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  • Writer's pictureCarita Marrow

We need to talk more about fibroids

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

I ignored the growing pains in my stomach thinking I was just undergoing over the age 30 body changes. I had just moved to the SF Bay area and wanted to get settled in my new job. I wanted time to research a new primary care doctor and OBGYN. My goal was to settle on new doctors once my prescriptions expired. While growing up, I always had a sensitive stomach with allergic reactions to tons of foods like my mom. I had gained 15 pounds over the past two years but I thought this was, “Grown woman weight,” and I was thrilled at my new curvy + petite size. My mom started to notice my weight gain and suggested I exercised more. I took the advice, hit the gym more at work, increased my steps and started a 30-day ab challenge in addition to trying intermediate fasting and more. I had some great results, but my stomach hadn’t flattened as expected and began to bulge more and more. I hated the way I looked in certain outfits.

I called it my stomach pooch. Ladies, you all know too well what I mean. My stomach began to get more firm and I thought it was just more muscle developing. It always felt like it was swollen to the touch. Again, I thought this was because of my sensitivity to certain food and due to getting older.

Then my cycle started to linger longer than the normal four days and the pain from my cramps increased. My stomach felt raw and inflamed at times. And, then I started to feel the huge knots. I continued to ignore this. I was six months into my new role and wanted no distractions. In pictures, I attempted to hide my pooch and began dressing differently thinking I could hide the issue. I body shamed myself and hated the way I looked in some clothes. You see unbeknownst to me, these were all symptoms of fibroids, bloating, discomfort in lower abdomen, & menstrual cycles complications.

/ˈfīˌbroid/ a benign tumor of muscular and fibrous tissues, typically developing in the wall of the uterus.

Dec 20, 2018

I finally went to the OBGYN for an annual appointment. Towards the end of the appointment, my world turned upside down when the doctor said,

“Maybe this is your muscle, but you have an enlarged uterus. Let’s get this checked out, I am referring you for an ultrasound.”

My initial reaction, “Well my mom had fibroids for years and as a result after multiple failed procedures, she got a hysterectomy.”

The word hysterectomy shadowed my thoughts. I am 33 and single without any children. I wasn’t even thinking about them. The doctor mentioned she would put down fibroids as a possibility in my chart notes for an ultrasound. I cringed and wanted to cry.

As I left, I instantly teared up. While waiting for the Lyft, I called to schedule an ultrasound and the only appointment I could get was nearly a month later. I texted my mom who lives on the east coast knowing the news would frighten her not wanting her daughter to endure the pain she went through. What she didn’t know is that I felt like a disappointment. My mom wanted grandbabies and I feared I wouldn’t be able to have any in the future. I called my mom when I got home and she calmed me down advising me to wait for the results before I make any assumptions. I cried and I cried that evening. I found comfort after sharing the news with my friends, in essence, hearing each sharing their own pelvic health issues. And most of these issues were fibroids. After some research, I found out there were new procedures out there since my mom had her hysterectomy. 70–80% of women have fibroids by the age of 50 and most were able to bear children.

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