Fibroid tumors, which are generally noncancerous growths in and/or around the uterus, can still cause significant issues for a woman’s health after menopause; her general, as well as gynecological, health can be affected. Fibroid tumors, although bothersome, are usually not dangerous.
Fibroid tumors can cause pelvic pain and pain during intercourse. Depending on the location of a tumor, bowel movements can become painful as well. A woman with fibroid tumor(s) can suffer from lower back pain, possibly due to the pressure on internal organs and the placement of the tumor(s).
Women with fibroid tumors which attach themselves to the uterine wall near the bladder may experience urinary problems; these can include difficulty in urination or more frequent urination. This happens because the fibroid tumor, as it grows larger, begins to press on the bladder.
An important point to make is that fibroid tumors grow most rapidly during a woman’s reproductive years, because she produces estrogen. After menopause, women can experience a shrinkage of their fibroid tumors. Menopause means that the reproductive hormones, including estrogen, are decreasing; because fibroid tumors thrive on estrogen, this means the tumors will decrease in size.
Risk of Cancer
It is very rare that fibroid tumors will become cancerous. It is still a very prudent idea for the woman and her gynecologist to keep a close eye on the fibroid(s) and make sure this change does not take place. Most tumors develop from a single smooth muscle cell (monoclonal, or coming from a single clone).
Women at Higher Risk
Uterine fibroids happen in approximately 70 percent of women before age 45; approximately 25 percent of white women and 50 percent of black women develop symptoms that indicate the presence of fibroids. Women with a high body mass index are more likely to develop uterine fibroids; however, women who have given birth and who smoke cigarettes seem to have protective factors, and they are less likely to develop uterine fibroids.