Uterine fibroids treatment in Ayurveda involves a holistic approach to establish the hormone balance and fertility to improve the overall health of the patient. The primary focus in Ayurveda is to treat the root cause of a woman’s specific fibroids symptoms as heavy menstrual bleeding and back pain.
Did you know that uterine fibroids is the third most prevalent cause of surgical treatment in women? There are as many as 200,000 – 500,000 hysterectomies (surgical removal of the uterus and/or ovaries) conducted every year to give women relief from painful fibroid symptoms.
It is really unfortunate that a large number of the women, who undergo hysterectomy are still in their 20s or 30s. These are the fertile years when they want to have a child!
While fibroids are widely present, not all of them need medical attention.
This is due to the fact that not all of them create troublesome symptoms. And also because most of the time, uterine fibroids can be shrunk or dissolved by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.
That’s why you should always first consider a natural treatment for uterine fibroids before your finally resolve for invasive procedures as surgical intervention or hormonal treatment.
And this post will help you to do just that. We will look into the causes, symptoms and Ayurvedic treatment for uterine fibroids. Let’s get started!
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What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine Fibroids, also known as leiomyomas, leiomyomata, or simply myomas. They are the most common solid benign tumours in women of reproductive age.
The fibroids constitute of connecting fibrous tissues and muscles. They grow as knots inside, outside or on the uterine walls. Usually the fibroids vary in size, ranging from microscopic to as big as a fully mature baby inside the womb.
A woman can have a single fibroid or multiple fibroids. These fibroids can be benign (not harmful) or they may create severe painful symptoms for some.
Fibroids are often vascular in nature. This means they contain a well-developed blood vessel system support the living tissues. That’s why the surgery to remove the fibroids often needs to be repeated as they can regrow.
However, if left unattended, they may keep growing and eventually create significant discomfort.
The Types of Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are classified based on the position in which they have appeared in or around the uterus. They include:
- Subserosal Fibroids: They are found in the thin layer covering the outer wall of the uterus, called serosa. They appear on as small bumps or large growths on the uterine surface.
- Intramural Fibroids: These are found within the wall of the uterus itself. They may extend to the subserosal layer.
- Submucosal Fibroids: They are located entirely within the uterus, within the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. They are the most serious type and pose the most threat to fertility.
- Pedunculated Fibroids: They extend from a short stalk or neck and are either borne within or outside the cavity of the uterus.
- Transmural Fibroids: They cut through the uterus, extending from the outer wall of the uterus to the inner cavity.
Causes of Uterine Fibroids
Research is still going on regarding this, and there’s no one cause that has been able to completely explain why fibroids develop.
However, there are the triggers and contributing factors that stimulate the growth and development of fibroids. These factors may also cause situations in which benign fibroids transform into the ones that pose serious health risks.
- Environmenal Factors: Your exposure to environmental chemicals through diet, lifestyle and habits like smoking or drinking. These chemicals disrupt the hormone balance inside your body and stimulate the growth of fibroids.
- Poor diet and lifestyle, which create hormone imbalances such as high Estrogen and Insulin Resistance.
- Excess Stress in the form of physical stress or mental stress
- Uncontrolled growth of cells due to poor immunity and high inflammation in the body
- Nutritional Deficiencies such as Vitamin D deficiency, insufficient dietary intake of proteins and antioxidants.
- Endometrosis: abnormal growth of tissues of the endometrial lining of the uterus.
- Irregular Periods
- Abnormal Blood Vessels disease: abnormal angiogenesis (process of formation of new blood vessels) encourages distribution of nutrients to places where it isn’t necessarily needed. And what happens? Tissue starts growing, since there is excess nutrient.
- Hormone Based Treatment: for example, women who have started taking contraceptives from as early as 13 – 16 years are at a greater risk of developing fibroids. However, aside this, the use of contraceptives have been actually shown to reduce the risk of uterine fibroids. Hence, timing is of the essence.
- Genetic Factors: Women who have relatives that have had issues with fibroid are more susceptible to develop fibroids themselves. Fibroids can be genetically transferred, though the exact gene responsible has not been identified.
Uterine Fibroids Symptoms
Fibroids are as common as freckles!
In fact, they have been reported to be present in at least 25% of women. But that is even judging by those who actually get checked. The truth is that, up to 80% of all women will have uterine fibroids by the time they reach menopause.
