When a woman is informed that she has ovarian fibroids, she may not know what this condition entails, thinking it means cancer or a need for major surgery. Actually fibroids on the ovaries, twin reproductive organs that produce eggs and female hormones, are generally benign and only need to be treated if they are causing other complications.
These growths of fibrous tissue often are confused with uterine fibroids, which grow inside the uterus, on its surface, or within its lining tissue. Fibroid tumors of great size can sometimes grow in the uterus, weighing ten pounds or more. Ovarian growths are much smaller, being measured in milligrams and centimeters.
These benign growths may cause no symptoms at all and may never require treatment. They generally occur in women of middle age, when the hormones are still being produced but the levels may fluctuate. Although cysts may occur in adolescents, fibroids are rare in early age groups.
However, some growths are actually precancerous or cancerous tumors, which should be removed. The removal of the growths does not have to mean removal of the affected ovary, and can be done on an outpatient basis. Tissue biopsy will reveal if the growth has any malignant possibilities.
Fibroids on the ovaries can cause pain and contribute to infertility, heavy bleeding, and menstrual irregularities. They are also implicated in the rare torsion or twisting of ovarian tubes. The growths often shrink or disappear on their own, and many nutritional supplements have been found to be beneficial in getting rid of them. Green tea has been proved to help, if four or more cups a day are drunk, and sufferers have been shown to have abnormally low levels of Vitamin A.
Vitamin A, the B vitamins, hormone balancing herbs such as vitex and black cohosh, foods such as antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and garlic, and other health regimes have been shown to help resolve this condition and keep it from recurring. Keeping the lymph system healthy with a balanced diet of whole foods and regular exercise is important, since this cleansing system carries away dead tissue that may otherwise be stored in lumps such as fibroids.