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My Fibroid Friends

Im 26, and I was recently told that I would be lucky to carry a baby to five months because I have fibroids. Specifically, I have three, and I have decided to name them Frick, Frack, and Frank. The largest of the three, Frank, is the size of a softball. His two goon partners are smaller, but not by much. Though I had a 2D trans-aginal sonogram to confirm these buggars, there is a chance that I may have more hiding behind the ones I know about. Studies show, approx. 1 in 2 African-American women have fibroids, and because they are benign tumors, doctors, tend to take a wait and see approach. I knew I had a fibroid before, but I didn't know that being on birth control, smoking, and not exercising regularly could fuel their growth. Symptoms are also relative, most women have none or try to attribute them to something else. For example, I am a natural 36ddd, so when I developed lower back pain in my mid-twenties, I figured it was the wrong bra, and/or stress. I have irregular periods -- sometimes none at all, sometimes spotting in between, and even one time an 18-day period, but I thought it was due to the birth control implant I have in my arm. Birth control gives you extra estrogen, estrogen that fed Frick, Frack, and Frank. I pee more often, but I only drink bottled water, tea, and coffee, and occasionally smoked pot -- all diuretics, but now I know it could be because of the fibroid pressing down on my bladder. I've always had a bit of a stomach, even as a child, so even when I lost weight, I thought, "Oh, I'll just have to do more crunches." A nurse informed me two days ago that my uterus is very stretched out for a non-pregnant woman, and after surgery it should go down. There are a few more symptoms, but not more than the average woman deals with during PMS.

Ya'll I just want to share my story. You have to really take your health into your own hands and read up on everything once the doctor mentions a concern, The doctor told me hysterectomy could be in my future. Do you know how hard I've tried not to be the cliched young, black mother with no education. Well I'm 26 with an MBA I'm not using, and my chance of having kids could be taken away. I hate to rant, but it does make you think, what the hell was I being so snooty about, ya know? Fibroids are mainly benign tumors, but occasionally they are cancerous. They can grow to the size of melons (or an 8-month fetus) and they rarely come alone, ya know. Once they get past a certain size, hysterectomy may be the only way to get rid of them if they are causing symptoms.

We as women tend to write-off little pains and uncomfortableness here and there, but love yourself not to ignore yourself. Since most uterine fibroids are asymptomatic, often times a pelvic exam or an ultrasound performed by a gynocologist will detect them. An interventional radiologist will be the one to perform the surgery to remove them, so just because you know you have them, you may have to see a specialist for a second opinion or follow-up. If you have any words of encouragement or would like to comment this subject, please feel free. I've tried to be as honest as possible, because maybe it will inspire someone else to take the next step and be proactive in protecting their health. Thanks for reading, and I'll keep you posted on my boys.
bohemianbombshellsophisticate bohemianbombshellsophisticate 26-30, F 9 Responses Feb 21, 2011

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Thank you for sharing your story, I find out the results of my MRI next week and as of right now i have a uterus the size of a 14wk pregnant woman! Have you decided which method of treatment you are going to take?

Am 26, mexican, super scared.. Just found out today, and i want to be a mom... Life is not fair....i still need to follow up with my obgyn....

I am so glad I found your post. THANK YOU. I am a 25 year old African American women and just found out last week I have one Fibroid the size of a golf ball and several smaller ones. I have my fallow up appointment with my doctor in about a week to discuss what this diagnosis means for my future and the possibility of having children. I try to talk to family members and friend about the way I feel about this diagnosis but no one truly understand that his is a scary moment in life for me. Everyone keeps saying its common in black women but just because it common doesn't take away the stress and worry. I’m 25 years old and have wanted to be a mother my whole life. I have decided to pursue a different route in life, I completed my B.S. degree and wanted to work on my career before I started my family. Now I am faced with the possibility of maybe not being able to get pregnant and if I do get pregnant, the possibility of having a pregnancy with complications. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you to everyone who commented. You comment lets me know that I am not the only young women going through this. I guess I will just wait and see what the doctor says about my golf ball

