Category: Fibroid Symptoms

Just Realized Your Period’s Heavy? Find out Why (and When to Call Us!)

If you’re stuck home right now because of the Coronavirus epidemic, chances are you’re paying more attention to your body. And, if that’s the case, you may have suddenly noticed: your period’s pretty heavy!

There’s lots of reasons your period gets heavy (and we’ll go through them shortly. It’s important to know your why, so you can determine if you need to seek medical care.) But first, let’s talk about what it means to have a ‘heavy’ period.

How Can I Tell if My Period’s Too Heavy? tampons

Like everything to do with your body, some of this is personal. If your period is suddenly much heavier than it used to be (you’re soaking through tampons or pads more rapidly), that on its own could be a warning sign.

But there is a medical condition, known as menorrhagia, which refers to a possibly-dangerous amount of period blood loss. Signs of this condition include soaking your tampon or pad every hour, for several hours in a row. Or, if you need to use a tampon and pad to avoid leaking, you may have a problem. It’s also problematic if your period lasts longer than a week, if you pass clots that are bigger than a quarter, or if your flow is affecting your sleep and daily activities.

Why Is My Period So Heavy? 4 Potential Causes of Heavy Bleeding

There are several reasons your period might be heavy. Let’s explore a few, and discuss what to do if you think that’s your ‘why.’

1. You Have Fibroids

Fibroids are (almost always) non-cancerous tumors that develop in, on or around your uterus. Fibroids cause heavy and long periods. But that’s not the only symptom that pops up with fibroids. If your heavy periods are the result of fibroids, you may have other symptoms like pelvic pain, constipation, frequent urination, and even bloating or weight gain (larger fibroids can make you look like you’re in the early stages of pregnancy!)

If you experience heavy periods, and any of the other fibroid symptoms we described, call your gynecologist or a fibroid specialist for a screening.

2. You’ve Got Thyroid Problems

Your thyroid actually plays a role in regulating your menstrual cycle, so when it’s malfunctioning, your period could stop completely. Or it could get really heavy. Typically, heavy periods are a sign of an underactive thyroid because this can impact your ovaries progesterone production, and that’s the hormone which regulates your period flow.

If an underactive thyroid is causing your heavy periods, you may also experience fatigue, dry skin, brittle nails and hair loss. Got these symptoms too? It’s best to seek the advice of an endocrinologist regarding your thyroid help.

3. You’re Entering Menopause

In the years and months before menopause, your period will change. It won’t come as often, and it could last longer, and be heavier when it does show up.

Since your period is coming less frequently, your uterine lining will get thicker before it sheds. This means when it does arrive, your period will be much heavier. You may also pass more and larger clots. So, if you’re approaching the age of menopause, and your period’s getting heavier, you don’t need to be concerned. Instead, acknowledge your changing body and start preparing mentally for your next stage of life.

4. That Extra Exercise is Causing Changes Happy African American Woman Smiling Outside

Are you using the pandemic to become a crazy runner? Or taking online fitness classes every single day? When you suddenly ramp up your activity levels, your adjusting body may lose its hormonal balance. As a result, your periods may get heavier. And this heavy flow could last for a few cycles, especially if you keep upping your fitness game.

If you’ve been training extra hard during the pandemic, and now your flow is off, you probably don’t need to go into your doctor’s office. You may, however, want to discuss hormone-balancing measures you could take from home. And possibly build a rest day into your schedule!

 

Now you know some possible causes for your heavy period flow, it’s time to start looking carefully at all of your menstrual symptoms. And please know that, even in these crazy times, we are here to help you find relief from period pain. Houston fibroids is open and here for you!

Sources: Prevention Magazine

What’s the Difference Between Polyps & Fibroids?

