Up to 80% of women will develop fibroids by the time they’re 50. If you’re African-American, you are 3x as likely to develop symptomatic fibroids. These statistics aren’t meant to scare you, but merely to inform you that most of us will likely get fibroids, so it’s important we know what they are and it’s also important to note that most of us won’t experience any symptoms and therefore, fibroids will present no issue.
While most women will not experience symptoms from their fibroids, the women who do often find the symptoms difficult to live with. So, it’s important that we know the key points about them. Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors (almost always non-cancerous) that grow in the walls of the uterus (aka womb.) We do a deeper dive of what exactly fibroids are and what their symptoms look like here. But let’s talk about what to do when you have fibroids.
Can you get rid of fibroids?
Let us reiterate. If you don’t have any symptoms from your fibroids (like pain or heavy menstruation,) you don’t need to worry about them. Your doctor will be able to feel your fibroids in your pelvic exam and closely watch them over the years to ensure they don’t grow. For most women, fibroids are harmless and will shrink after menopause and go away on their own. However, for women who do experience symptoms, they can be quite unpleasant to live with and worsen if untreated.
Harvard Health Publishing gives the following example of how fibroids can potentially interfere with life:
“For example, a very large fibroid can expand the uterus to the size of a second-trimester pregnancy and press against the bowel or bladder, causing constipation or frequent urination.”
What are treatment options for fibroids?
It’s important to note that fibroids present differently for everyone. That’s why it’s important to see your doctor if you experience any symptoms or think you may have fibroids.
For women with mild symptoms, medication can often help manage pain and help with heavy periods – the most common symptom. This symptom can be very debilitating for women as they are usually bleeding through a tampon or pad in an hour or even more frequently. If this is the case, you definitely want to seek advice from your doctor and switch to protection made for heavy periods. In fact, this is the very reason CEO and founder of Femi Secrets, Davielle Jackson started the company and created the Pretty Panty. She suffers from fibroids herself and sought out a solution that was truly leak-proof protection for heavy flows and women suffering from similar conditions.
For women with moderate to severe symptoms, surgery is often a solution from minimally invasive options to complete removal of the uterus for women who do not wish to be pregnant in the future. Removal of the uterus is the only way to “cure” fibroids as other treatment options do not prevent their regrowth.
Living with fibroids
As we stated earlier, up to 80% of women will get fibroids and most will have no symptoms. We don’t talk about the worse side of life with fibroids to scare you or women who may suffer from severe symptoms, but to make you feel less alone in them. There are treatments and solutions for all levels of symptoms whether it’s found in absorbent period underwear or surgeries to help remove fibroids. Regardless of the severity, women can manage their fibroids and live a healthy and full life. If you experience symptoms, ask your doctor about fibroids and what you can do to manage them. A personalized plan made for you will be what’s best for you.
Do you have any experience with fibroids? Share in the comments and let’s help each other feel less alone.