Usually, the occurrence or troublesome symptoms of uterine fibroids get aggravated when a woman is in her late 30s and 40s or in perimenopause.
This is because, a woman is undergoing hormonal transition at this age and fibroids thrive on hormone imbalances, which she often gets prone to.
After menopause, fibroids shrink and it is unusual for them to cause problems.
Here are the signs and symptoms of fibroids that you should know:
1. Heavy Periods
Menorrhagia or heavy periods is the most common symptom of Uterine Fibroids. In this case, a woman could find herself on her period for up to or even more than 7 days!
The bleeding gets so heavy that she has to change pads more frequently than every two hours. She may even find the need to use double at a time.
It affects her so much that she has to adjust her social life according to her menstrual period. In extreme cases, flooding, i.e. complete loss of control of menstrual flow.
Excessive bleeding often results in low iron symptoms or anemia in the patient such as fatigue, nervousness, breathlessness and anxiety.
- Short Menstrual Cycle (less than 21 days) leading to Early or Frequent periods
- Heavy Periods or Menorrhagia
- Clotted blood flow during menstruation
- Spotting or Bleeding in between periods
2. Pelvic Pressure and Abdominal Swelling
This occurs similar to what happens in pregnancy. Due to the growth of the fibroid, the uterus increases in size.
Correspondingly it puts pressure in the pelvic region. This pressure is usually due to increased pressure on the uterine walls.
If a fibroid is large enough, it could make a woman’s uterus expand as much as it does in pregnancy. For example, a fibroid of about 5-10 years old can be as large as the size of a womb in five months of pregnancy.
3. Sudden or Severe Pain
If you frequently experience pain in the pelvic region outside of your menstrual cycle, this could be indicative of fibroid growth or endometriosis.
A woman suffering from fibroids might experience sudden or severe pain. This pain arises due to a compromise in the blood supply to the fibroid tissue, causing an area of it to die off.
Health complications might arise in reproduction like infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy complications.
However, pregnancy is still very much viable, even with safe delivery without a cesarean section. This depends on the type/location of the fibroid.
5. Excessive Pain
A woman may experience excessive pain in the lower back, legs, during intercourse, urination or bowel movement. Pain due to the presence of fibroids becomes more common as the size and number of fibroids increases.
Besides, if the fibroids are directly interfering with the normal functioning of the nerves in any of the region, then it may lead to more pain.
Additionally, fibroids may create inflammation on the uterine walls. This further creates unease, pain and nausea.
6. Constipation, Bloating and Heaviness
Large fibroids on the external walls (subserous) of the uterus exert pressure on the rectum. This hampers the body’s normal bowel functions and can cause constipation. You may also experience rectal pain.
Altered bowel movement leads to feeling of heaviness, bloating and poor digestion symptoms.
7. Painful Urination and Urinary Incontinence
Multiple and/or large uterine fibroids put excessive pressure on the bladder, which is located in close proximity to the uterus. This causes frequent and often painful urination. Urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control is also a symptom of fibroid growth.
The pressure of uterine fibroids on the bladder is the highest in lying down position. Therefore, one needs to frequently urinate during the night time. This further disturbs a woman’s sleep.
Uterine Fibroids Treatment in Modern Medicine
Uterine fibroids treatment in the form of invasive procedures as hysterectomies should be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary.
If the fibroids do not pose a significant threat to life, or significantly reduce the quality of life of the patient, then treatment is put off as necessary. The situation should be put under regular monitoring however, in case it degenerates.
A range of treatment options are available in modern medicine to tackle uterine fibroids:
- Hysterstopic myomectomy.
- Endometrial ablaion.
- Vaginal myomectomy.
- Hormonal therapy: Beware that hormonal therapies can lead to menopause complications like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and irritability. Aside that, women with a history of blood clotting, cancer or are smoking even after 35 years of age should avoid hormonal therapy.
Uterine Fibroids in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, fibroids can be compared to the health condition of having a “Granthi”, which literally translates to tumor.
Thus, the fibroids located in the uterus (Garbashaya) are described as Garbashyagata Granthi (intrauterine growth).
According to Ayurveda, fibroids occur when a Kapha dosha imbalance vitiates Rakta (blood tissues), mamsa (muscle tissues) and meda (fatty tissues). Thus, it leads to a build up of knotty, round and hard swellings in the garbashaya (uterus).
