Read part 2 here.
The hushed f-word I’m referring to isn’t one that’ll get your mouth washed out with soap by your grandmother, rather one that is not used as much as it should be especially in the African American and Hispanic communities. “Uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths that can appear on the uterus and interfere with fertility, are more common in African-American and Hispanic women [source].”
Symptoms may include heavy periods, cramping, painful sex, and an urge to urinate. I experienced more than one of those symptoms along with thinking I felt a lump on my lower abdomen area. There is also a history of fibroids in my family. I was a preoccupied teen, so I didn’t know the seriousness of her surgery, but my mother had a hysterectomy while I was in high school. At that time, a fruit basket of fibroids were removed. My grandmother and her sister had hysterectomies due to fibroids as well.
So during my regularly scheduled well woman’s lab early in 2015, I brought the concern to my doctor. An ultrasound was scheduled and sure enough, I had a few peanut size fibroids housing themselves inside my body. The nerve. It is jarring to know that you have been affected in this way, even if it may have been well-known as a possibility. I have some close friends who have uterus related issues themselves and have tried to find various ways in helping themselves, either before surgery or afterward so they aren’t constantly suffering. Some have looked for cannabis online after talking with a healthcare professional, others have gone down the supplement route, all I know is that whatever I can do to help myself through times like this, I’ll do it.
I’ll spare you actual photos, but of course a quick google search will reveal them if you’re interested.
Finding out I had fibroids began the conversation for me with other women. One-by-one I realized many women I knew had these same benign lumps growing in their bodies as well. Some women house so many fibroids they’re mistaken for being pregnant. And this isn’t something that’ll disappear with exercise.
My case is on the mild side. Meanwhile I learned of several friends who dealt with fertility issues, amidst their journey toward and through pregnancy, due to fibroids. I read a few stories online also like this one from Gessie Thompson. (Her site is below.)
I did not know I’d be carrying a child just a few months later. But once I found out, this brought upon more research and a bit of concern, seeing as pregnancy hormones can cause fibroids to grow and this can interfere with carrying a child. Monitoring the fibroids with ultrasounds to find out where they were became evermore important and thankfully they did not grow nor cause issues with my baby.
I asked one friend to share her story and you can find it here in part 2 of “The F Word”. Also check out the video above from Dr. Jessica Shephard whom I came across during my research as she spoke on an episode of Dr. Oz. One statistic she shares is, “50% percent of all women and 80% of African American women will have fibroids by age 50.”
Fibroids are not just physical but can also play on one’s emotional well-being as discussed below by the founder of We Can Wear White. This affects too many women and is not a topic to continue to be hush-hush about. If you want to know more about Fibroids and other medically related issues such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization vs Hysterectomy, then there are sites such as americanendovascular.com who can inform you of such things, however, it is always best to talk to your doctor and be referred to a specialist so you can get the best care and answers that you need.
We’re just a few weeks shy of July which is Fibroids Awareness Month. Please share this and other articles and information with a woman you love!
Sites to check out:
http://mynaturalreality.com/?p=7249 (part 2 of “The F Word”)