Black women have been faced with the very real danger of being diagnosed with uterine fibroids for many years now, but experts are saying there’s little to fear now due to medical advancements.
“There are a number of excellent treatment options, as well as the option to do nothing at all where we take a “watch and wait” approach and monitor the growth closely, so there really is no reason to worry,” says Julie Duff, a professor of Nursing at Resurrection University in Illinois.
Fibroid tumors are made up of renegade muscle cells that come together to form a fibrous “knot” or “mass” in the uterus. Fibroids most commonly occur between ages 30 and 40, with black women at greatest risk of contracting them. To date, at least one genetic link has been identified, indicating that fibroids may be generationally transmitted.
For some women, fibroids cause no symptoms.
When they do, doctors say problems often involve heavy menstrual periods and prolonged bleeding. They can also cause pelvic or abdominal pain or swelling and increased urination.
It is a combination of your symptoms, the location of the fibroid, the amount and size, as well as your age and your childbearing potential, that help determine what your course of treatment should be.
One option is a supracervical hysterectomy you remove only the uterine cavity holding the fibroids and leave the tubes, ovaries, cervix, vagina, or any of the support muscles in the bladder or pelvis,” says Duff. This, she says, means you don’t suffer any of the consequences linked to a traditional hysterectomy, including bladder and sexual dysfunction, or instant menopause.
Another non-invasive option is