If you’ve heard about fibroids and polyps, you want to know: are these uterine growths similar? Plus, you may avoid unnecessary medical visits right now, so you need virtual guidance. So, here’s the quick answer: no! These two reproductive health issues are very different. And that means that fibroids and polyps require very different treatment plans. pain from uterine fibroidsSo now, let’s take a closer look at each growth. In that way, we can really understand the differences. 

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Fibroids are growths within or on the uterine wall. They are made up of muscle tissue. Most often, fibroids develop within the walls of your uterus, then push outward toward the uterus. These tumors usually appear during your childbearing years. Still, they can form at any time. 

In terms of size, fibroids grow from a few centimeters up to the size of an orange. In fact, in extreme cases, they can reach the size of a small fetus! Many women who suffer from fibroids feel pelvic pain or pressure, but other common symptoms include:

  • Heavy, long-lasting periods
  • Frequent urination
  • Incontinence
  • Painful intercourse
  • Infertility

What are Uterine Polyps?

Like fibroids, polyps are growths that develop around the uterine wall, but that’s where the similarities end. That’s because polyps are tied to your periods. Once you start menstruation, you shed your uterine lining. It then regenerates after the period cycle. Over time, roundish growths (polyps) may develop as the uterine lining returns.  There are two types of polyps: pedunculated (attached to the uterine wall by a stalk) or sessile (attached by a large base). Most polyps range in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters.

Pedunculated polyps are the most. And they may stick out of your uterus into the vagina. However, the polyps won’t be painful unless they protrude. Of course, polyps cause other symptoms, including irregular periods, spotting between menstrual periods, infertility and bleeding after menopause. 

The Differences Between Uterine Polyps & Fibroids

Now check out the main differences between polyps and fibroids:

Uterine Polyps

Uterine Fibroids

Made of endometrium tissue

Formed from muscle tissue

Grows within the endometrium tissue

Develops within the uterine wall

Grows to be a few centimeters maximum

Can reach the size of an orange

Periods are usually irregular and spotty

Menstrual cycles are usually heavy and long-lasting

Doesn’t usually cause pain

Pain can be chronic and severe

 

If you are suffering any symptoms listed above, make an appointment with a fibroid specialist. Call Houston Fibroids at (713) 575-3686 to schedule your consultation. 

Sources: www.health.harvard.edu

5 Reasons Sex Might Hurt (And How to Talk about It)

Did you know that one out of every five women experiences pain during intercourse? But did you also know that this common problem is on you shouldn’t have to live with?

If you are experiencing painful sex (dyspareunia) it’s important to see your healthcare professional and seek treatment. Before you can seek treatment, however, you need to know what’s causing your pain. So, let’s take a look: what are some common triggers of painful sex?

5 Reasons Sex May be Painful

1. Hormones

Certain hormonal changes, like the ones that come when you breastfeed or enter menopause, can leave you with vaginal dryness. If this is the case for you, adding lubricant can help make intercourse comfortable again.

2. Medical Conditions

There are several health problems that can make sex extremely painful. Some of the most common causes for painful sex include Uterine fibroids , Endometriosis, Pelvic inflammatory disease, IBS and Sexually transmitted infections. 

3. Tight Muscles

If you’ve never been able to have sex without pain, you may have primary vaginismus, a condition in which the muscles of your vaginal canal spasm during intercourse, making penetration painful, if not impossible.

4. New Muscle Spasms

If painful sex is new to you, you still may have vaginismus. But your vaginal spasms could be triggered by secondary vaginismus if you’ve previously been able to enjoy sex without pain. This is a condition that impacts between 5 and 17% of women. And, while there’s no clear cause for this condition, it is often triggered by a difficult labor and delivery process, a vaginal infection or endometriosis.

5. Burning issues

Some women experience burning pain in their vaginal openings. If there’s no clear trigger for this pain you will likely be diagnosed with vulvodynia. Many women with this condition are in so much pain, they aren’t even able to use tampons without discomfort.

