What Causes Fibroids to Grow After Menopause?

causes-fibroids-grow-after-menopause Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simoes/CC-BY 2.0

In most cases, women experience shrinkage of fibroids after menopause, but if they are taking hormone replacement therapy, women are not likely to experience any lessening of the symptoms of fibroid growth, notes Cedars-Sinai. Uterine fibroids tend to grow as estrogen levels elevate.

Some women do not experience any signs of fibroid growth; however, other women overlook the symptoms because they are accustomed to the pressure, pain and bleeding that fibroids can instigate. Some other signs include a larger abdomen, anemia as a result of heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the rear of the legs, painful sex, pain in the pelvis and pressure on the bladder or bowel, as stated by Cedars-Sinai.

Once menopause hits, levels of estrogen tend to drop significantly. While fibroids do not go away entirely at this point, they normally shrink, and the symptoms usually abate. The only exception involves the use of hormone replacement therapy.

Fibroids range in size from that of a walnut to that of a honeydew melon or even bigger, notes Cedars-Sinai. They can show up as one large tumor or a group of smaller ones. A large fibroid can give the uterus the appearance and shape it might have at six or seven months of pregnancy, reports Cedars-Sinai.