It's Fibroid Awareness week. I know of fibroids only second and third hand, through friends who suffer with them. I hear from my friends that they can be debilitating, in terms of bleeding, bloating, pain and, last but not least, infertility. I admit that I don't know a lot more than that about fibroids, so I started to read around and this is what I found out.
I started off with the person who told me about Fibroid Awareness week, who teased me gently because I didn't already know. My best friend, Pamela Madsen, thank you very much, who writes a fabulous blog called Fertility Advocate. Her blog that day focused on the group of doctors in California who initiated Fibroid Awareness week. They mainly focused on how fibroids affect pregnancy.
So I kept searching, as I know that my readers would be just as interested in how fibroids would affect trying to conceive; hoping they will need to worry about fibroids and pregnancy. Sometimes it's best to start in your own backyard, especially when you have such a well educated and professional reproductive endocrinology group right there. So here's what RMACT has to say about fibroids:
Fibroids are growths of the uterus, which are almost always benign. The prevalence is approximately 30 to 40% of women. Most uterine fibroids are asymptomatic and patients do not even know they have them. In some patients they can cause abdominal pain, irregular bleeding, and sub-fertility.
Uterine myomas can be small or large. They can grow inside the uterine cavity (where pregnancies develop), in the uterine muscle wall itself, and can attach to the uterine surface.
That's the definition that's given. RMACT goes on to discuss symptoms that can occur:
Most fibroids are asymptomatic, but some can cause:
•1. Heavy bleeding with periods
•2. Increased pain with periods.
•3. Spotting throughout the month.
•4. Anemia or low blood counts.
•5. Pain in the abdomen and back.
•6. Difficulty with bowel movements and increased urination.
•7. Sub-fertility and miscarriage.
If your fibroid is protruding into the uterine cavity your physician may counsel you to have it removed.
RMACT goes on to talk about ways to diagnose and treat uterine fibroids.
If this is a diagnosis or a problem that you are having, you are not alone and it is treatable. I say this with the sole purpose of reassuring you. No one likes to hear the word growth in connection with their uterus or any other part of their body. But whether you have a uterine fibroids or polyps, there are treatments available. Effective treatments that can help the quality of your life, which can help you conceive and that can help your pregnancy be healthier.
Thank you to Pam for bringing Fibroid Awareness Week to my attention so that I could bring it to yours. What would we do without our friends? Posted and written by Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over twenty-five years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for seven years and is currently Patient Advocate and Blog Editor-in-Chief.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.