When you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids, symptoms can take a toll: on your health and your relationships. Treatments can help alleviate symptoms, but sometimes so can talking. That’s why, this week, we salute Gwen Tyler as our #Woman Crush. She and hubby Wayne recently opened up about the impact of Gwen’s fibroids on their sex life. We’re sharing her story here to help other couples feel less alone, and to illustrate how the Wayne’s found their way to relief.
Reaching a Fibroid Diagnosis
Before Gwen knew her condition, she and Wayne knew something was wrong. Wayne explained in an Ask4UFE interview, “Something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. She was having irregular periods. We found out she had fibroids during a discussion with [the gynecologist]. For me to watch her go through this was painful because you want to help but you don’t know what to do.”
Once they knew what was wrong, the Tylers still faced intimate challenges. As Gwen explained, ““Sexually, there was no sex, to be quite honest. I was bleeding so much and [my husband] was so concerned about it. He was very patient with me, but it made me feel really bad as a wife that I couldn’t take care of him the way that he needed to be taken care of. It really affected my marriage.”
Intimacy After Fibroids
After getting diagnosed, the Tylers knew that Gwen would seek treatment. They had been hoping to have a family, and her symptoms were making that difficult. As a couple, they researched treatment options together, learning there was more to fibroid treatments than just hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus.) One of the options they discovered made sense: uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). The Waynes learned that this minimally-invasive treatment could alleviate Gwen’s symptoms without surgery–or a hospital stay.
Now, they are encouraging other couples to do their research: and to keep the lines of communication open. As Wayne says, “Husbands and partners who are going through this—the more you know about the condition the better. It helps you to understand and have compassion.”
As for Gwen? She’s happy to be on the road to recovery, and grateful to her supportive husband, who she calls, “her biggest strength and support.” And for her strength in sharing her story with fellow fibroid sufferers? She’s earned a spot in our #WCW hall of fame!