Discussing Painful Sex with your Partner Results after UFE

When sex hurts, it’s hard for you. But it’s also hard on your partner and your relationship. If you’re dealing with this problem, intimacy is still possible. You and your partner just need to talk openly and honestly. Here are some tips for making that conversation easier. 

First off, you should dedicate a specific time to talk. Remove all distractions like phones so you can truly focus on each other. Next, explain as much as you know about what’s causing your painful sex. You could talk about the physical and emotional impact, and emphasize that as a result, you are less interested in sex, not in your partner.

Also, if it’s helpful, bring your partner to your doctor’s appointment, so he or she can bring up questions and concerns. This could also help you feel like a united team. 

How Can I Put a Stop to Painful Sex

With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, sex should stop hurting. In order to get that diagnosis, be open with your partner and your healthcare provider. And if you realize that uterine fibroids are to blame for your painful intercourse, seeking treatment should help you enjoy intimacy once again. But, before seeking that treatment, make sure you consider all your treatment options: especially minimally invasive treatments like Uterine Fibroid Embolization.

Sources: Australian Study of Health and Relationships, womenshealth.au

How Do I Know if I Have Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine FibroidsUterine fibroids are far more common than you might think. According to the National Institutes of Health, 80 to 90 percent of African American women and 70 percent of Caucasian women will develop fibroids before the age of 50. 

Since uterine fibroids are prevalent, can cause severe symptoms and can even lead to trouble getting or staying pregnant, it is important to know the warning signs of fibroid development.

Who is At-Risk?

African American women are three times more likely than caucasian women to develop fibroids; they are also more likely to develop several fibroids at a time. Other factors that could increase a woman’s risk of developing fibroids include your age (being over 40) and your weight, since obesity increases your risk. You should also learn your family history of fibroids, and understand that high blood pressure, or never having a pregnancy, could also increase your risk. 

Can I Lower My Fibroid Risk?

While many factors can increase your fibroid risk, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of developing these non-cancerous uterine tumors. Some measures include:

  • Becoming pregnant
  • Balancing your hormones
  • Long-term use of birth control pills or shots
  • Following a fibroid friendly diet (see more here

 

What are the Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids?

Every case is different and some women may never experience symptoms, but a majority of women with fibroids experience at least one of these three common symptoms. 

Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

The most common symptom for women with fibroid tumors is excessive bleeding while menstruating. Often times, the bleeding is prolonged, causing periods to last longer than normal. This can lead to soiling of clothing and may interfere with everyday activities.

Pelvic Pain & Pressure

Women with fibroids may feel pain in their lower abdomen. As fibroids grow larger, depending on their size and location, they may cause pain by putting pressure on organs. In addition, it could cause swelling that is often mistaken as weight gain or pregnancy. 

Loss of Bladder Control

Fibroids can press against the bladder causing frequent urination and even loss of bladder control. Not only can this cause a great deal of pain, it can disrupt your everyday activities. In addition, fibroid growth can place pressure on the bowel, causing constipation and bloating.

Reaching a Uterine Fibroid Diagnosis

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment with our fibroid specialists. Fibroids can usually be found during a simple abdominal or pelvic exam. If your doctor feels that you may have fibroids, an ultrasound or MRI may be used to confirm the diagnosis and proceed with treatment

 

 

Warning: Fibroid Meds Linked to Liver Damage

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop in and on your uterus. They often give you symptoms such as heavy periods, pelvic pain and more. In order to alleviate those symptoms, you’ll need to treat your fibroids. But, for some women, choosing the wrong treatment could mean even more medical problems!

The Danger of Fibroid Medications

 

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has advised that women taking Esmya, a fibroid medication, may experience liver injury from the drug. In order to prevent this complication, the EMA has implemented a series of precautions for doctors to review before prescribing Esmya as a fibroid treatment. 

