Diet May Help Those with Endometriosis and Fibroids

Diet May Help Those with Endometriosis and Fibroids

Many women in the U.S. are affected by endometriosis and fibroids. Fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the uterus and endometriosis happens when uterine lining cells grow outside of the uterus. These conditions are both potentially painful and can trigger issues with infertility. It is likely that your doctor will recommend traditional treatments for both conditions, but there are also some foods you can eat that combat both fibroids and endometriosis. Be sure to speak with your doctor before altering your diet if you have or suspect you have either of these health conditions. Read on to learn what types of foods you may want to include in your diet if you suffer from fibroids or endometriosis.

Fatty Fish

You may be able to reduce your risk of endometriosis by including fatty fish in your diet that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. You can benefit from eating omega-3 rich foods if you have fibroids, as well. These fats reduce scar formation and inflammation that are associated with fibroids. Fish that have the highest omega-3 fats include mackerel, albacore tuna, herring, and salmon.

Cruciferous Veggies

In an effort to avoid fibroids, include cruciferous vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, or broccoli in your diet. These vegetables contain compounds that combat changes in tissues in your body, which can prevent noncancerous growths, such as fibroids, from forming. The author of “Endometriosis”, Mary Lou Ballweg, points to cruciferous vegetables as being beneficial for both fibroids and endometriosis, as they have estrogen-lowering qualities.

Fiber-Rich Foods

Eating a plant based diet that is high in fiber may help protect you from endometriosis. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25g of fiber for women and 21g if you are 51 or older. Johanna Skilling, author of “Fibroids: The Complete Guide to Taking Charge of Your Physical, Emotional and Sexual Well-Being,” suggests that upping fiber intake to 30 g per day brings down the amount of estrogen in your body, which is a hormone that triggers the growth of fibroids.

Lycopene-Rich Foods

Research featured in Nutrition Research suggests that a diet that includes lycopene can reduce the growth of fibroids. Foods high in lycopene include tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit.

 

6 Factors That Affect a Woman’s Fertility

6 Factors That Affect a Woman's Fertility

As a woman becomes older, her fertility decreases. However, even during her most fertile years there are external factors and lifestyle choices that can affect her chances of having a baby who’s healthy. Read on to learn some factors that affect a woman’s fertility and what you can do about them if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Obesity
Hormone production can be affected by carrying around extra pounds, which can make it more difficult for a woman to conceive. “The more weight a woman gains over her healthy weight, the more she tends to experience decreased ovarian function,” says William Schlaff, MD.

Being Too Thin
Not having enough body weight can also affect fertility. This may be because women who have BMIs that are very low are deficient in leptin, which is the hormone that controls feelings of satiety and hunger. Low leptin levels can contribute to not having menstrual periods.

Smoking
Smoking can drastically affect a woman’s chances of conceiving. It causes up to 13 percent of all infertility cases, says the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. According to Dr. Arredondo, cigarette smoke disrupts hormones and does damage to DNA in both women and men. “And it doesn’t have to be heavy smoking, either,” he says. “Even women who smoke moderately or who are exposed to secondhand smoke have disrupted endocrine function and can experience significant fertility issues.”

Alcohol
Doctors tend to caution against more than one drink a day for women (which has been connected to a higher risk for ovulation disorders). Also, a Swedish study that tracked over 7,000 women for 18 years found that those who drank the heaviest were more likely to have sought out fertility treatment. It’s important to remember that you should stop drinking if you think you could be pregnant.

Extreme Exercise
Of course working out helps to keep you in shape, which is important when you’re trying to get pregnant. But you can overdo it: “If you’re exercising too much it can have a negative impact on ovulation,” says Dr. Schlaff. If there is potentially a problem, the most obvious sign is a change in menstrual cycle. “If you notice that it becomes lighter or shorter, you should talk to your doctor about the implications for your fertility and your health,” says Dr. Schlaff.

Certain Medical Conditions
Health issues such as thyroid disease, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant or successfully carrying a pregnancy to term. Also, women with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may have issues conceiving since their bodies might reject a fertilized egg or attack her partner’s sperm. This doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant, but it’s important to work with a medical team to improve and manage symptoms.

 

Why Your Vagina Could Be In Pain

Why Your Vagina Could Be In Pain

It’s fairly easy to diagnose the pain that occurs down there if you’ve just had a lot of sex. But there are other types of discomfort that are more serious and the causes aren’t so easy to identify. Read on to learn six of the most common causes of vaginal pain.

Vaginal dryness

This is not just an issue for postmenopausal women. Sometimes low estrogen birth control pills cause young women to experience vaginal dryness, too. This can make sex painful because estrogen is a moisturizer. It’s time to check in with your doctor if you’re experiencing vaginal dryness. “It’s an easy fix because we can treat you with topical estrogen or put you on a higher-estrogen birth control pill,” says Minkin.

Herpes

According to the CDC, about one out of every six American adults will get herpes in their lifetime. “Patients will call me at 1 in the morning and say, ‘I found a lump on my bottom,'” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine. “My first question—after I groggily wake up—is, ‘Does it hurt like a son of a bitch?’ If the answer is yes, it’s likely herpes. And if the answer is no, it can’t be herpes.” Visible blisters and pain that is intense come with the STD. Make sure to contact your doctor immediately if you spot a blister or bump down below.

Yeast infections

While they don’t usually cause pain, they can cause a lot of dryness and itchiness in the vagina, which can be perceived as pain. The chances are very high that you’ll experience a yeast infection during your lifetime. If this is the first time you’re dealing with the condition, seek a doctor’s opinion before you turn to OTC medications.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or Endometriosis

You might have endometriosis (when the tissue that typically lines your uterus grows in other spots) if you have pain during your period and during penetration. Or, you may have pelvic inflammatory disease (an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs). Aside from pain and other symptoms of these conditions is excessive bleeding during the period. Make sure to visit your OBGYN if you suspect you have either of these issues.

His penis

“Is it really pain in your vagina that you’re experiencing, or is it pain during penetration—something you feel inside your belly?” asks Minkin. “It can be very hard to differentiate.” You may need to switch positions to something more comfortable if your partner’s penis is large.

Vulvodynia

This will happen to approximately 9% of women in their lives. The pain usually occurs during penetration — even during tampon insertion. Some women who experience this pain do so spontaneously, unrelated to sex or touching in that area. Doctors who diagnose this condition often treat it with topical medications such as lidocaine. If you have any pain in your vaginal area, schedule an appointment with your doctor and don’t try to diagnose yourself.