Not many women know it, but yes, they have them. They are called fibroids and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that among women of childbearing age, they are the most common tumors that are noncancerous in nature.
The reason why many women harbor fibroids unknown to them is that the tumors do not always produce symptoms. For some women, at no point in their lives will these tumors ever produce symptoms. This basically means that unless they undergo a scan, they will never know they have them.
Jenny, a 30-year old, is an example of a woman who was not as lucky as not to ever experience symptoms of fibroids.
“I never knew I had any such thing until an ultrasound scan I had while pregnant in 2014 showed I had one big one”. Since then, it kept growing in size and at some point; they increased to three visible ones. This is when I started having very heavy menses, so heavy that on the second day, the flow would be so heavy that I could not go outdoors. At some point, I had to take iron supplements to complement for what I was losing. It was that serious.”
Jenny has since had the fibroid removed (the three mysteriously merged into one large one). She has had two miscarriages and one successful pregnancy while having the tumors, but she does not think the fibroids really caused the miscarriages. “My gynae did not really attribute the miscarriages to the fibroids as the pregnancies would be anembryonic (what is also called blighted ovum in which case there is no fetus formed).” I am now a happy woman. I do not need to wear “diaper-sized” pads to contain a heavy flow.” She says with a smile.
Unfortunately, there are many women who suffer in silence unaware that their problems emanate from having the fibroids.
Christine* could be one such women. She suffers from very heavy periods and she is now contemplating having an ultrasound to check whether she could be having the tumors. “They may be the cause, they may be not”. She says. “But I want to be sure”. According to CDC, heavy periods are one of the symptoms of fibroids alongside others like pain during sex, lower back pains, frequent urination, a feeling of “fullness” in the abdomen, and reproductive problems (such as miscarriages).
There is probably need to have more discussions on the topic of uterine fibroids so that the many ignorant women out there can know when to seek help as opposed to suffering in silence.
To read more on the topic, please visit the CDC website on: https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/womensrh/healthconcerns.html
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