It’s not easy being a woman, you know. It really isn’t. Those of you who think it is, you’re so wrong.
I’m currently recuperating after spending a couple of days in hospital following surgery to remove uterine fibroids (from my womb area). They had been giving me problems for nearly a year before I knew they even existed in me, and when I found out I had them, I didn’t talk about it much to anyone outside of my immediate close circle. But when I did mention it to others, they would always have a story about knowing someone who has/had them or has had surgery to remove them. I then realised that fibroids are extremely common (mostly in black women), and more women than we realise harbour them, some maybe without knowing. As I get older I learn more and more that it’s good to talk, so initially I would have thought that sharing this with you is probably too much information, but now I don’t care, because opportunities to learn something new come in many different ways.
My symptoms started in 2010 when I would get cramps in between periods, which didn’t make sense to me, but I didn’t pay much attention to them, so I pretty much ignored it. It was in August 2011, while on holiday in Barbados, that the pain of the cramps reached its peak and brought a little blood with it, that I decided to go and visit my GP as soon as I got back home. I was given a date for an ultrasound scan, and in that time I had to go back to my GP, because my periods had become really heavy (Aunt Flo was really trying her best to disgrace me in public!) so I was given tablets to control it. Over the next few months I had appointments for scans and examinations and was advised to have them removed, because although they weren’t all that big at the time, I had several and you never know how it will affect fertility. I have to say though, one thing I didn’t like was the way some doctors offer up the option of having a hysterectomy as though it’s nothing. The first GP I saw who actually told me I had the fibroids said to me: “You can have surgery to have them removed, or we can just take out your womb. Do you want kids?” It was so blase that it annoyed me. Yes I want kids, thank you very much, leave my womb exactly where it is!
By the time of my surgery four days ago, a couple of the fibroids had become quite large, but I’m fortunate that they hadn’t grown to a size that made me look pregnant, as they do with some women. They were able to remove three out of five – the last two are small and shouldn’t be problematic, and apparently are in an area that would require open surgery. The operation I had was a laparoscopic myomectomy, meaning it was the less invasive keyhole surgery via three incisions through my stomach, using a camera to basically see what they’re doing. The recovery period is about 2-3 weeks, so right now pain killers are the best things ever.
Here is some detailed information about uterine fibroids: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/uterine-fibroids.cfm
So ladies, and men tell your ladies, if things don’t seem to be functioning the way they should, please go and get it checked out. It may be nothing to worry about, but it also could be a revelation.