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Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause? Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

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  #1  
Unread 12-14-2008, 11:50 AM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

Has anyone here who's over 50 and past menopause been diagnosed with fibroids? I'm 56 and just found out last year that I have 3"large" (10-11 cm) fibroids. Everything I read says they should go away after menopause, not appear. So I'm really confused! Although I don't have any symptoms, I'm willing to consider a hysterectomy for a variety of reasons. Anyone postmenopausal get fibroids. Why now?
  #2  
Unread 12-14-2008, 02:56 PM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

They shrink after menopause particularly if you are not using HRT. If you have no symptoms there is absolutely no case for surgical removal.
  #3  
Unread 12-14-2008, 03:18 PM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

I'm 54 and had a LAVH last year for fibroids. I had them for years, but they increased in number after menopause (too many for gyn or pathologist to count) nor did the pre-existing ones shrink. Mountainwoman2 is correct that they do not need to be surgically removed if they are causing no problems. Mine were pressing on my bladder requiring frequent trips to the bathroom as well as a general feeling of pressure in my abdomen and constant lower backaches. I was a bit ambivalent about removing my uterus as I had some concerns that what I was experiencing was merely age related. Now I am thrilled with my decision and the results. Good luck to you.
  #4  
Unread 12-14-2008, 03:25 PM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

I'm 56, post menopausal without HRT and have 1 large "symptomatic" fibroid and some smaller ones. That grew after menopause. The large fibroid, about 10cm, is pressing on my bladder.

And on Tuesday I'm having a TAH/BSO. Not so much because of the bladder issues, but to rule out a sarcoma.

Uterine sarcomas are REALLY, REALLY rare. But your fibroid should not continue to grow post menopause.

My Gyn had two ultrasounds to confirm it was growing plus a blood test to see the lack of estrogen in my system. Then an MRI.

If you are not on HRT and if these fibroids are growing (and especially if you have any bleeding) please talk with your Gynecologist.

I personally think if you get all the way through menopause you should get a pass, but apparently it doesn't always work that way.

I'm not happy about losing my uterus, especially as it never gave me any grief the way some women here have suffered.

The only way to rule out a sarcoma is through a hysterectomy with its attending pathology reports. A biopsy won't get it done. They have to slice and dice and look at everything under the microscope!

Please don't let the fear of a hysterectomy stop you from getting the care you need. Hyster Sisters are always promoting getting a second/third opinion.

When I saw an interventional radiologist she referenced Hamlet. Hamlet, you know where everyone is dead at the end of the play! She said of my largest fibroid "something smells rotten here" "something is outside the norm". She also said she was going to be very interested in my pathology report. These are the kind of doctor visits that make you long to drink!

Everyone is different, but we all need quality care and support. Please let me know how you are doing. I feel alone often on this board with its younger women, but grateful for all the support.
  #5  
Unread 12-14-2008, 04:26 PM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

I'm so grateful for all the support here! No, I'm not at all afraid of having a hysterectomy, but my GYN hasn't recommended one yet, he's just "watching it" via ultrasounds every few months. I have no symptoms except having to go to the bathroom a lot! No bleeding or pain and no HRT. This is all just so confusing to me-to say nothing of looking pregnant at my age!
  #6  
Unread 12-14-2008, 05:11 PM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

Hi Simba32!

I had my TAH/BSO over five years ago at the age of 50, due to an "enlarged fibroid uterus" that was causing me low back pain and very heavy menstrual bleeding. After the surgery, my gyn told my husband (in the hospital waiting room) that my uterus that should have been the size of a lime was the size of a grapefruit.

I am happy that I got rid of these benign growths in my body. I no longer have to urinate every two hours or so (which I had mistakenly assumed was due to my advancing age) because I don't have a distorted, enlarged uterus pressing on my bladder and crowding other organs in my pelvic cavity.

Best wishes,
  #7  
Unread 12-14-2008, 06:46 PM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba32
I'm so grateful for all the support here! No, I'm not at all afraid of having a hysterectomy, but my GYN hasn't recommended one yet, he's just "watching it" via ultrasounds every few months. I have no symptoms except having to go to the bathroom a lot! No bleeding or pain and no HRT. This is all just so confusing to me-to say nothing of looking pregnant at my age!

I'd want to know how long he planned on "watching"; how big the fibroid had to get before he had alternative plans and what he thought those plans might be. Keep talking until you are not confused anymore.

Just think the bigger the fibroids get; the bigger the surgery. My Gyn wouldn't consider any other type of hysterectomy (e.g. LVH) because of the size and the chance of a sarcoma. And she is cutting vertically. But I'm past bikini wearing, so I'm not so concerned about that. Although I'm vain enough that looking pregnant at this age would seriously bother me.

Have either you or your Gyn thought of UAE. They do that on post menopausal women now. The radiologist didn't consider me a candidate ("something smells rotten here") but the process got me a very clear MRI picture of the grapefruit sized fibroid.

Good luck to you. I'm off to the castle this Tuesday, so I'm counting down.
  #8  
Unread 12-14-2008, 06:58 PM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

Boy, I feel really dumb here-what's UAE? I go next month to have my latest "watching" ultrasound. Everything I'm learning here is giving me the confidence to speak up and ask questions.
  #9  
Unread 12-15-2008, 11:23 AM
Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

Boy don't you just hate it when people use acronyms like they are real words! I apologize. UAE = Uterine Arterial Embolization. It's where the uterine artery is blocked so the fibroid loses its blood supply and then degenerates (85%). I think they've only been doing this procedure about 10 years. My Gyn considered it because I was pretty adament that I didn't want a hysterectomy. It is a far less invasive procedure. But both the interventional radiologist (they do UAEs) and my Gyn agreed that it wasn't for me.

My Gyn waited 3 months to see if my fibroids were growing. I also found out that ultrasounds are not the most precise way to measure growth. MRIs are far more accurate and less dependent on operator measurements. But truth to tell, I knew my fibroid was growing because the pressure on my bladder keeps increasing.

Never feel dumb for not knowing an acronym or anything else. None of us came out of the womb knowing this stuff. We all had to learn it and I'm very grateful for all I've learned on this website.

Keep asking questions and take someone with you when you see you Gyn next to write down his answers.

Best of luck
  #10  
Unread 04-26-2010, 09:14 AM
Re: Fibroids after 50 and post-menopause?

Just found this site and it is really useful.
I'm recovering from a da vinci full hysterectomy (ovaries too) 4 days ago
due to a large (8-10cm) fibroid. It wasn't really giving me any problems until one day last week I woke up to what I thought was an appendicitis attack and found out that the fibroid had wrapped itself around my ovary, twisting it. No fun. I now realize it was probably causing back pain as well, I just didn't realize the source.
I've been menopausal for 2 years and the tumor, which we've been aware of for some time, should have been shrinking instead of growing (doubled in size over a couple of years) and creating it's own blood supply from my uterus, which was shrinking the way things are supposed to during menopause. My doctor said after doing the surgery and seeing it's situation that it would have continued to cause the pain as it moved around.
I have a history of reproductive cancer in my family, and decided to have the ovaries taken too, just to preclude any fear of cancer there. There seemed to be no evidence of cancer, either in the ovaries , uterus or tumor, but of course, we have to wait for the lab results to be 100% sure.
I would love to know any other experience of Hysterectomy after menopause, and what to expect going forward.
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