN at the time rec hysterectomy. Periods were horrendous and after a D&C she said hysterectomy was only option. I sought a second opinion from a gyn/oncologist. He said no hysterectomy, recommended an ablation. I stayed with him, the ablation didn’t work. I started a diet and exercise regimen, lost 100 lbs and worked out everyday. Fibroids didn’t change at all. Periods stayed very heavy, although I started skipping a couple, then a few months at a time. April 2015 was my last period. This year’s pelvic ultrasound showed my UF is slightly smaller, but I have 2 new ones. I see the docs ARNP. She was on a rant about soy. Asked what I ate (eggs daily, chicken 2x week). Said the eggs were full of soy, the chicken full of hormones and antibiotics (FDA bans hormones in all poultry so not sure where that came from) and that if I didn’t change my diet, the doc would “be insisting” on a hysterectomy. 1. I would shop another opinion or two if it comes to that. 2. how influential is soy in the diet or, the soy in the diets of animals? I am not and will not, eat a completely plant based diet. I eat chicken, as stated 2 x week, fish (salmon and white, low mercury) 2-3 xs, turkey 2 xs. Beef is occasional, once a month or less. Finding eggs from flocks that aren’t fed soy has consumed a tremendous amount of time, and now $$. But I found them, organic soy free. Found chicken antibiotic free. I am focusing more on organic produce as often as possible and increasing the veg part, added more beans and legumes (organic) although some research states beans and many nuts and flax, have estrogenic effects (hence, the confusion). Spoke with a nutritionist who is very pro-soy. My head is spinning.
    Also started supplementing with DIM and d-calcium glutarate. Already take a black cohosh, red clover supp. All of my other supps are soy free.

    1. Ta
      7 years ago

      Hi Robin,
      I read your blog and I was confused myself regarding soy and breast cancer and fibroids. Any soy that is not organic is gmo genetically engineered and is very bad for you. Non GMO soy does estrogen and you should try to avoid it at all possible cause. The research study that was done and its health benefits were done mostly on asian women . The study was done on very few Caucasian , blacks and hispanic Spanish women. Therefore , if you are not asian avoid it. Soy does have a negative effect on estrogen and if fibroids are fueled by estrogen so is breast cancer among other risks factors including genetic genes link then there should be no confusion.

      You do not need to obliterate chicken and red meet out of your diet. Organic meat, poultry does not contain GMO or hormones unless the USDA is lying about the certification of Organic product and we know that is least likey. FDA did not band hormones in poultry they still use it with the FDA regulating how it is use and the amount. Hormones are hormones regardless of amount. For eggs you want to eat free range organic. You are on the right tract . Stick to organic and natural when organic is not available. Fish stick to wild caught rather than farm raised. The disadvantage with wild is mercury. If you are exercising eating body cleansing food especially those for the liver then you will be getting ready of toxins including mercury.

      Overall, consume organic including vegetables, avoid BPH free containers including PVC they also disrupts estrogen and can cause damage to organs including cancer later. The ARNP seem like she needs to do more research on what she tells you no one has to be a vegetarian. Starting from Adam and Eve and all the prophets none of them was vegetarian and they all live more healthier life and had longer lifespan that us reasons being that their soil was not depleted of all the essential nutrients that we need and they didn’t have GMO and all the carcinogenic chemical that we are using today.
      I am going to share a quick data from a research that was done and its clinical finding regarding plant protein and animal protein. Many people aware of this.

      There are more than hundreds of amino acid available on this planet, but only 20 are necessary for your body. There are 9 Essential that your body doesn’t make and 11 Non essential that your body makes. The essentials must come form protein in your diet. Plant protein doest contain all the 9 essentials amino acid that your body needs with the exception of soy and quinoa. They are found in vegetables , legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains these are known as incomplete protein. If one combine the right types of food you can get all 9 essential amino acid . ex brown rice and peas., However, the bioavailability of plant proteins is not as good as animal protein sources. It is best to get your complete protein from foods like red meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy. But , if one is lactose tolerance avoid it and or consume it in moderation base on symptoms tolerance and seek other alternative goat milk all organic lactase supplement and digestive enzymes . See a GI doctor for other alternatives.

