Nearly twenty percent of all women will experience uterine fibroid tumors during their reproductive years, and the number will rise to almost eighty percent among women of fifty or more. Fibroids are simply clumps of muscular or other tissues which develop on the uterine walls, and while the cause of their appearance is still an object of medical debate, fibroids after menopause are believed to be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, and environmental factors.
Menopause itself can be defined as the cessation of a woman’s menstrual flow for at least twelve consecutive months, and because fibroid growth is thought to be related to the production of the female hormone estradiol, the appearance of fibroids after menopause may be less obvious. Estradiol is typically present in higher concentrations during the early stages of menopause.
Fibroids Thrive On Hormone Replacements
Especially if a woman decides not to take hormone replacements after menopause, her fibroids after menopause may remain small due to the lack of estradiol. But fibroids after menopause rarely simply disappear, and fibroid cells may lie in wait along the uterine wall, until hormonal levels are increased and they can begin growing again.
Fibroids after menopause can be so small that that the women who have them remain unaware of their existence. Even gynecologists may have difficulty in finding fibroids after menopause during a standard pelvic exam. Fibroids after menopause can even escape detection by ultrasound, in particular when a woman is not receiving estrogen supplements.
Should a woman decide to begin taking hormone replacement therapy which included both estrogen and progestin, she may experience the re-growth of her fibroids after menopause along her uterine walls. The rate of growth of fibroids after menopause, however, has not yet been scientifically determined. But it is the hormone progestin which has the greatest impact on stimulating new growth in fibroids after menopause.