Living with Fibroids: The Confirmation

In August of this year, I received confirmation from my OB/GYN of what I had already suspected; I have fibroids. Well, one big one that is almost the entire size of my uterus. That is what we know now before I undergo surgery. I wanted to get checked for fibroids as they are a common occurrence in my family, on my mom’s side. They seem to appear in the early thirties. That, and my increasingly heavy menstrual cycles over the years let me know I had joined the rest of the women in my family in living with fibroids.

Not a depiction of my uterus.

Studies have shown that between 80-90% of Black women will be diagnosed with fibroids before the age of 50, compared to 70% of White women (Source). Living with fibroids definitely affects your way of life and can weigh on you mentally. I began to loathe the arrival of my period because I knew I would be a week of sleepless nights due to having to sleep on a towel to catch any leaking that my doubled up, super, extra-long, overnight pads couldn’t hold. The constant insecurity about messing up my clothing at work, and carrying backup underwear because some months were even heavier than others, the anemia, and fatigue caused by anemia compounded with the fatigue caused by having lupus. It was too much! My body laughed at my taking iron pills. I take them just to get in the normal range of anemia and to keep from having to get a blood transfusion. I was always pushing through the fatigue because I want to enjoy life in spite of the monthly turmoil I go through. I work full time and am in graduate school, and I run this site and still try to spend time with friends and family, but something had to give. I couldn’t keep bleeding like this.

My doctor told me that my uterine growth was the equivalent of me being five months pregnant. Yes, I was walking around looking as if were in my second trimester. There was no baby, just one (or more) tumor that measured at approximately 9 cm in a 13 cm uterus, though I suspect there is more.

While I wasn’t thrilled I was just diagnosed with uterine fibroids, I was relieved to have a cause for my excessive bleeding and discomfort as well as my fluctuating weight and self-esteem.

So, what was next?

I set up an additional appointment for a consultation with my doctor to discuss treatment options. He voiced his concerns about wanting to proceed with caution as I have never had children. I went home to do a deep dive into treatment options and consult with friends and family who have had various procedures to gain info on their experiences, so I can make the best decision for me.

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