    2. Charnetta
      7 years ago

      When you talk about soy being bad for fibroids, are you also talking about soy sauce that you get from The Chinese Restsurant when you eat Chinese food?

  15. Cassie
    8 years ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup,

    I have been told that at 52 years old I am too old to have a myomectomy or the ExAblate procedure; I have been encouraged by 3 doctors to get a hysterectomy. I have always had heavy periods, since my first period, and have no other spotting or pain. They describe the size of my uterus as 16 weeks pregnant.

    I really do not want to get a hysterectomy; it seems so extreme and the risks are very concerning to me. However, I do look and feel about 4 months pregnant, am limited in some poses in yoga, and would love to try one of the other methods.

    Is it absolutely true that someone my age can not get a myomectomy or the Exablate procedure? It looks from what you write that someone my age may have these options after all.

    Thanks so much, Cassie P.S. I love your work! You are a light in this world for women! Thank you for putting your work out into the world!

    1. Jane
      7 years ago

      I am almost 51 years old and having a myomectomy in a few weeks for multiple, large fibroids. It took me 7 years to find a surgeon with the skills and confidence to say yes to myomectomy! keep looking! (ps: i had the Exablate procedure in 2014…it did shrink the fibroids, but after a 1 1/2 years they started growing again. Am told the FDA limits the % of the fibroid that can be treated at this time).

      1. Kimberley
        6 years ago

        I have had fibroids for years. I first started noticing heavier periods psin etc. about 12 years ago. And yes the first thing the dr wanted to do was give me a hysterectomy but I said NO. No other feasable option was really given to me. The fact that your fibroids came back after your procedure means you only treated the symptom and not the cause. Even removing your uterus means your imbalance will affect your body in a different way.

  16. Liz
    8 years ago

    Thank you so much, for all the information. I would like to know if fenugreek is good to shrink fibroid or in general, to be taken by women with fibroids.
    Thank you,

    1. Christiane
      8 years ago

      I am not familiar with fenugreek for fibroids. I do know that phytoestrogens in general can help protect fibroid tissue from over stimulation from mammalian estrogens. And this herb might fall into that category. If anyone else knows the answer, please chime in! And thanks for asking.

  17. Alysia
    8 years ago

    I began taking estradiol and progesterone (prescribed by my GYNO) for 5 months now. I am 51 years old and have been having periods twice per month for the past few years. My GYNO prescribed these hormones to help combat this issue which it has. He also told me I have uterine fibroids about a year ago.
    I just started having a very full feeling in my pelvic area and sharp vaginal pains intermittently. My abdomen also seems swollen. I feel very bloated as well.

    My question is, is the estradiol causing my fibroids to grow causing this feeling in my pelvic area?

    I’m so worried and stopped taking the estradiol yesterday.

    1. Christiane
      8 years ago

      Estradiol does , in fact, act as a growth hormone for the uterus and other estrogen sensitive organs, including the breasts. Though the progesterone sometimes helps alleviate this, I believe that you did the right thing. At age 51, there are so many swings in hormonal levels that sometimes women get that bloated feeling regardless of whether or not they take hormones. I’d like to suggest that you check out the supplement Pueraria mirifica. I started a company to distribute this for perimenopausal women because it can be so helpful to calm down all kinds of menopausal symptoms. Check out and read the testimonials. And then check with your inner wisdom to see if this is right for you. Dietary change can also make a BIG DIFFERENCE. Especially greatly reducing sugar in all its many forms… except for fruit which is fine. I hope this helps.

  18. Mara
    8 years ago

    I had the ufe done….
    Feeling great, bloating gone, no more pain, or pressure in my bladder. This procedure is a blessing, my personal opinion

    1. Christiane
      8 years ago

      Are you talking about a uterine fibroid ablation done via laser or heat? Very often an endometrial ablation for heavy bleeding can be a Godsend. Thanks for letting others know.

      1. Christiane
        8 years ago

        Just saw your subsequent post. You have a uterine fibroid embolization. These are done by radiologists. So glad it worked out well for you. Thanks for posting!

