Reversing Uterine Fibroid Tumors Without Surgery
by Dr. Lynn Paige Walker & Ellen Hodgson Brown

Fibroid tumors are masses of connective tissue that tend to grow on the wall of the uterus before menopause. They’re also the most common reason given for hysterectomy. Symptoms suggesting fibroids include abdominal swelling, pelvic or back pain, heavy or irregular bleeding, painful periods, constipation, pressure on the bladder and frequent urination.

Medical wisdom says that uterine fibroids cannot be dissolved. Although small ones may disappear by themselves after menopause, the conventional treatment for eliminating large or painful fibroids remains surgical removal. Yet, fewer than .2 percent of fibroid tumors are found to be malignant. They are usually removed just to avoid excessive menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. Hysterectomy, however, is a problematic solution.

For the nearly 750,000 American women who now hit menopause prematurely by surgery, the abruptness of the change wreaks havoc on hormone balance. It can bring on severe hot flashes, to counter which most women resort to lifelong pharmaceutical estrogen replacement. It can also result in the prolapse of other organs, including the intestines, bowels, bladder and vagina, causing pelvic pain, sexual problems, or pressure on the bowels and bladder. There can be other long-term complications as well, including osteoporosis, bone and joint pain and immobility, chronic fatigue, urinary problems, emotional problems, depression, and increased risk of heart disease. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives.

In many cases, uterine fibroids have shrunk without surgery just from the use of natural progesterone cream, not the synthetic form of the hormone, which is available only by prescription, but a plant derivative of a type of yam widely available in health food stores. "Pro-Gest" by Transitions for Health is a particularly effective brand. A small amount of the cream is simply rubbed on the abdomen once or twice daily. Follow label directions. Synthetic progesterone (e.g. Provera) not only will not shrink fibroids but is contraindicated, since it tends to make them grow. Natural progesterone can also help keep uterine fibroids from developing. Estrogen stimulates the growth of fibroids, which are common in the estrogen dominant phase of "perimenopause" (early menopause, before menses have ceased). If estrogen levels are allowed to drop off naturally after menopause, existing uterine tumors will typically atrophy by themselves. Problems arise when estrogen is artificially supplied, stimulating fibroid tumors to grow. While these fibroids usually remain non malignant, they can cause excessive menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain, precipitating a hysterectomy. Supplementing before menopause with natural progesterone, estrogen's antagonist, can help prevent fibroids from developing as well as helping to shrink them once developed.

Other natural remedies that can help stop the heavy bleeding that often accompanies a fibroid include: * Homeopathic Mother Tincture of Thlaspi bursa pastoris (shepherd's purse); take 10 drops in water every hour until bleeding slows. * "Bleeding" (a combination homeopathic by BHI); take 1 pill every 15 minutes as needed until bleeding slows, then 4 times daily until it stops. * "Luvos Earth" (a powdered clay) and "Trillium" (an herbal liquid); Take 20 drops of "Trillium" in water 3 times daily, or in cases of acute bleeding, use 50 drops in water followed by 20 drops every hour. * The Chinese formula Yunnan Pai Yao; take 2 capsules every hour until bleeding stops. * Chasteberry is helpful in bringing balance to the female reproductive system, but should not be used during pregnancy, since it’s a strong uterine stimulant.

Once bleeding is stopped, steps should be taken to build up the blood and balance the body to avoid repeating the problem each month. Useful remedies for toning and balancing when fibroid tumors are present include: * "Female Tonic" by MPI; take one tablespoonful twice daily. * "Fibrozolve" by Apex; take 10 drops 3 to 4 times daily. * "Female Balancer"; take 10 drops 3 times daily. * "Vita Gyn" by Eclectic Institute; take 4 pills twice daily for 5 days after the period. * Grapeseed extract; take 1 mg per pound of body weight daily. * Cat's claw; take 2 capsules 3 times daily.

The heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding accompanying a uterine tumor can also be a symptom of an underactive thyroid gland. Before the uterus is removed for excessive bleeding, natural thyroid therapy should be tried. See the authors' book A Woman's Complete Guide to Natural Health for protocol.

Even if surgery is required, there may be alternatives to removing the female organs. "Female reconstructive surgery" is a modified surgery that can eliminate fibroids while preserving the uterus and ovaries. The abdomen is opened with a bikini-type incision and the uterus is lifted out for complete inspection. The tissue connected to the uterus is clamped off with a special clamp and a drug is injected to stop the flow of blood, to allow maximum surgical time without bleeding. Fibroid tumors are then removed.

In the case of prolapse, the ligaments and organs are also restructured and resuspended. Although fewer than .2 percent of fibroid tumors are found to be malignant, that remains a possibility. If you have symptoms suggesting fibroids, see a gynecologist. While the natural remedies discussed here are safe, you should not attempt self-treatment. If you are interested in exploring natural remedies, see an Oriental medical, homeopathic, or naturopathic physician.

Dr. Lynne Walker and Ellen Brown have co-authored five books, including the best-selling Nature's Pharmacy. Their latest book is A Woman's Complete Guide to Natural Health (Avery; 2003). For more information, see www.naturalpharmacy.com.