Although uterine fibroids can affect women of all ages and ethnicities, African Americans are more prone to these benign uterine tumors. Many women face this condition during childbearing and a big percentage of women will develop a uterine fibroid by age 50.
Birgit Rakel, MD, director of women’s health at Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and interventional radiologist Carin Gonsalves, MD, of the Jefferson Fibroid Center recently spoke with Essence Magazine about this condition.
“Stress is not known to cause fibroids, but fibroids cause stress,” Dr. Rakel tells Essence. While the cause of fibroids is unknown, many believe genetics, diet and environmental factors play a role.
Some women experience no symptoms and may not know they have a fibroid, while others face severe symptoms. Heavy and frequent bleeding, fatigue, abdominal pressure and even infertility are just some of the warning signs. Fibroids also vary in size. Some are microscopic, while others can reach the size of a lemon or even watermelon.
Treatments include myomectomy, uterine fibroid embolization, and hysterectomy.
“Most women come because they want to preserve their uterus, even if they’re not going to have children,” Dr. Gonsalves explains in the article.
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