  19. Mara
    8 years ago

    I am 43 years old with a fibroid of a size of an orange. I am so happy that I can keep my uterus, there’s options. Hysterectomy should be the last resort.
    Uterine fibroid Embolization it’s a blessing for me…. Thank you for all the Physicians that are performing this procedure

  20. Mara
    8 years ago

    I’m having this procedure done in a few weeks. Ihave an appointment already, and I’m so excited to be done with these fibroids that are making my life so miserable and bleeding so much it’s making me a prisoner in my own home, I can’t leave my house anymore

  21. Amy Johnson
    8 years ago

    I was diagnosed with a 5cm fibroid that has metastasized and the only option I was given was hysterectomy. I have since purchased your book, Woman’s Bodies, Woman’s Wisdom. What a fantastic resource! I want to thank you for writing such an insightful encyclopedia of wisdom, options and extensive guide to physical and emotional healing. Truly a blessing!

  22. livin
    8 years ago

    “fibroids in black women”

    i wanted to thank you for the reference to the phenomena in black women, from North America and the Carribbean. i visited a doctor today to find out about this pain and heavily bleeding and after the ultra sound results of my pelvic area, the doctor said that i have about 4 growths. the doctor spoke fast and i had no piece of paper and pen to write this down as a black women who is very uncomfortable with the bio-medical model of medicine. i will be calling the doctors office to send me a copy of that test so i can investigate this stuff myself as well.

    second, i asked this doctor what estrogen was, cause i have no idea what these terms mean and have been very healthy and tough, dealing with economic and social externalities that contribute to my stress. i’ve also been in sport which i find i an excellent way to keep the mind, body and core, and environment in check and the sport is masters-athletics, the league that encourages participation from persons 30 and up, to even over 100 years old.

    third, i want to thank you for your whole-istic approach because that is someting i find is lacking in western medicine, there is a need to find out what is going on in a person’s environment, and many bio-medically trained persons can’t even begin to think about that. they should be asking questions such as: are they experiencing dirty air, dirty water, racism, sexism? and so on, and how does that trigger fibroids in black women?. i don’t want anyone cutting me. i was speaking with a black woman from west africa and she said she took moringa leaf powder and it shrunk the fibroids.

    so i have to read more. thank you so much for mentioning the bit about black women. i noticed yours was the only site to even mention women from the carribbean, in my preliminary research on the net, that will also take me to also my own university library, to eliminate this grown.

    thank you again for mentioning us- black women also from the carribbean.

  23. Karmen
    8 years ago

    Hello Dr.Northrup,

    I need help regarding uterine artery embolization. My GYNO has recommended to have this procedure but I haven’t decided yet because I wasn’t sure if the plastic beads that are inserted in my veins are safe and for how long they will be just sitting in my body.
    Also I wanted to know if the fibroid dies will it just sit in my body?is that safe?Or will it come out at all times.

    Thank you in advance for your answer : )


  24. Bridgette York
    9 years ago

    Hello, Dr Northrup , from London. I started the Fibroid Network in London, after I discovered I had a large number of Fibroids. I was inspired by your book Womens Bodies , Womens Wisdom & encouraged all of my friends to get it , because I loved the broad range of info from Natural to Medical on Fibroids & many other conditions and your comforting words to inspire us.

    I then set up a Fibroid Support group, called Fibroid Network , we help 1,000s of women find alternatives to hysterectomy. I still hoped for a family. Your story gave me hope. I eventually had a myomectomy. They removed an 11b fibroid , 22cm high , 33cm diametre +3 smaller ones. I dropped 3 sizes after surgery .

    I later went on to become a Twin mum at 40, naturally. My beautiful twin girls are 3 & very healthy. I did have 3 very small fibroids during the pregnancy, but they did not cause any issues with the twins. The twins had plenty of room to manoeuvre & we could see them playing with each other on the scans. I really appreciate that you have always provided all the available natural & medical options in your publications so we women can make an informed choice about treatment, even as far away as the UK. We will definitely be recommending you on our new updated site.

    Thank You again Bridgette York

    1. livin
      8 years ago

      “twins at 40”

      i think that is just beautiful. i am 43 and would like to have more children after i get some career stuff out of the way. thank you for sharing. there is hope.


