Does anyone know how fast a fibroid can grow?

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I know this is a bit of a random question - a bit like how long is a bit of string - but does anyone have any clue how fast a large fibroid can grow? I just found out recently my fibroid is about the size of a coconut - but this was from an MRI that was done back in early December. I saw consultant in end of January - when we discussed best treatment for me - full abdominal hysterectomy and ovary removal. OK - so far - but no mention of anything to shrink this thing - which gives me awful back pain and bowel issues - and no clear idea of a sugery date. My hospital gave me a pre-op today - still no date - but was told - oh it could be another 8 weeks yet! If it gets to May that is 5 months more that this thing is in me - I say thing as with it and the size of my uterus - It's like carrying a blinking baby! I'm beginning to feel like some weird experiment to see how big it will grow! God only knows how big my scar is gonna be!!! Any thoughts???

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  • Posted

    Hi Glennie,

    Unfortunately, I don't think anyone has the answer to that Q as the growth of fibroids is a complex matter and from what I believe can depend on many factors, lifestyle/stress, oestrogen levels, liver function and diet.

    I read lots about the whole diet thing and decided to alter a few things such as no dairy milk, choosing almond milk instead, making sure we didn't eat much red meat (not that we are big on meat anyway). Much has been said about naturally shrinking fibroids thru diet but to be honest, I've always eaten really healthy anyway. I have polycystic ovaries so my hormones are unbalanced which I believe played a part in my fibroid appearing and growing.

    I had an 8x8cm fibroid which grew in 2yrs. I'd had a burst cyst prior to that and my scan showed a 1cm fibroid in a different area but no sign of this one which caused all of my problems.

    When I saw the NHS gynae cons, they wanted to put me on Esmya to try and shrink it before reviewing options in 4 months time but I felt they were doing that to buy more time due to the long waiting times for ops.

    I wasn't comfortable taking Esmya with all its side effects without knowing my end treatment plan so I paid to see a private consultant. Long story short, I decided on my hysterectomy and didn't need to try the Esmya. My cons didn't believe Esmya would've made any difference to the size of it anyway.

    I would call the consultant if you're worried to have a chat about it but I would've thought they'd have suggested some drugs to help shrink it if they thought they would work?

    Having read many posts on forums, there's a real mix of people that have / haven't had drugs first and many that have didn't have any success of shrinkage, some in fact grew! I think they work for some but not all. Theyre especially good for helping with heavy monthly bleeding. Well I know Esmya is supposed to be good for that.

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for taking the time to reply! I am being a total ball of worry right now as my back ache is increasing - and I am having to take pain killers more and more. I think I now understand why I am not on anything to shrink this fibroid - it's not the bleeding type - and I have been on HRT for the last 18 years - due to a very premature menopause. Perhaps they think I've done enough drugs over the years! As for diet I used to suffer terribly from acid reflux - and got in the habit of cutting out a lot of 'bad' food. That was fixed 2 years ago by fundoplication. Maybe 2 years of huge amounts of anti acid tablets prior to this upset the balance of my body too - who knows! Guess its a freak of nature. I have to ring consultants secretary on Tuesday - so will see whats going on. Your reply has made me feel a lot better!

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    • Posted

      Aah you're welcome Glennie. I know how you feel as I too seemed to be popping ibrufen and paracetamol daily to try and help my tummy cramps prior to my op. It's weird as things just seemed to deteriorate reall quickly after Xmas for me and I couldn't exercise comfortably and was constantly bloated and sat with a heated bean bag each night on my tummy. It became my new best friend!!

      There's loads of things online about people shrinking their fibroids naturally and by diet but I was already eating well and living a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, these things just happen and grow eh....

      I was a ball of worry too since finding out about my fibroid. At the time of my scan I was relieved thinking 'oh it's only a fibroid' then after reading up about them, it dawned on me that these things keep growing, especially if you're nowhere near menopause with hormones still ticking along. It was then pretty worriesome deciding on the right course of treatment and I really didn't have a great experience with the first gynae cons who didn't even bother to examine my tummy where I had a huge lump from my fibroid pushing my uterus up. My private consultation gynae was so much better.

      Once you know your treatment plan, it's then scarey thinking about all the pros and cons etc.... I kept reminding myself that I couldn't carry on with the fibroid growing and giving me so many problems and if left it would create more...