Now, Pitta dosha and Vata dosha may also be present in the later stages. This leads to heat, inflammation, excess pain and spreading of fibroids.
One common factor that is usually present in uterine fibroids is “Ama” or toxin buildup in the body. This creates a fertile ground for dosha imbalance and poor metabolism.
And together, they lead to nutritional deficiencies and hormone imbalance, which further lead to growth and development of fibroids. Hence, toxin buildup is the primary trigger for health condition as uterine fibroids.
Types of Uterine Fibroids
The ancient physicians of Ayurveda were also able to successfully classify granthi into different types based on the dosha and dhatu “body tissues” that are involved.
- Vataja granthi: It is an elongated and painful mass. This corresponds to subserous fibroids.
- Pittja granthi: This is characterized by formation of pus, inflammation and distortion of the uterine cavity. It corresponds to submucosal fibroids.
- Kaphaja granthi: It is a localized mass with mild pain. Cervical and intramural fibroids are analogous.
- Medogranthi: Happens due to excess body fat or poor fat metabolism. It causes mild pain.
- Sidra granthi: This is characterized by a quick onset with multiple symptoms and health risks.
Such in depth classification of the fibroids based on the underlying causes and their specific symptoms allows an Ayurvedic Doctor to advise on patient specific treatment for the uterine fibroids.
When you opt to treat the root cause of your fibroid symptoms, you will be sure to find relief in the long term. Now, let’s look into the details of Ayurvedic uterine fibroids treatment.
Uterine Fibroids Treatment in Ayurveda
The treatment of uterine fibroids in Ayurveda starts with detailed diagnosis of the health symptoms. This helps to identify the stage of fibroids and involved dosha.
Ayurvedic treatment involves physical therapies, herbal formulations, and mental wellness techniques to reduce inflammation, improve hormone balance and relieve pain. Also, one should observe discipline in diet and lifestyle for overall health.
One of the best points about Ayurvedic uterine fibroids treatment is that there are no side effects. What you experience with Ayurveda is a complete rejuvenation of body and mind.
Once you become familiar with Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, you can also support your overall health and that of your family members (if they are dependent on you).
The objectives of Ayurvedic Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
Here are the primary objectives of Ayurvedic treatment:
- To restore hormone balance with Ayurvedic herbs, diet and lifestyle.
- Detoxification of the body. It will help to get rid of the wasteful substances that trigger imbalances in the body.
- Strengthen the reproductive system to maintain the health of Shukra Dhatu. This helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and boost fertility.
- Pacify and balance the vitiated doshas. This will help to remove the root cause of fibroids symptoms.
- Promote mental wellness. This helps to reduce stress and improves emotional balance
Ayurvedic Therapies and Natural Remedies
Here’s the line of treatment that is adopted in Ayurveda for Uterine Fibroids. The natural remedies that we will cover for fibroids treatment are based on the following steps:
- Ayurvedic Herbs and therapies
- Healthy Lifestyle
- Exercise and Yoga
1. Ayurvedic Herbs for Uterine Fibroids
These Ayurvedic herbs can be consumed upon consultation with Ayurvedic doctor, who can advise you on specific dosage and directions.
Ayurvedic herbs for fibroids provide an effective way to naturally balance hormones, detoxify to reduce inflammation and to restrict heavy bleeding and pain.
All the herbs and formulations that have been shared in this post are for information purpose only. All of these are potent Ayurvedic medicines that should be taken under the supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic doctor only. Do not indiscriminately use Ayurvedic herbs. It may cause more harm than benefit.
Amla is useful for its detoxifying qualities. It also works well to reduce cholesterol levels.
That is not all. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, so it removes free radicals and helps to restore hormonal balance in the body.
Licorice is a sweet tasting root that helps to balance hormones. Specifically, it helps to reduce high Estrogen and high Androgen level. This reduces the growth and spread of fibroids.
Licorice is effective against inflammatory disorders and helps to establish the integrity of the digestive tract. This reduces bloating and constipation symptoms as well.
Ashoka bark acts as a tonic for uterus. It promotes ovulation, establishes hormone balance and significantly reduces high Estrogen levels. Thus, it is highly effective to restrict the development and growth of the fibroids.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has a toning effect on reproductive system, specifically the uterus. It is an emmanagogue, meaning it helps to establish regular menstrual flow. Also, aloe vera supports detoxification. It significantly reduces inflammation and pain in the body.
