Here are my top 5 learnings!
1. What causes Fibroid's?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that occur in and around the womb. They can be the size of a pea or as large as a sports ball. Unfortunately what causes them is still unknown, despite the fact that they are very common. We do know however, that Fibroids need the hormone Oestrogen to grow (link).
2. How do you know if you have them?
Research indicates that unless you have distressing symptoms, you are unlikely to be aware that you have Fibroids until a healthcare professional checks, at which point research has indicated that you and your doctor will make a plan to treat or remove the Fibroid.
3. What are the symptoms?
The symptoms depend on where the fibroid is positioned, and whilst the list goes on, here are just a few examples of symptoms; heavy or long periods, period cramps, constipation and back pain. However, some women have reported not having any symptoms at all (link).
4. What are the risks associated with Fibroids?
Studies show that black women are hospitalised more frequently for Fibroids than white women. We are 2-3 times more likely to undergo a Hysterectomy for Fibroids, and are seven times more likely to have a Myomectomy (surgical removal of one or more fibroid's) (link).
Risks can also occur during pregnancy and childbirth, leading to C-Sections (link). However, from conversations with my family, one did mention that her Fibroids actually shrunk after menopause. I decided to look this up to see if it was an anomaly, and low and behold, there is light at the end of the tunnel with research proving that in some cases Fibroids can shrink once you reach menopause (link).
5. Why should black women be concerned about Fibroids?
Black women are more likely to suffer with Fibroids than any other race (link), with greater size and growth rates of Fibroids , and a greater chance of the need for surgical intervention as a result than other racial groups (link).
My take away
My take away from this, is that if we are more likely to have Fibroids, and more likely to need surgical intervention, I'm going to be asking my doctor to check for Fibroids more often, to avoid any complications further down the line.