Several years ago, while sitting with a doctor going over some ultrasound results for a bladder issue, I was shocked to learn that they found a fibroid! A few years before I was sure I had fibroids from some of my menstrual issues, but I was shocked to learn it was still there as I was no longer having issues! With July being Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month I thought this would be a good time to discuss what fibroids are and how they can affect your life.
According to the National Institute of Health, “ Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are tumors or growths made of smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, and other material that grow in or on the wall of the uterus or womb. They are the most common non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age”. Approximately 25-50% of women are symptomatic.
These symptoms may look like:
excessive menstrual bleeding (filling a pad or tampon in an hour)
pain during menstruation
With many women not having symptoms it is hard to estimate just what percentage of women get them, but it is thought up to 80% of black women and 70% of white women will have fibroids at some point in their life. Overall, there is a lack of awareness of fibroids among women and the impact this may have on their health. This lack of awareness can then lead to a delay in diagnosis. Combine this delay with the stigma around menstrual disorders and the normalization of symptoms by both patients and health care providers, many women suffer in silence!
Symptoms can negatively impact physical and social activities, quality of life and work productivity. It is estimated that the overall economic burden of symptomatic fibroids is estimated at $5.9-34.4 billion USD annually (for direct and indirect costs). (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247381/#B17)
While uterine fibroids may be common in their occurrence, they are not common knowledge among women and even some health care providers! If you or someone you know is looking for help with menstrual imbalances or menstrual symptoms like those mentioned above, know that there are practitioners out there that can help! I offer a complementary Healthy Hormone Session to talk about your issues! We then discuss if working together fits for both of us, if not I can give suggestions for other local practitioners that may help!
Women do not deserve to suffer in silence.