“You have fiber in your uterus?”
“Not Fiber,” she said, “A Fi-Broid.”
“What the heck is that?”
Truthfully y’all, I had not heard of a fibroid until well into my twenties. It wasn’t until my best friend discussed her experience with fibroids with me. After we got to talking I learned that uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that form in, on, or outside the uterus. Fibroids vary in size and number, and may grow slowly or experience periods of rapid growth.
I’ve read many magazines, websites and journals that often mention how black women are disproportionately affected by uterine fibroids and it got me to thinking? Are there more women around me with fibroids? I took this question to my immediate family, friends and social media and I was shocked by the information. It was overwhelming how many people in my close circle of family and friends who I didn’t know had fibroids. Oh and I didn’t mention. I too have fibroids.
Not everyone knows they have fibroids because fibroids don’t always cause problems for you. When I asked my sister if she had fibroids she explained how heavy her periods were and how this lead her to talk with her doctor about them and then she discovered them. Now when I say heavy I mean she was sleeping with towels heavy. I’ve never had a flow that heavy in my life. I didn’t find out I had a fibroid until I was pregnant. My doctor saw my fibroid during a routine sonogram. Thankfully my fibroid caused no issues for me or my baby so there was nothing to worry about. But so many women are unable to have children or lose children during their pregnancies because of their fibroids. This just breaks my heart because I have two beautiful children that I couldn’t imagine not being here.
Treatments for uterine fibroids vary, but for many women, a hysterectomy is a real possibility— a loss that is both physical and emotional. In fact, nearly 1/3 of all hysterectomies can be traced back to uterine fibroids. For my best friend her fibroids were growing so fast her doctor was very concerned. Isn’t it great when you have a good doctor? My friend decided to go with a surgical procedure where her doctor would remove her fibroids from her uterus, this is called a myomectomy.
A myomectomy is one of the many fibroid treatment options it’s not the only option. Uterine Fibroid Embolization, or UFE, is a treatment option for uterine fibroids without hormone therapy or surgery; offers a less invasive experience, while successfully treating fibroids. It works by blocking the flow of blood to uterine fibroids, depriving them of the oxygen and nutrients they require to grow. The typical UFE procedure lasts less than one hour and doesn’t require an extended hospital stay. My best friend actually knows someone who has had this procedure successfully done to treat her fibroids.
Watch this video to hear a UFE success story
After my best friend’s myomectomy she went on to have a beautiful baby girl who will be 2 years old this year, she’s my god daughter. My best friend is currently pregnant with her 2nd child-a boy! She shared with me that she experienced degenerative fibroid pain for a little over 24 hours during her pregnancy but other that her pregnancy was uneventful and her baby is healthy. You don’t have to lose your U just because you have a fibroid. Consider your options and select the best treatment for you.
“Don’t lose your U” means U take charge of your situation by educating yourself on all treatment options available to you. So before meeting with your doctors, be sure to make a list of any symptoms you’re having. No detail is too small, so include all of your symptoms, even if you don’t think they’re related.
Do you have a uterine fibroid story, advice or words of inspiration you’d like to share? Share it here!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.