Thank you Boston Scientific for sponsoring this post. Learn more about treatment options available at FreedomFromFibroids.com.
Dear U, don’t mess with my travel plans. I don’t want to know you’re around when I’m having the time of my life. Understand?
I’m about to share the story of how I discovered I had uterine fibroids, a pretty personal part of my life, but they impacted my life so tremendously that I feel it’s important to let other women know they’re not alone if they’re experiencing the same symptoms I was. And best of all, fibroids can be treated.
I was losing so much blood every month that I literally could not keep up with it.
I remember knowing something was really wrong when I was on my period while on a media tour in Texas last fall. I was using the most absorbent combination of tampons and pads I could find, but they were no match for the strength of my period. I was a nervous wreck and practically in tears the entire time, and I don’t know how I managed to make it through that trip at all. It was a nightmare.
When I returned home, the blood loss continued and although much more easily managed at home, I knew I couldn’t go on that way, and I made an appointment with my ob-gyn.
During my exam, she barely touched my cervix and it started to bleed again. She suspected uterine fibroids so she did an ultrasound. Funnily enough, nothing showed on the screening, but she still suspected the fibroids were there, so she decided to do an internal ultrasound and BAM. There they were… three uterine fibroids just as cozy as could be.
At the time I didn’t even know exactly what uterine fibroids were, so she explained that they’re non-cancerous growths that form in, on, or outside the uterus. They appear in various sizes and numbers and can grow very slowly or quickly.
Because I had been experiencing such dramatic blood loss, she also tested me for anemia and discovered that I was severely anemic… to the point where she was surprised I could even stand up.
Sheesh, I was a mess! At that point, we had to decide on a treatment, both for the fibroids and for the anemia they’d brought on. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options for fibroids, so I opted to try estrogen hormones and they worked like a charm. However, I discovered I had high blood pressure shortly afterward, and if you have high blood pressure, estrogen can greatly increase the risk of strokes, so I was back to square one.
At this point, I’m still looking to avoid a hysterectomy, a definitive end to the problem, but it can be both a physical and emotional loss. Nearly 1/3 of hysterectomies find their origins in uterine fibroids, and I’m pretty sure that was the reason my own mom had one.
I’m considering an option without hormone therapy or surgery called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). It’s less invasive, takes less than an hour and doesn’t require an extended hospital stay, but the treatment still successfully treats fibroids. The UFE procedure blocks blood flow to uterine fibroids, so they can’t receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow.
I have no intention of letting uterine fibroids stop me from my greatest passion: travel. I simply can’t be me without it, so learning about all the treatment options is essential, and I encourage you to do the same if you’re dealing with fibroids.
Because we all have better things to do.
Take charge of the situation by educating yourself, and write down your symptoms before meeting with your doctor. No matter how insignificant those details may seem, they could be related to what’s going on.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.