As common as uterine fibroids are, it’s obvious why a month is dedicated to it in an effort to help raise awareness, research, and funding. If you’re not familiar with the condition, you may be surprised to learn that by age 50, as many as 70% of white females and 80% of African American females have had fibroids. If you are familiar with it, you most likely know there are many powerful and successful treatment options available to conquer the condition.
During the month of July, our job is to raise awareness for this overwhelmingly common condition that is affecting so many women all over the world. By shedding some light on this topic, research and funding will be more prevalent and women will gain more confidence talking through their treatment options with their physician.
How to Become a Uterine Fibroids Advocate
Know the Symptoms
Fibroids are growths within the uterine wall made up of muscle tissue, and can range in size from a few centimeters all the way up to the size of an orange. Many women who suffer from fibroids feel pelvic pain or pressure, but other common symptoms include:
- Heavy, long-lasting periods
- Frequent urination
- Painful intercourse
Know the Treatments
Depending on the size and severity of the uterine fibroid(s), your OBGYN will recommend the best treatment option for you. If your symptoms are less severe, your physician may recommend to keep an eye on the growth supplemented with medication such as birth control or other hormone options. In more severe cases, your physician may recommend to remove the fibroid(s) with one of the following procedures:
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization
- Hysterectomy (usually only in very extreme cases)
Take Advantage of Your Resources
- Get Involved With The White Dress Project, a non-profit fighting for legislation, research, and funding for uterine fibroids by participating in the following:
- July 10-14th – A Facebook LIVE question and answer chat will be offered where women can ask their fibroid questions to some of the nation’s leading doctors
- July 27th – White Dress Project has teamed up with Bloomingdales to host a white dress fashion show in Atlanta. Even if you don’t live in this area, you can still be up to date by liking and following White Dress Project’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
- Visit Ask4UFE’s website
Talk With Your OBGYN
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, be sure ask the right questions and be transparent with your physician. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and ensure that the treatment recommended is best for you.
The ultimate goals of Fibroids Awareness Month are to raise awareness of this common condition, to provide support to those who have or are suffering from the condition, and to answer any questions you may have about it, including what treatment options are available.
Because Fibroids Awareness Month is relatively new, it is only officially observed in a limited number of states at the moment, including Florida, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Help spread the word so that Fibroids Awareness Month can be observed at a national level and more women than ever can be supported and cared for.