When working properly, Esmya is supposed to reduce the bleeding and anemia associated with uterine fibroids. Unfortunately, some women taking Esmya have suffered liver injuries. In response, the EMA now recommends that all patients should have liver screenings before and after taking the drug. You should never take Esmya if you’ve had liver problems. Even for healthy women, Esmya isn’t a great choice: in fact,  according to the EMA, you should only take this drug if you don’t have other options.  

Embolization: A Less Complex Fibroid Treatment

Sadly, many women are not aware of UFE, a minimally invasive fibroid treatment with many fewer potential complications. Women who are eligible for UFE can expect a one hour, outpatient procedure that’s minimally invasive.  In fact, most women stand up and walk around right after UFE, because we conduct the procedure through an artery in your arm. Best of all, UFE is a permanent fibroid solution, but it doesn’t affect any other body part. And that’s because we deliver treatment directly to your uterine growths.

If you have been prescribed medications to help manage your uterine fibroid growths, you must explore all of your potential treatment options. Contact our Houston Fibroids practice to see if UFE can help you avoid the potential complications of fibroid medications. 

5 Period Warning Signs That Just Aren’t Normal

So many people are too shy or embarrassed to talk about their periods, and that’s a big problem: if you don’t speak up, you may worry needlessly or you may never identify symptoms that indicate a bigger medical problem. In order to help you navigate this sensitive subject, we’re breaking down what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to your monthly visitor. Keep in mind, however, that every woman’s cycle is different, so it’s worth mentioning any major changes to your OBGYN, even if they are seemingly within the normal range. 

First things first, though: a quick review of the basics.

What is your period?

A period is the shedding of your uterine lining. This lining builds up over the course of the month in preparation for pregnancy. “If you don’t get pregnant, your hormone levels drop, and the lining separates from your uterus. That’s when you experience the bleeding known as your period.

Bleeding

Normal: Women’s periods are typically heavier at the start of their cycle, and gradually become lighter.

Not Normal: If you have to change your pad or tampon more than every few hours; if you are bleeding 

through protection or having to get up at night to change your protection so you avoid stained sheets; or if you are passing large clots, you may be experiencing abnormal bleeding. And, while the excess bleeding can be problematic on its own (left unchecked, it can cause anemia), it could also be the sign of underlying problems like fibroids, certain cancers or other medical concerns.

Clotting

Normal: When you’re flowing regularly, you may notice some smaller blood clumps (or clots), especially on your heaviest days.

Not Normal: If you’re passing larger clots—anything bigger than the size of a quarter—that’s a sign of possible problems. Even if your clots are smaller, but you see them frequently, it’s worth discussing with your health care provider.

Timing

Normal: Again, all women are unique, but ‘normal; cycles range from 21 to 35 days between the first day of one period to the first day of the next. The bleeding typically lasts between three and eight days, according to their website.

Not normal: Once you’re out of adolescence and have established your normal cycle range, any major timing changes could be problematic. Missing a few cycles when you aren’t pregnant? That’s something to discuss with your doctor. Bleeding outside of your regular period, or during sex? Another issue to discuss with a medical caregiver. Changes in your cycle often indicate that your body is under stress; it’s important to figure out the source of that stress before other areas of your health are affected.

Pain

Normal: Mild discomfort during your period is normal, and should be easily managed with OTC medications. Standard cramps or period-related discomfort shouldn’t affect your day to day life.

Not normal: Pain that can’t be managed with drugstore medications is a sign of a problem. Pain that causes nausea and vomiting, should also be cause for concern, especially of the pain begins to radiate down your legs. Excessive pain could be an indication of endometriosis or adenomyosis, conditions that are difficult to diagnose if women aren’t forthcoming about their symptoms.

Pelvic pain experienced outside of your period is also not ‘normal’ and should be investigated further, as it is a potential indication of fibroids, non-cancerous tumors that develop in and around your uterus.

Lifestyle Changes

Normal: You may slow down or rest a bit more while on your period, but it’s your choice. You easily keep up with your regular routine and everyday demands.