      Hope you get on ok Tues.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I don't think you should panic that the fibroid will be that much bigger when you have the op, a few weeks I don't think will make that much difference. I have had huge fibroids and have been on 3 courses if Esmya to shrink them ( supposed to be pre- op but was so successful I opted out of surgery). Even if you were to take Esmya, in my experience it takes around 10 weeks to really start to shrink the fibroids,so it may not be worth the side effects, and it may not work for you - I'm not sure you can take it with HRT meds anyway. Each time my fibroids have grown back, but never as large as they were initially, last year I went 7 months with no medication, bleeding or discomfort before I started bleeding again and realised one had grown back. I am 59 and supposedly post-menopausal so hope eventually this will stop. I have modified my diet and cut out dairy milk, hardly eat any red meat, but whether this helps I don't know. Best of luck with your surgery.

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    • Posted

      That great Christine! I think that's where Esmya is good, to buy more time pending menopause kicking in and hormone levels dipping and not feeding the fibroids so much.

      When you're younger it's more limited as you can't take Esmya for long periods and it's not a permanent solution. I definitely would have chanced the side effects of it if I was much older than I am.

      Hope it all continues well for you.

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    • Posted

      Yes I don't mind the side effects as I should be menopausal, but the fibroids prevent it, so to me Esmya is restoring the situation. The biggest downside is that I have to pay for it!

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    • Posted

      I do recall the consultant mentioning meds to shrink - but he was unsure they would work for me. Technically I have grown these fibroids on HRT - not my own hormones which I have not had since I was 29! He said I would have to take them indefinately IF they worked. I have read of women who have had fibroids grow post menopause - I think I am one of them. He said the only sure fire way of getting rid was a hysterectomy - and I agreed - this gives me the peace of mind they are gone - and I will also be rid of the remaining ovary that hasn't worked forever too! The back pain I have had is unreal. Sometimes the codeiene/paracetamol I take doesn't actually block the pain - and I lie awake for hours! Really tired now - I don't bleed badly - but the back/bowel issues are constant. It's just waiting and waiting and worrying! Would go tomorrow if I could!

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    • Posted

      Gosh Glennie, it definitely sounds like the best option for you! You've really been suffering!

      Funny but once you start talking to people about hysterectomies, it's surprising just how many people have had them due to fibroids. I'd never even heard of fibroids before until my scan😳

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    • Posted

      I had no idea about fibroids either! I actally thought I had broken my tail bone - and put it down to a bad fall I had had 18 months previously. I had physio - with little change (although I had my pelvis clicked back into alignment and found out I had flat feet!) and after going for a few sessions - I started to lose sensation in my bowel - that's when I got really scared! I was sent for an MRI - and here I am now - with a huge fibroid waiting to be removed. My GP has assured me all will return back to normal after the hysterectomy. I look forward to that - too many near accidents - to the point I am beginning to think of carrying a change of clothes - everywhere! I'm glad you got fixed. I will be glad when I get there too !

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    • Posted

      Yes I'm sure you will be pleased to get it done. Fingers x the 8wks will fly by and you'll soon be rid of all the horrid back pain and bowel issues and be able to get on with life again 😉

      I felt awful earlier, think I was on my feet pottering too long this morning and it wiped me out! Been in bed for 2 hours and feel a bit better now so I'm off out for a walk around the block with hubby and my boy 😀The days just seem to be whizzing by, no chance of being bored....

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  • Posted

    Hi sorry to but in here but I got an operation Thursday passed to remove a fybroid I only waited 6 weeks I'm on they tablets to shrink the fybroid aswell as still got a bit left but it's tied so should b ok....I got offered a hysterectomy as my 2nd choice as in an emergency choice didn't need it tho 

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  • Posted

    It's based on your diet.  The more acidic foods you eat the faster it grows.  I had Fibroid approx. 10 cm and I had 4,  both my sisters also had fibroids, they ended up having the surgery.  But I have not.  I changed up my diet and shrunk mine down to the point where I can hardly feel anything in my stomach.

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  • Posted

    Im 26 and have a 15cm fibroid and I have asked the same question to all of the people I have seen. The reason why I have asked this is because My fibroid has grown 10 cms inĀ 4 months which is a big steep. I have my operation in February 2018, via myomectomy which will hopefully resolve the pain. However my Gyne did tell me that red meats are a big feeder so may be worth giving a go. It is horrible waiting, I first went to the doctors in July, I only received my Ultra sound in October, had my consultation end of November and now have to wait for my operation in 2 months so its a very long waiting game, however they have told me because my fibroid is very large, its very unlikely to grow much in such a short space of time. I feel your pain though, it is like carrying a baby round and it does feel that the doctors are just experimenting with you and longing the process out.
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