Interactions of Fibroids with Pregnancy.

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Hey lovelies! Apologies for not posting this earlier, it has been such a busy month! *Angie here: when I started thinking about fibroids and their association with pregnancy, my initial emotion was fear and uncertainty. At my age, I thought I’d be getting my first kid, or even onto my second child (owe my teenage fantasies!). For the most part of my life I have been very ignorant about reproductive health issues and up to the time I got my fibroid diagnosis, I only cared to learn how I’d make my vagina smell nicer or how I’d make sure my occasional encounters with candidiasis or bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infections didn’t recur. It turns out that there is this whole information base concerning female reproductive health that I did not know. The saddest part about all this is that I knew a lot more than most women know. I have seen about four gynecologists, and two of them have recommended surgery. But I’ve still been toying with the idea of getting pregnant even while having the fibroids. So I’ve been doing some research on how fibroids affect pregnancy and I’d very much like to share some of the details with you guys! Apart from the obvious symptoms of fibroids, when a woman with fibroids gets pregnant, there’s usually an increase in estrogen almost immediately. Estrogen, as we now know is a risk factor for developing fibroids, even without the pregnancy bit. So this is where it gets scary. Firstly, yes, it is possible to get pregnant when one has fibroids. During the first trimester however, one of two things may happen; the fibroids may undergo either red degeneration, or white degeneration. Red degeneration means that fibroids bleed into themselves, and in white degeneration, portions may undergo cell death and become cystic. These two occurrences may cause abdominal pain at the site where the fibroid is located, but over-the-counter pain medication can be used to relieve this. For more information, you can check out https://www.livestrong.com/article/255242-signs-of-fibroid-degeneration/ Research has shown that most women with fibroids actually do pull through pregnancy. Depending on the location and the number of fibroids, women may experience complications such as slight bleeding, abdominal pain, fever, and slight increased risk of miscarriage. Some sites indicate that fibroids can reduce in size during pregnancy. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/health-and-safety-issues/fibroids-during-pregnancy/ .Fibroids occasionally cause the baby to be in an abnormal location during delivery (breech birth), and increase chances of pre-term delivery (giving birth before the full 37 weeks are complete). Chances of having a cesarean section increase substantially as well. There are more serious complications of fibroids during pregnancy such as placental abruption, and bleeding after the baby is born, which you can peruse right here. https://www.webmd.com/women/uterine-fibroids/what-if-i-have-uterine-fibroids-while-pregnant#1 .The good news is that 70-80% of fibroids shrink after delivery, and although some women may experience the above complications, the baby is not affected at all. The biggest issue with pregnancy in women with fibroids is pain. This seems to be largely influenced by the size, location, and the number of fibroids. This is where your gynecologist or doctor comes in, I think this is very important during pregnancy in any case is keeping in contact with your doctor. If you have fibroids, which most women come to find out when trying to get pregnant or when going for prenatal checkups, you will need to make consistent trips to the doctor even when the pain is not there. This is because all our bodies are unique in their own ways and all pregnancies, regardless of fibroid presence or absence, are different. For more info http://www.emedmd.com/content/fibroids-pregnancy .Some doctors go as far as recommending myomectomy or embolization during pregnancy. I think that this happens in rare cases, and almost definitely not in Kenya, due to the risk that comes with the procedures. I have done a lot of research on fibroids and their interactions with pregnancy, but I’m still very unsure about my decision regarding getting pregnant. Maybe I’ll just cross my fingers and hope everything will fall into place. I really hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, or stories you want to share, feel free to send to this email; endocringe33@gmail.com you are not alone, we are in this together! ❤

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Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome

This is a piece on Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome. I read it through and it really got me thinking. We are largely limited on the information we get from our doctors. YOU have a right to ask your doctor all the questions that you feel you want to ask. YOU have a responsibility to yourself, to do extensive research on the condition that you, or your loved one may have. Get as many opinions from doctors as possible before going through any procedure, no matter how small. Take care of yourself.

the_elephant_in_the_womb_-_sterilization_syndrome

After giving birth to my fourth child, my husband and I decided we were D-O-N-E. Done. So done. We had 3 beautiful girls and now a precious son to complete our family. This last pregnancy was physically hard on me. I did not have any complication or issues, other than extreme pelvic pain from the […]

via Sarah opens up about her struggle with PTLS. — Trinity Doula Services

My Approach

This is an amazing story.Check it out! ❤

Fighting my Fibroids

I wish I could be the perfect case study. I wish I could take some experimental drug, measured in milliliters, compared up against my doppelganger with identical fibroids, taking a placebo. Take an ultrasound every month and measure her tumors against mine.

