You can catch fitness trainer and health enthusiast, Anowa Adjah, on social media being an inspiration for womene everywhere. Known as the curvy fitness pioneer and powerhouse, Adjah shows how the scale is not the “end all, be all” test of health. She is the picture of health, but recently, she went through something that is affecting a lot of Black women: uterine fibroids.
“As you can see, the area around my belly button is still extremely swollen,” confessed Adjah on her Instagram. “For several years I suffered in silence trying to remain poised and a continued source of strength for other people. However, things turned for the worse. Early last year I was sent to the Emergency Room for extreme Anemia which almost required a Blood Transfusion and hospitalization. I was having periods several times a month and my stomach was the size of a 5-month pregnancy. I became extremely weak and distraught. On February 25th, 2020 I took my life back. My recovery was 3 times worse than a c-section and, for the first time ever, I leaned on my village for support. I was in extreme pain but looked forward to feeling normal again.”
Roughly seventy percent of American women will develop uterine fibroids by age 50. But for African-American women that becomes a staggering 90% and that’s at a younger. Even with an already high rate of occurrence, African-American women are two to three times more likely to have recurring fibroids or suffer from complications from them.
In extreme cases, a hysterectomy can be recommended to get rid of fibroids — but that should be the treatment of last resort. Though the number is decreasing, more than 400,000 hysterectomies are done each year in the United States, and fully a third of the hysterectomies done in women between 18 and 44 — prime reproductive years — are done to treat fibroids. As a result, black women are four times as likely as white women to receive a hysterectomy.
But thankfully, there are alternative treatments for severe fibroids that are less invasive and can preserve fertility, such as:
– Uterine artery embolization
Small particles (embolic agents) are injected into the arteries supplying the uterus, cutting off blood flow to fibroids, causing them to shrink and die.
– Radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency energy destroys uterine fibroids and shrinks the blood vessels that feed them. This can be done during a laparoscopic or transcervical procedure. A similar procedure called cryomyolysis freezes the fibroids.
– Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy
In a myomectomy, your surgeon removes the fibroids, leaving the uterus in place
– Endometrial ablation
This treatment uses heat, microwave energy, hot water or electric current to destroy the lining of your uterus, either ending menstruation or reducing your menstrual flow.
Plus, there are a number of natural remedies some use to shrink fibroids as well.
“I am a woman who is extremely guarded,” continues Anowa. “I wear a shield as a form of protection over my huge heart. I don’t like to ask for help and always want to appear as if I have it all together. This year I’m slowly letting the walls down because…