Regular consumption of aloe vera will help you to reduce the pain, support ovulation, establish regular periods and stop the growth of fibroids.
Lodhra is highly effective in reducing uterine disorders and heavy bleeding. It helps to regulate ovarian hormones, establishes regular ovulation and improves fertility.
It is a rich source of compounds called flavanol glycosides, which reduce inflammation and establish hormone balance.
Triphala is a powerful Ayurvedic Rasayana (Herbal elixir known to promote longevity and rejuvenation).
It deeply cleanses our body and helps to flush out wastes and toxins. Triphala has powerful antioxidants to rejuvenate, inhibit inflammation, promote healthy build of body cells, and blood purification.
Regular use of Shatavari prevents miscarriages. Thus, it is helpful in cases of sub-fertility and infertility.
8. Dandelion Flower and Greens
The bitter tasting herb dandelion is extremely useful to pacify both Kapha and Pitta Dosha. This helps to restrict heavy bleeding, development and growth of the fibroids.
Dandelion also stimulates breakdown of fat and cholesterol in the body. It is also a diuretic, which helps the body get rid of excess water weight.
It is one of the best common herb that acts as a natural pain killer, detoxifies and supports digestive system. Ginger reduces intensity of menstrual cramps and elevates the level of brain chemicals. Take it as ginger tea.
2. Physical Therapies for Uterine Fibroids Treatment
- Warm castor oil packs on the lower abdomen are an effective home remedy for fibroids that help break up kapha accumulations and congestion and reduce apana vata.
- Soak warm castor oil into a strip of cotton wool or a flannel.
- Lie comfortably on the back, lay the cotton wool on the uterus area, cover with an old piece of cloth or a plastic bag, and place a hot water bottle on top.
- Lie like this for one hour and repeat the treatment every alternate day for two consecutive months.
- A series of full-body dry massages with herbal powders such as ginger and ajwain powders is particularly helpful to reduce abdominal water retention, bloating, pain and poor circulation.
- Heart dhara, in which warm sesame oil is poured over the chest around the heart area in a rhythmical fashion is helpful to balance Pitta dosha. It also relaxes the body and mind and removes blockade from clogged channels.
3. Ayurvedic Uterine Fibroids Treatment starts with Eating Right | Your Diet
Poor diet and dietary habits create nutritional deficiencies and toxin buildup in the body. These are the 2 primary causes of Uterine Fibroids.
Hence, when you improve your diet, you also improve your chances of shrinking the fibroids.
1. Promote Natural Detoxification
- Include blood purifying and antioxidants rich foods in your daily diet. Some examples are: watercress, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, raisins, green tea, ginger and garlic.
- Include a variety of fresh vegetables in both raw and cooked form.
2. Reduce Inflammation with these foods
- Consume foods that promote your digestive fire and help you to reduce inflammation. Some examples are: apple, berries, mangoes, oranges, avocados, asparagus, zucchini, cucumber, cabbage, celery, garlic, onions, sprouts, barley, oats and wheat.
- Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated at all times.
- Take salads in moderation during lunch time or morning, but avoid salads in evening.
3. Foods and Diet for Hormone Balance
- Eat vegetables and fruits that help to balance hormones. Some examples are: Apricots, green banana, cherry, coconut, kiwi, lemon, carrots, green beans, leeks, spinach, oats, quinoa and rice.
- Oils to prefer are Ghee, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil.
- Prefer Astringent and Bitter tasting vegetables, fruits, and grains.
- Do not hold off hunger or delay your meals. Always eat on the same time every day.
- Avoid or take in moderation animal products like meat, dairy and eggs.
- Prefer cooling and normal temperature beverages such as coconut water, still water, and herbal teas.
4. Worst Foods for Fibroids
- Eliminate foods with a hot potency and hot temperature such as chilli and cayenne pepper.
- Reduce your intake of non-veg foods, especially red meat or foods that are high on fat.
- Lower your intake of foods that have a high glycemic index.
- Avoid excess salt, chilies, spices, sour foods, and pickles.
- Reduce the use of caffeine, stimulants, refined sugar, and cold drinks.
- Stop consuming junk food, and carbonated drinks.
- Avoid untimely meals, multiple meals, late night foods, and snacks.
- Stop the consumption of processed foods and packaged foods.
- Remove and avoid smoking, alcohol and nicotine.
