Something that’s come up every time I’ve discussed my issues with heavy periods over the last year is uterine fibroids. This partnership with Med-IQ couldn’t come at a better time because I was able to sit in on an informative call with doctors who shared so much valuable information about fibroids that I’m glad to be able to share here with you all.
This post is sponsored by Med-IQ. Supported by Pfizer, Inc. and Myovant Sciences Ltd..
First, let’s clarify what uterine fibroids are. Because I know, personally, I’ve been confused about this until recently.
Uterine fibroids are benign, non-cancerous masses that grow in the wall of the uterus.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids may include:
Pressure against the bladder, back of the uterus or top
Lower back pain
Increased frequency urinating
Not everyone with uterine fibroids experience symptoms, though. Symptoms are usually driven by where the fibroid is located and how big it is.
In fact, 50 to 60% of people with uterine fibroids don’t experience symptoms, including not feeling pain caused by them. So then the advice is typically to leave them alone.
If you do experience pain, discomfort, and other symptoms of uterine fibroids, some ways to treat them include:
- Birth control pills
- Hormonal IUDs
- Non-hormonal medications during periods
- Surgery (telescopes to remove fibroids or ultrasound waves to destroy them)
New treatments are GNRH Antagonists, daily tablets, FDA approved & safe. You can take them for more than 6-9 months at a time.
The best way to get onto a treatment plan is to, first, get confirmation that you’re dealing with fibroids. And we all know this starts with – say it with me- advocating for yourself. So you’ve got to get into your doctor and be very specific about the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Try language like: “I am concerned these symptoms may be caused by fibroids.” Be specific how much you’re bleeding and the volume of products you use each month. Share if you’re feeling fatigued. Detail bathroom frequency due to full bladder. Patients should also feel comfortable indicating that they have heard an ultrasound might be helpful in the event they have fibroids.
If you don’t feel like you’re being heard, please push to see someone else. This is especially important if you’re of African ancestry. You can have more severe fibroids and an earlier age, and, unfortunately, care disparities come into play for black women and black people who get periods.
If the only option you’re given by your care provider is a hysterectomy, and that’s not something you want, please seek out care, if at all possible, at a center known for fibroid care. If that’s not accessible to you, seeking a 2nd opinion is a great place to start.
The bottom line is this is one of those health issues that affect many, and a lot of people who deal with uterine fibroids have normalized them, not realizing they could find relief from pain, discomfort, and long, heavy periods. This could be especially true if fibroids run in your family. You may have grown up with aunts and moms and sisters who experienced symptoms and it just became your normal. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
- This Is What Healing Looks Like - January 14, 2022
- Advocating For Yourself: Uterine Fibroids - January 7, 2022
- How I Wound Up In A Partial Hospitalization Program At Age 40 - December 9, 2021