African-American women are disproportionately affected by uterine fibroids. We are three times more likely to have fibroids and tumors versus other races. Fibroids occur when tumors develop in the smooth muscle layer of the uterus. Fifty percent of women have them, however, most of the time they are benign.
Estrogen, and how it’s produced in your body, affects the growth of fibroids. Sometimes these tumors may not have symptoms associated with them. However, when symptoms are present, they may include abnormal and/or heavy menstrual cycles, pain during or after sex, and more pressure on your pelvic area.
You may have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids or know someone who has them. Personally, I have a mother, sister, and close friend who have had fibroids and who each made different decisions about which treatment option. Their decisions were based on the goal and outcome they wanted to achieve. The good thing is that there are numerous options which might work for you.
Here are some treatments options for fibroids that have proven to be the most effective:
Treatment Option 1: Myomectomy Fibroid Surgery
In this procedure, only the fibroid tumor(s) is removed. Your uterus and other organs stay intact. This is a surgical procedure in which an incision is done via your stomach area via laparoscopic surgery or using a hysteroscopy (a viewing tool) via your vagina. While the fibroid may come back some years later, this option allows you to remove your fibroid and keep your fertility intact.
Treatment Option 2: Use Medication
Lupron is a commonly used medication to lessen hormonal stimulation. This serves a two-fold purpose. Lupron helps to shrink the size of your fibroids and it also helps to decrease some of the heavy bleeding associated with fibroids. The downside is that this treatment can only be used up to nine months. Once you stop taking the medication, the fibroids return. If a woman is close to menopause, Lupron can be a good option since the fibroids may shrink naturally once a woman enters menopause.