4. Ayurvedic Lifestyle Tips for Uterine Fibroids
Ayurvedic lifestyle tips provide guidance daily routine that helps to establish hormone balance mental wellness. Here’s what you should do:
- Manage and reduce stress levels by either avoiding stressful activities or by better planning. Stress is one sure way to get your hormones out of whack.
- Practice regular meditation to help you relax and reduce your stress levels.
- Reduce your exposure to endocrine disrupting materials such as BPA and Dioxins. They trigger Estrogen dominance and make you more prone to uterine fibroids growth.
- Restrict your use of hormone-based contraceptives. If you can, avoid them completely.
- Avoid Smoking, Alcohol and any other stimulants. All of these disturb the hormone balance and create additional toxin build up in the body.
- Keep a regular, again, regular, sleep pattern in the night. Learn here on Ayurvedic guidelines for good sleep.
5. Physical Activity and Exercise
- Engage in regular, relaxing, calming, and cooling physical activity.
- Exercise at least 3 – 5 days a week through stabilizing workout routines such as involving in recreational and non-competitive sports, traditional dances, swimming, hiking, running or brisk walking in nature or near water, yoga, Tai Chi, or Cycling.
- Avoid over exertion and excessive stretch. As a golden rule, exercise up to 50% of your body’s capacity.
- Regularly practice breathing exercises (pranayama) to improve oxygen circulation, relax your mind and naturally detoxify your body through the lungs pathways. Here are the helpful breathing exercises:
- Anuloma Viloma Pranayama
- Bhramari Pranayama
- 3 Part Deep Breathing Exercises
6. Yoga for Uterine Fibroids
Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise that improves muscular strength and mental balance. Regular practice of yoga can help to strengthen and tone up pelvic floor muscles and that of the uterus.
This helps to promote circulation and hence reduce the symptoms and growth of fibroids. Yoga therapy is also applied in Ayurvedic medicine to address health concerns. Here are some yoga poses that are helpful to reduce fibroids.
PS: Do not practice excessive physical activity and inversion yoga poses during menstruation.
- Cat cow pose: It squeezes the region of the abdominal area where the liver is found. Thus, it stimulates liver function, promotes natural detoxification and improves hormone balance.
- Frog pose: This benefits the digestive system and pelvic floor as a whole. It also improves blood circulation around the abdominal area.
- Half Lord of the Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana): It squeezes the abdomen in a way that relaxes the abdominal muscles and the liver. Also, it helps to reduce inflammation in the lower body.
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This has wide-reaching effects on all body systems. It promotes the storage of nutrients in the cells of the body and relaxes the nervous system.
- Plow Pose (Halasana): This pose reduces fatigue, improves circulation, enhances metabolism and detoxification.
Check out Hormone Balance with Ayurveda, a holistic health programme. Receive personalized Ayurvedic treatment and step-by step guidance on diet and lifestyle to balance your hormones and find relief from period problems.
Before You Go!
Ayurvedic treatment is not based on testing your willpower but it nurtures you to develop “self love” and switch on your body’s natural healing mechanism with the right diet and lifestyle.
Also, do note that Uterine Fibroids is a progressive and painful disease. But, it can prevent it by pursuing a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle. Act Early to Prevent Health Issues Later!
Now we want to hear from you. Do write to us for any queries and feedback. If you have tried any of the above natural uterine fibroids treatment approaches, then do share your experience with us. We will get back to you the soonest.
Wishing you vibrant health!
- Treatment of Uterine Fibroids Based on Allopathy and Indian System of Medicine
- Current progress of Ayurveda treatments on uterine fibroids: a comprehensive review
- Ayurvedic intervention in the management of uterine fibroids: A Case series
1. How do Uterine Fibroids affect fertility, pregnancy and childbirth?
Fibroids might, or might not have an effect at all on fertility, pregnancy, or childbirth. This depends on the position of the fibroid.
Submucosal fibroids pose the greatest danger, while pedunculated fibroids, particularly the ones borne outside the uterus, pose no threat.
Again, these are only risk factors, not absolute facts.
A woman with fibroid can be pregnant and deliver with no problems whatsoever. After all, 80% of women have uterine fibroids, most of them undiagnosed.
The following risks may be presented though:
- Preterm delivery.
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction(IUGR).
- Mispositioning of baby.
- Risk of placental abruption.
- Increased risk of need for caesarean section.
- Postpartum hemorrhage due to decreased ability of uterus to contract.
- Bleeding in first trimester.