As it stands, I am basically throwing everything up against the wall in hopes something sticks. And I probably won’t have any evidence of my progress or lack thereof for a while. I was recommended to have another ultrasound done in 6 months. That’s taking me up to November.

I’m willing to consider surgical options to get rid of the tumors. Especially if I can stop them from growing and figure out the underlying cause. I’m especially keen on what they call uterine artery embolization–that doesn’t require any surgery. Another thing I’d be willing to try is focused laser or ultrasound–basically burning the tumors remotely. That still has…

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Get Your Nerd ON!

Hey There! It’s Angie! When I was diagnosed with fibroids, I wanted to know as much as possible, as soon as possible. I wished that there was a simple outline of basic information about fibroids, as well as my immediate options that I could access without having to browse through a thousand web pages, most of which are not even relevant to the Kenyan contest. I hope these summary pieces do help you, the reader get an overview of what it means to have fibroids, and what you, or someone you care about can do.

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This is the best illustration of the different types of fibroids that I have so far. For further research, you can click on the link above and learn more.

Intramural fibroids>>> are the most common types of fibroids, and they grow in the wall of the uterus.

Subserosal Fibroids>>> grow on the outside wall of the Uterus. These, as they grow larger, one can actually feel them. If you feel a hard mass pressing against your bladder, you need to go for a checkup as soon as possible.

Submucosal Fibroids >>>grow almost to the surface of the uterine lining. These have an ability to crowd the cavity of your uterus and usually cause heavy menstrual bleeding and potentially, anemia if not managed.

Pedunculated Fibroids>>> are not that common. They grow on small stalks, outside or inside the womb.

In case you are wondering, yes, it is possible to have more than one type of Fibroid.

    https://www.webmd.com/women/uterine-fibroids/ss/slideshow-fibroid-overview

How Fibroids are diagnosed;

In my case, when I went to see my doctor, she first used her hands to examine my abdomen, and once she could feel the mass herself, she sent me for an ultra sound. They did an external ultrasound at first, and then a Transvaginal ultrasound (inside the vagina), to confirm that there wasn’t any fibroids growing inside the uterus.

Brooke* did an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which in my opinion is much better because you get to have that full body examination, and any other conditions you might have may be captured then. If you have a good Medical Insurance (even NHIF) or Kshs. 10,000-15,000 at hand, you’ll want to just go the MRI way.

X-ray- Use of electromagnetic energy to produce images of bones and internal organs on film.

*These are not all diagnostic methods for fibroids, but they are currently the most common used by hospitals in Kenya. You can look up more ways here http://obgyn.ucla.edu/fibroids or, even better, consult your trusted medical practitioner for options.

Now, am certain that all diagnosis are based at the hospital, but after a lot of research I have realized that the solutions are not entirely clinical. Here are the options that you may need to consider after your diagnosis.

If you just had a fibroid diagnosis, chances are that you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms shared previously. Your options will depend a lot on your symptoms, and how they are affecting your life.

Painful menstrual periods; The best way, as documented by most researchers for managing painful periods, even for women without fibroids is physical activity. You can choose to exercise, even at home for at least 30 minutes a day, or fill your day with activity; walk around the office more often, join a group of friends in a sporty activity, or even take long walks before or after school/work. The options here depend on your schedule.

Taking pain relieving medicine is fine as well, but not as effective as exercise. (Trust me on this one!)

Surgical Treatment for Fibroids

Doctors can do various procedures to rid you of the fibroids:

  1. Hysterectomy; Surgical removal of your entire uterus (suitable for women who do not desire to have children). You will definitely need to be okay with losing your uterus for good.
  2. Myomectomy; Surgical removal of just your fibroids. This procedure is suitable for women who still want to conceive. However, further investigations into your lifestyle need to be done, in order to prevent recurrence of the fibroids, since the procedure does not take care of the root cause of fibroid growth.
  • Embolization; this procedure is extremely uncommon in Kenya. Discovered in 1975, the procedure involves cutting off blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink, without having to undergo a hysterectomy or a myomectomy. Research doesn’t clearly state if this procedure is safe enough to allow women to conceive and have a normal pregnancy. For more information… fibroids.com

There are other holistic (characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.) approaches to managing and/or treating fibroids. For the average Kenyan, managing your diet, and incorporating exercise and physical activities in your LIFE is very, very important, whether you have gone through the surgery or not. Some links on this are listed below;

https://draxe.com/fibroids/

http://natural-fertility-info.com/the-best-natural-remedies-for-fibroids.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkva4p55UhY

That is all for today,we hope that was quite informational and will help someone out and save them a lot of time on research .We Care! ❤

#self-discovery #reproductive-health #ladies #fibroids #love #growth #acceptance #friendship

Nitty-gritty!

