Should you worry about fibroids? What if you’re only in your 20’s? The short answer: Yes. As women, we should always be concerned with health risks that affect so many of us. But, you shouldn’t be scared of them. We’ll explain why.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) defines fibroids as “muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb.)” They also report good news – fibroids are almost always benign or not cancerous. What else do we need to know about them?
- You can have one or many
- They range from teeny-tiny to the size of a grapefruit
- Not all women have symptoms
What Causes Fibroids?
Just like PCOS, we don’t know exactly what causes fibroids, but researchers think hormones and genes play a role in who develops them. There are also other risk factors that come into play when considering who gets fibroids:
- Our Age: As we age, our risk increases. Especially during our 30’s and 40’s. However, you can get fibroids in your 20’s, too.
- Our Ethnicity: African-American women are more likely than white women to develop fibroids.
- Our Health: Being overweight puts us at higher risk.
- Our Eating Habits: What we eat can increase or decrease our risk. (According to OWH, red meat has been linked to higher risk, while lots of green veggies help to protect us.)
What does fibroid pain feel like?
As we mentioned earlier, not all women have symptoms. If you have no symptoms, you likely won’t know you have them and fibroids present no risk to you. However, some women find fibroids incredibly painful and experience heavy periods as a result. They can even put pressure on organs causing frequent discomfort.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Fibroid symptoms can be any of the following:
- Heavy/painful periods
- Bloating in your lower stomach
- Painful sex
- Reproductive issues
- Lower back pain
How do you treat fibroids?
For fibroid treatment, there are both medication and various surgery options. If you’re experiencing symptoms or think or know you have fibroids, discuss these solutions with your doctor and determine what’s best for you.
If you’re experiencing heavy periods, switch to a natural, absorbent period underwear that can give you secure, leak-free protection for longer and be healthy for your body. Most importantly, know you’re not alone. Up to 80% of women develop fibroids by the time they’re 50, according to OWH. The more we talk about it, the more we find community and build support.