Not normal: Your period leaves you exhausted and barely able to make it through your day, let alone add on extras like time with friends or bonus sweat sessions (which is a shame, since exercise can help combat menstrual cramps.) Sometimes, your period is so intrusive, you have to call in sick to work or skip school. These are signs that you may have anemia because of excessive blood loss. Which certainly means you need to talk to your doctor about abnormal periods!

 

Thankfully, treatment is available for almost all the conditions that make your period “not normal.” But the only way to receive help is to speak up, so discuss any menstrual cycle changes with your doctor as soon as you identify an issue!

Check Out This Crucial Women’s Health Revelation

When it comes to fibroid symptoms like heavy bleeding, different doctors offer different treatments. Unfortunately,  hysterectomy (the complete removal of a woman’s uterus) is a top suggestion. Since 1995, fibroid doctors like Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee offer embolization. This is a process that cuts off fibroids’ blood flow, shrinking them without invasive surgery. 

Now, we want to help spread the word about non-invasive treatments. That’s because they can make a major impact on your long-term well-being! In fact, science now confirms that women have better long-term outcomes with embolization! 

Why Hysterectomy isn’t Always The Fibroid Answer

A 10-year Dutch study followed 156 women after their uterine fibroid treatments. All of the women had symptoms that could have been treated with hysterectomies. But 81 were treated with embolization and 75 had hysterectomies. Ten years later, the women reported their quality of life. And only 28 embolization patients still needed a hysterectomy! Plus, the  53 women who avoided hysterectomies were just as symptom-free as the 75 women who had hysterectomies right away. In short, the results prove that hysterectomies shouldn’t be the first plan of attack in a fibroid treatment plan. As study leader Jim Reekers says, “Uterine artery embolization is a well-documented and good alternative to hysterectomy for symptomatic uterine fibroids, on which all eligible patients should be counseled.” 

What’s Involved in UAE and UFE?

Uterine fibroid embolization (or uterine artery embolization)is minimally invasive. Interventional Radiologists, doctors trained to provide minimally invasive procedures, perform this procedure. Before treatment, you’ll undergo testing. If you’re a candidate, your entire procedure lasts less than one hour. Better yet, it’s  performed as outpatient therapy. You’ll likely stay no longer than 23 hours after your procedure.

And what happens in the procedure? UFE begins with a tiny incision in your femoral artery. This gives allows us to pass a small tube into your femoral artery, so we can access the uterine artery. Using special X-ray equipment, we then guides the catheter to your fibroid. Next, your IR injects embolic material (small spheres) through the catheter.  

This embolic material blocks vessels around the fibroid. Then, the tumor shrinks without the blood and oxygen it needs to grow. And the material stays in your vessels permanently, so the fibroid doesn’t return. 

Next, we move the catheter to the other side of your uterus, usually using the same incision. And, after we embolize both sides of the uterine artery, we gently remove your catheter and place finger pressure over the small incision in your thigh. After a few minutes, we’ll likely close the incision.

After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort such as abdominal cramping or pain. You may need some medication. But our skilled nurses will help you with post-procedure care. We’ll also schedule your post procedure follow up appointments.That way, you’ll come in at the optimal time. 

Find Out More

Many women with fibroids can clearly avoid hysterectomy. And embolization can still delay surgery and menopause, even for women who eventually require one. When it comes to your health, knowledge is power. Before undergoing a life-altering hysterectomy, or any invasive fibroid treatment, schedule a consultation with our office team. We are happy to discuss your eligibility for UFE. 

Sources: Parent’s Africa Magazine, CVIR Endovascular Journal

Learn the Hidden Danger in Black Women’s Hair Products

Uterine fibroids are just worse for black women than for any other group. African Americans develop these tumors three times as often as women of other races. Plus, their fibroids develop earlier–often in their twenties. In comparison, most white women don’t get fibroids until their 30s. Of course, those are scary statistics. But what’s worse? We don’t have concrete explanations for the disparities. What we do have, however, are theories. And one of those theories has to do with hair styling. 