 

01Hello loves, it is about time we got to really understand this very common condition that is becoming a nightmare even to younger ladies like us.

Fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) tumors that grow from the muscle layers of the uterus (womb).They are also known as uterine fibroids, myomas, or fibromyomas (the singular of uterine fibroids is uterine fibroma). Fibroids are growths of smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. Fibroids can vary in size, from that of a bean to as large as a melon.

 

Fibroids affect at least 20% of all women at some time during their life. Women aged between 30 and 50 are the most likely to develop fibroids but can also occur at a much younger age like us. Research shows that by age 50, 70% of white women and 80% of black women are diagnosed with uterine fibroids. A large number of these women have no symptoms, but many women in their 30s and 40s do.

It is unclear why fibroids develop, but several factors may influence their formation, such as;

Hormones

Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones produced by the ovaries. They cause the uterine lining to regenerate during each menstrual cycle and may stimulate the growth of fibroids.

Family History

Fibroids may run in the family. If your mother, sister, or grandmother has a history of this condition, you may develop it as well.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases the production of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Fibroids may develop and grow rapidly while you are pregnant.

 

Women suffer in silence with symptoms like;

heavy bleeding between or during your periods that includes blood clots

pain in the pelvis and/or lower back

increased menstrual cramping

frequent urination

pain during intercourse

menstruation that lasts longer than usual

pressure or fullness in the lower abdomen

swelling or enlargement of the abdomen

Back pain

Anemia due to excess blood loss

Fatigue

Problems conceiving and difficult pregnancies

That is all for today,we hope that was quite informational and will help someone out there.We Care! ❤

#self-discovery #reproductive-health #ladies #fibroids #love #growth #acceptance #friendship

It Was Like a Movie!

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Hey guys, it’s Brooke* here… Weeks after my diagnosis, my mind was on a whirlwind because I was on the denial stage. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me at such a young age and I  felt stranded and confused on the next step I was to take, but all I  knew from the little research I had done is that  I  had to make some major lifestyle changes before I  figured out the way forward.
The only people who knew about what I was going through were my parents and a close doctor friend. My younger sister came to stay with me for a while but I did not feel the need to open up to her because I felt that she wouldn’t understand.
I had really thought whether to open up to Angie* about my diagnosis but I was afraid that she wouldn’t get it too and she would just tell me that it would be OK like everyone else.

One day I went to see Angie* and as we were catching up, I had a deep urge to talk to her about fibroids but I  choose the “asking for a Friend” approach  so that I  could hear what she thought about this whole thing. The moment I started talking, she seemed caught off guard like she wasn’t expecting me to bring something of that sort up.

She asked me why I  was asking and if I had them  and I couldn’t lie,just found myself opening up to her and to my shock she exclaimed that she had  them too!!! Can u imagine!  That was the perfect bitter-sweet moment because we just found out that we were going through the same damn thing in silence while we would have had each other’s shoulder to lean on.

We get to talk about everything we are going through, share information and encourage each other. I must admit this whole issue feel way lighter in my heart knowing that I have someone who I can open up to and understands exactly what I am saying. We hope to encourage someone who feels like they are alone in this because we know exactly how that feels. 😉

#self-discovery #reproductive-health #ladies #fibroids #love #growth #acceptance #friendship

Reflections!

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Hey. Angie here. Its the September already!  I am seated on my couch thinking about how much my life has changed this year. The latest event yet being my fibroid diagnosis.

I have had a spectrum of emotional variations since then, but I must say that my outlook of life in general is transforming at a rate that I could never have imagined.

The week after my doctor’s visit I basically laid low on every aspect of my life. I made the decision to take a breather and re-evaluate my life, as is usually the case whenever we as humans encounter misfortune.

As a young adult I never really gave myself a chance to critically think about my life, and my health. It was always something I pushed to the back of my mind because I imagined that it would become a valid issue, probably when 1 hit 30, or 35 yrs.

!!!But here i am, 25 years old, living with scary benign tumors in my reproductive system!!!

Before making any rush decisions,  I had to think about my emotional well being. I knew that  I needed to talk to someone, and somehow I convinced myself that telling any of my close friends wasn’t such a good idea. I did talk to my mom and my boyfriend, but I didn’t mention anything to Brooke*. Not knowing that she had had that particular diagnosis, in the same time period that I did!

🙉

#self-discovery #reproductive-health #ladies #fibroids #love #growth #acceptance #friendship