I too had a Fibroid named Frankie (size of a grape fruit, or what the doctor told me was equivalent to a 16wk pregnancy) - doctors told me ba<x>sed on the size, Frankie must have been in the making for at least 10 years (i was 24 when i found out). I finally gave birth to my fibroid via laparoscopic myomectomy. They put me under, cut Frankie out (bye frankie!), and reconstructed the uterine wall (Frankie was growing in the muscle of my uterus wall)... bobs your uncle, fanny's your aunt, i woke up after surgery feeling like crap, but got some decent drugs that made me as high as a kite for about 3 days and then i didn't need any more drugs. It's now been 5 months since surgery. Every month my period is a little bit lighter, a little bit shorter, and little bit less painful. It's still a journey, and i've gone from a menopausal state (6 injections of Lupron Depot for 8 months before surgery) to extreme teenage hormones with acne... but it's better then being anemic, ghostly white, tired and unable to go into society for fear of leaks and lack of toilets. I'm not bed ridden anymore, i can do things now and not worry about only having a week in the month where i don't have my period. It's a slow journey, but i get to keep my uterus, and i get the opportunity to have children in my future (c-section style, no cone head kids for me!).<br />
There are so many options these days for women with fibroids, talk to doctors/OBGYN, talk to professionals, each doctor has a specialty or a particular knowledge that may restrict them from knowing what else is out there. I was referred to the best laparoscopic myomectomy surgeon in Canada - not much for bed side manner, but did he got my life back on track. <br />
Best of luck ladies!

Thank you... I am so happy to have read your story.

You are much too young for a hysterectomy. <br />
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Besides Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) there is another less invasive procedure for treating Fibroids called "ExAblate". This procedure is done with an MRI machine. Click on the following link for more information about this procedure: ( http://www.uterine-fibroids.org/treatment-lp-2.html?/index.asp&gclid=CPa1jb6t0a0CFQhjhwodsmnroQ ).<br />
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I have not had it done myself but after reading about it, that would be the route I would like to take when I am financially ready. <br />
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Look into this procedure. You may be able to treat your fibroids and still maintain your ability to have children. <br />
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Good Luck to you.<br />
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techlilinu

You are much too young for a hysterectomy. <br />
<br />
Besides Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) there is another less invasive procedure for treating Fibroids called "ExAblate". This procedure is done with an MRI machine. Click on the following link for more information about this procedure: ( http://www.uterine-fibroids.org/treatment-lp-2.html?/index.asp&gclid=CPa1jb6t0a0CFQhjhwodsmnroQ ).<br />
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I have not had it done myself but after reading about it, that would be the route I would like to take when I am financially ready. <br />
<br />
Look into this procedure. You may be able to treat your fibroids and still maintain your ability to have children. <br />
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Good Luck to you.<br />
<br />
techlilinu

I have the same problem, surprisingly I am also 26 year old with a useless MBA. I was diagnosed with fibroids a few months ago after having my period for over a month, I hope to have children one day. Between the heavy irregular periods and the depression I'm about to go crazy. I see you posted this earlier this year, what if anything have you decided to do? In the previous post someone mentioned uterine embolization and was wondering if anyone has had this and successfully bared children.

I have fibroids and the heavy bleeding. The things I have learned are that most doctors are only trained and experienced at doing the hysterectomy. Most are not well trained on the less extreme surgeries. There are surgeries that can remove the fibroids only, but most doctors apparently aren't too experienced with that. So you need to do a lot of research on the internet on the treatment options and then a lot of searching for doctors who are very experienced on removing the fibroids only. It's unfortunate that the first doctor women go to is probably not the best trained doctor for them and will not refer them to a better trained doctor (ego problems?).<br />
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I tried the progestin drug, norethindrone, and it was a disaster. It caused constant bleeding and then led to severe anemia after two months. I don't know why the doctors don't know it's a disaster. When I looked it up on the internet, it said it often fails, and I also found that progestin (or progesterone) is known to increase the size of fibroids, so why in the world would a doctor give it to a person with fibroids? It makes no sense. I started the lupron depot drug recently and will see if that drug works until I can have surgery to remove the fibroids in a few months.

I definitely feel your pain. I'm 40 and my mother had fibroids and had to have a hysterectomy around the same age. I found out I had fibroids about 8 years ago but they were just pieces and eventually grew. Now, I'm to the point of very heavy bleeding. I've tried the depot provera and that made my period stay on since February. Today, I received a shot of depot lupron which is supposed to stop the bleeding altogether. I hope so. <br />
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Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one out there dealing with this and only I know what I go through. People tend to think you're whiny or exaggerating when you say you're tired or dont have any energy. On one hand I'm glad to know I'm not alone and on the other, I wish none of us had to deal with this. I think I have about 3 fibroids as well, I guess mine are about the size of a grapefruit, I think that's the size the doctor showed me :/<br />
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You should definitely ask the doctor as many questions as you possibly can. I thought I can try to divert a hysterectomy but it always comes back to needing one eventually. If you want kids, look into the uterine embolization. This is where they go in and cut off the blood supply to the fibroids and the fibroid is supposed to shrink or expel itself. <br />
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How do you handle your symptoms? Mine seem to have a mind of their own lol! Just know that you are not alone!!