Could Hair Products Impact Fibroids?

 

Hair products–can’t live without ’em, right? Well, as it turns out, it also may not be wise to live with them. 

According to the Silent Spring Institute, many of the hair products marketed to black women are full of harmful chemicals. Ever wondered why they smell so bad? It’s basically the poisons inside them. They’re just revealing their nature. 

In fact, there is some science to back up this claim. A 2017 Rutgers University study linked breast cancer and Black women’s use of hair relaxers. A 2012 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology associated fibroid risk with the use of hair relaxers. Shirley McDonald of the Hair and Scalp Clinic says, “We now know that many hair products contain chemicals that are considered carcinogenic and/or hormone disrupters, leading to increased risk of medical issues such as fibroids (non-cancerous tumors that grow in the uterus, potentially damaging fertility and leading to a host of other complications). Trichologists see lots of conditions that are likely to be triggered by hair products, particularly central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, a type of permanent hair loss to the crown area of the scalp.”

Chemicals in Black Women’s Hair Products

Among the many dangerous substances in black women’s hair products? Cyclosiloxanes, nonylphenols (also found in certain detergents), and phthalates (also found in plastics, they are the main reason people are working to ban plastics from food containers.) Besides their toxicity, each of these chemicals share a common bond–they have all been linked to hormone disruption as well as an increased risk of developing fibroids, asthma, infertility, and even cancer. That’s a hefty price to pay for shinier hair. 

Throwing Flames on the Fire


Being exposed to these chemicals is particularly troubling for black women, as they already have a higher risk of developing fibroids than other populations of women. Family history plays a part in that risk but, more and more, certain hair products are also starting to shoulder the blame. According to the Silent Spring study mentioned earlier, 80% of Black hair products they tested contained “endocrine-disrupting and asthma-causing chemicals.” Products examined included by the study included relaxers, hot oil treatments, leave-in conditioners, and anti-frizz balms. The scariest statistic? Hair relaxers that specifically targeted children had the highest levels of chemicals; many of those chemicals have already been banned in the EU. 

New Evidence Links Relaxers to Female Cancers two friends talking together

Of course, fibroids are a major problem. But hair relaxers are linked to so many other health problems. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) just released results from an eight-year study. They followed over 46,000 women, of all races between the ages of 35–74. And they found a link between chemical hair relaxers and breast cancer. Perhaps not surprisingly, African American women had a 45 percent increased risk of breast cancer as compared to women of other races.

Taking Action

While you can’t do anything about your family history, being selective about the hair products you choose can certainly go along way towards protecting your health. To find out more about dangerous hair care products and your individual fibroid risk, please contact our office for a consultation with Dr. Fox or Dr. Hardee. 

Sources: NY Times parenting, Silent Spring Institute, NIH

How Much Bleeding is Too Much?

Woman with uterine fibroids
Listen to your body to know if heavy bleeding is a warning sign for fibroids

You may have heard that heavy bleeding is a sign of fibroids, but how can you tell the difference between normal and abnormal blood flow? Here are some helpful tips to help figure out what’s going on with your body: 

5 Signs of Abnormal Bleeding

  1. Bleeding between periods is considered abnormal.
  2. Experiencing more than one period in a month is also outside of normal bleeding. 
  3. A period that lasts longer than 7-9 days is potential cause for concern. 
  4. Flow that’s heavy enough to keep you from your daily activities should be considered a red flag. 
  5. Bleeding after menopause could indicate the presence of a uterine fibroid or other problematic condition. 

If you experience any of the above warning signs, or if you are passing blood clots that are larger than golf balls during your menstrual cycle, it is definitely time to see your doctor. Any one of these symptoms could be a sign of fibroids, polyps or adenomyosis, a condition in which endometrial tissue grows into and around the uterine wall. 