    2. Pauline
      8 years ago

      Dear Bridget, bonjour from France,

      I woke up desperate this morning. We moved twice the last two years and I finally succeeded in finding a new gyno. I’ve seen him a couple of days ago and he just killed the last tiny, trembling ray of light and hope I had for a family.

      The words were hard, the tone harsh, the attitude condescending and the examination just… awful. I “have to admit it is not going to happen”, it is “a total illusion” and, “should it miraculously happen”, then he “would not wish to be the OB/GYN taking care of me during that pregnancy: the fibroids would grow with the baby, any scanning would be too difficult and I would suffocate due to my “enormous size”. I stepped out feeling ashamed and abused.

      This morning I woke up ready to sign for the hysterectomy. Then I found this website, then I read this article and your post.

      Many thanks. I will continue exploring holistic options, the family karma and root cause for my fibroids, eat organic food and be careful with estrogens. And continue making conscious choices.

      Thanks a lot.


    3. Arelys Govin
      8 years ago

      I’m so glad I came across with this Web and found out about your experience. Thank you for sharing!!! I lost a 17 weeks pregnancy last September because of fibroids. I just a myomectomy a month ago and I had 11 fibriods taken out, ranging from 2 to 9 cm. I still have 3 small ones left and I’m very concern about those preventing me from having a baby. You have giving me hope when I’m so skeptical. Thank you again for sharing a the work you do to help other women. God Bless you, even more!!!!!
      Arelys Govin

    4. Lore
      8 years ago

      Hello i have multiple fibroids in the wall of the uterus but the larger one measures 10.5cm im just scared and dont know what will happend or whats next im waiting to go to a ob gyn lets see what they will do…3 years ago i lost my baby i was 6 wks pregnant and since then i cant get pregnant again im 42 yrs old….your story is beautiful blessings to you and your twins.

  25. Danielle
    9 years ago

    Take Agnus castus tablets

  26. Danielle
    9 years ago

    shrink the fibroid. I now only eat organic food, less meat, lots of water, juicing carrot, cucumber, lemon, raw beetroot, ginger root and watermelon. Take Angus cactus tablets, vitamin c and b complex, milk thistle, rest and sleep well (drink camomile tea at bedtime to aid sleeping). Drink green tea during daytime to help flush out toxins from the liver. Only eat small portions of organic meat and poultry. Non organic meats are full of esteogen which feeds fibroids.

  27. Amy Bielawski
    9 years ago

    I too have a uterus full of fibroids and have been asked “how far along I am”. Not only is it embarrassing, but they sit on my bladder and seem to cause more urgency. I am post menopausal and the doctors that I’ve spoken to will only take them out along with the uterus. I really don’t want to go that route, but not sure what else to do. One of the fibroids is the size of a grapefruit and the last doc said she would go in to push them out of the vagina. Getting cut open or the other both sound scary.

    The bloat in my abdomen feels so heavy sometimes that I wonder if there is something wrong and maybe they do need to go.

    However the Health Mktplace has erroneously taken my tax credit away, so I am now without insurance, again.

    Any help with this and more forward thinking docs that are HMOx would be greatly appreciated. Doctor Northrup, I need to see you!!!!

    1. Corrina McFarlane
      9 years ago

      Dear Amy, I also felt very strongly that cutting out my uterus was not the best response/option! I transcribed my journal of this mega-journey for well-being (healing) into a book ‘Guest At the Mouth of the Womb’. You can find it on Amazon.

  28. Colleen
    9 years ago

    I have 3 symptomatic 3cm submucousal fibroids. I’m 37. I’m wondering if you’ve ever had women with this type of fibroid conceive and have a healthy pregnancy/delivery without undergoing surgery to remove the fibroids??

  29. Deb
    9 years ago

    I am 53 with several uterine fibroids, which are to numerous and large to treat with less invasive techniques. According to my gyn MD, my only surgical option at this point is a hysterectomy, which I’m reluctant to pursue. Mine make me about 6 months “pregnant” and every month my body seems to be trying to “give birth” to them. UGH. I keep thinking, “I’m so close to menopause”… but maybe I’m not. I have regular, montly periods. VERY heavy and painful, sometimes excruciatingly so. I am at my wit’s end. I am overweight by probably 50 pounds, which I know doesn’t help, but I’ve changed my diet substantially (cutting out sugar, most specifically) Still not getting much relief. I’ve tried DIM detox supplement, along with other natural remedies, herbal tea, lymphatic system tinctures, apple cider vinegar and chiropractic. At this point, I’ve been throwing lots of stuff at the wall, in hopes of finding some relief. I’m about ready to bite the bullet and just go for the hysterectomy. I have not had my hormones checked in a while, so maybe I should do that before making any decisions, just to see if I’m anywhere near menopause, yet. I can’t see going throught the monthly onslaught for much longer. It’s a nightmare.

  30. SUZIE
    9 years ago


  31. Natalie
    9 years ago

    My name is Natalie, I am 39 years old with fibroid tumors. I am about 120 pounds with a abdomen which looks like I am 6 months pregnant, quiet a horrific sight and uncanny feeling. As far as the doctors are concerned my only option is surgery. However, since I have not released the possibility of having a child, I avoid the doctors as they offer no hope. I will give an ear to any advice you can offer. Natalie

    1. Del-Carmen
      8 years ago

      To Natalie and all
      agree that there are multiple factors that causes fibroids and other illnesses. And it is our own duty to be our own experimenter to go through trails and errors to conclude what works for our body. There’s a saying that “what works for you may be harmful for others”. Therefore I’m 100% with you in that we can do things in moderation and of course organic is always best. But moderation may not apply for everyone.

      I’ve learned to listen to my body so clearly and it’s so accurate in communicating with me when I eat something that’s not healthy for me. It may be hard for others to believe but when I have had a cheat meal in the past, my fibroid would vibrate or I would feel a discomfort like a throbbing pressure. Others may believe it’s in my head but I believe we should know our body more than any one else and that goes to say that we know ourselves more than anybody else.

      I will definitely start doing the chaste-tree tincture, green tea, dim plus and detox with green juices and also with beets juice with molasses (a family member told me that this shrunk her fibroids) and she was doing this 3x a day for 3-4 months. Others can do it once a day if that’s a start.

      I’m finally going to give this a try and just believe. I need to keep trying because I want to have my first child with no complications due to fibroids. One of my friends had a miscarriage due to her 9 fibroids. So I’m still in this journey and have faith that I will accomplish another goal on my way.

      Mix Organic Cayenne pepper powder with organic turmeric powder because it helps me reduce heavy bleeding or even stops it temporarily therefore you take as much when needed for example (2-4 times on your heaviest days) . Got this from a doctor that saved one of her patients from going to the ER and having an unnecessary surgery. These spices have an abundant amount of benefits. Back in the days during wars, cayenne peppers were used to control the bleeding of wounded soldiers.
      To make a long story short, I had a wakeup call over 2 years now where I was non stop bleeding to the point where my blood count dropped to 5.8. I was lucky I didn’t go to the ER or had unnecessary surfer. Instead I made a commitment to never put myself in that situation by educating myself and read and read and ask questions. It was not easy for my Spanish culture family to understand. But I’ve became the environment for my family and friends eventually. I share my personal experiences so that you can also share mine and show others that it’s possible to heal naturally. I will never forget what a naturopathic said ” Healing yourself naturally works if you work”. This is so true.. Don’t give up and just believe and be determined.

      What works for me: ever since I stopped eating both organic or conventional meat (basically I became a vegan), my fibroid stopped growing. But my mission is still not over because I’m in the path of shrinking my fibroids and naturally.

      Best regards and please be patient and also have a positive and healthy mind because an unhealthy mind set also makes the fibroid grow such as stress too.

    2. Whitney
      7 years ago

      Hi Natalie,
      Vitex will regulate your hormones and menstrual cycle within 3 to 6 months. I’ve seen a big difference in the first month. ACV, lemon juice and ground cayenne has been said to shrink Fibroids. It’s a pretty good drink. Be certain to drink early morning, mid afternoon and before bed. I started out with Goldenseal and Cohosh. The Goldenseal is said to shrink while the Cohosh will throw your body into menopause. I didn’t stick with these but read the labels and make a good assessment for yourself. This information received from this site is priceless and can get you on your way to healing. Thank you all for posting! Don’t give up on childhood; you’re only a couple step away!

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