As always, when it comes to your health, the old adage is true: better safe than sorry. The best indicator of worrisome bleeding is bleeding that makes you worry. If you’re concerned about changes in your menstrual cycle, it is always a good idea to see a doctor. While everything may be normal, you’ll never know what’s going on with your body unless you speak up and see your physician. 

At your doctors office, simple procedures like blood tests and ultrasounds can determine the cause of your unusual bleeding. Once you have a diagnosis, you and your doctor can determine the best treatment plan to manage your heavy bleeding and other symptoms, so don’t delay. Contact our office and schedule an appointment today. 

Sources: Healthline.com 

#WCW: The Fibroid That Almost Took Down an Olympic Athlete

‘s When we think about Olympic athletes, we think about strength, dedication and perseverance. And all three of those words aptly describe Tianna Bartoletta, a two-time Olympic athlete with three Track & Field gold medals to her name. Stiff competition from around the world couldn’t stop her from coming out on top in sprinting or long-jump events. But an undetected-fibroid tumor nearly ended her career…and possibly even her life. Just check out the incredible story she shared on her personal blog, https://tiannabee.com/.

First Signs of a Problem

Tianna reports that her journey began with a mandatory drug-screening for athletes. Rather than finding illicit drugs in her system, Tianna’s screening revealed that she was severely anemic. When she went into the hospital for treatment, the elite athlete told her doctors about her suspected source of the problem. Recently, she’d gone from having short, light periods to cycles that were extremely heavy and lasted 14 days!

Her doctors took in this information, gave her some iron infusions and sent her away…with a diagnosed thyroid condition! The iron infusions gave her more energy, but she was still having heavy periods. And it wasn’t until a disappointing performance at the U.S. Nationals, plus a fainting spell at the hospital, that doctors finally discovered the cause of her problems. You guessed it…a giant fibroid was taking up almost all the space in her uterus.

As Tianna tells it, “I’m back on the table now in the ultra sound room. The grainy black and white picture is displayed on a monitor mounted on a wall in front of me. If I didn’t already know I wasn’t pregnant I would have been alarmed. Because there was something there. Occupying a large area of my uterus. A fibroid tumor.” Now that she finally knew the source of her problems, it was time to seek treatment.

Surgery is the Only Option

Because Tianna’s diagnosis was so delayed, and because she’d lost so much blood, her fibroid had to come out right away. She was scheduled for emergency surgery the same day as her diagnostic ultrasound. And she remembered that her mother had also dealt with fibroids—but with a dramatically different outcome.

“My mother has gone through the same thing, with the exception that when she did it the recommendation was a hysterectomy-which she got,” Tianna reflected. Fortunately, though Tianna did need surgery, she opted for a fertility-sparing myomectomy (even though that means her fibroids may return.)

Unfortunately, Tianna is just one of many African-American women struggling to deal with fibroids. In fact, women of color are three times more likely to develop these non-cancerous tumors as compared to white women.

So, that’s the bad news, but here’s the reassurance: women today have more options than ever when it comes to treating fibroids. With an early diagnosis, surgery is often avoidable. And women are free to explore less-invasive options like Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE.) The key, however, is to learn the fibroid symptoms (like pelvic pain and long, heavy periods) so you find the tumors before you reach a condition like Tianna’s. 

A message regarding COIVD-19

We are keeping a close eye on COVID-19 developments in the greater Houston area, and encourage you to do the same. To ensure that our patients are able to receive the care they need, Texas Endovascular/Houston Fibroids will remain open and accessible. Because we are not a primary care or hospital environment where sick patients would go for testing or treatment for COVID-19, we feel that the risk of exposure in our office is low. To supplement our rigorous standard precautions for health and safety, please refer to the following guidelines:

Please refer to the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most current information. The CDC reminds us to follow best practices, including washing hands often with soap and water, not touching our eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding contact with people who are sick, and limiting personal contact, including shaking hands. Learn more about the CDC recommendations here.

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