Why Black women are more likely to have fibroids than any some other race group

“that will was like I was four months pregnant,” the 23-year-old told CNN.

She had also been experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding for years, with her periods sometimes lasting for up to 10 days.

“I was wearing double pads along with also changing almost by the hour,” Odili said.

The writer, by Nigeria, would likely also become doubled over with sharp pains in her stomach.

“I didn’t know what was going on so I started off taking painkillers for the pain along with also birth control to stop the bleeding.”

that will was on one of her many visits to the doctor that will a scan revealed the swelling along with also her some other symptoms was caused by fibroids.

Uterine fibroids or fibroids are non-cancerous growths that will develop in or around the uterus.

The growths are made of fibrous along with also muscle tissue along with also have different effects on women. Some of the symptoms include frequent urination, heavy along with also painful periods, stomach ache along with also pain during sex.

Debilitating symptoms

Although any woman of reproductive age can develop fibroids, Black along with also African women are more likely to have fibroids than any race group, according to doctors.

A report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that will Black women are three times more likely to develop fibroids than white women, along with also are less likely to have tiny-sized fibroids compared to their counterparts.

In 2014, Tanika Gray Valbrun, a US-based Jamaican reporter wrote legislation within the state of Georgia to get the month of July declared as Fibroid Awareness Month within the US.

Common chemicals linked to endometriosis, fibroids -- along with also healthcare costs

Valbrun told CNN that will when she was 15 years old, she began experiencing painful along with also heavy menstrual periods.

“Eventually, I got diagnosed with fibroids in 2001, I was 23,” she said

at This kind of point 42, she said the fight for an awareness month was to show the globe that will fibroids are just as important as some other medical conditions.

Too many Black along with also African women suffer in silence with their symptoms, she says, doing that will difficult to share knowledge about its effects.

Valbrun added that will despite the large numbers of women who have to deal with excruciating pain along with also some other debilitating symptoms, fibroids are not listed on the website of top health organizations like the globe Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO has listed along with also done extensive research on some other health topics along with also conditions affecting women such as female genital mutilation, cancer, along with also infertility.

“I just don’t understand that will, like, if so many Black women have fibroids, why aren’t more people talking about that will? Why aren’t there so many walks along with also campaigns like there are for some other medical conditions?” she said.

CNN contacted the WHO for comment however did not immediately receive a response ahead of publication.

‘Excruciating pain’

Dr. Ugochukwu Ekwunife, a consultant obstetrician along with also gynecologist at Lagoon Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, says the exact cause of fibroids is usually unknown, however they have been linked to the hormone estrogen.

Estrogen is usually the female reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries, that will is usually responsible for the development of the female reproductive system, he said.

“Fibroids are common with women within the reproductive age group, that will’s age 16 to 50. Women within This kind of age group have their estrogen levels at the highest doing them more likely to get fibroids,” Dr. Ekwunife told CNN.

Audrey Mutare says she has been battling pain with fibroids since her early teens.

“I had all the symptoms growing up, heavy bleeding, along with also excruciating pain. With every cycle, I got truly sick. however I never imagined fibroids, I just thought that will was normal for African women to go through period pain,” she explained.

Fibroids can also cause complications with pregnancy along with also childbirth as ones located within the inner lining of the womb can distort the growth of babies, according to Dr. Ekwunife.

Mutare had a miscarriage in 2014.

“I went to a gynecologist along with also he said to me ‘you are nine weeks pregnant however you have these gigantic fibroids.’

Audrey Mutare eventually had her baby Zoey after several miscarriages following her fibroid diagnosis.

“I was so petrified because I didn’t know what that will meant for my pregnancy,” Mutare told CNN.

A week after the doctor’s visit, the 33-year-old Zimbabwean lost her pregnancy.

In 2015, Mutare had another miscarriage, forcing her to consider a fibroid embolization, a noninvasive procedure used to shrink fibroid tumors. “I had truly high hopes however when I lost yet another baby, I knew I had to do the embolization. For someone who loves the idea of family, I was so scared,” she said.

After the embolization, Mutare found out she was pregnant again along with also was placed under strict supervision by her gynecologist.

According to her, she was confined to bed for a significant part of her pregnancy as a safety measure to avoid complications, “my baby was born so tiny, you could tell the fibroids were competing with her for blood supply,” she explained.

Period stigma

Nana Konamah, an entrepreneur along with also wellness activist by Ghana also suffered a miscarriage after being diagnosed with fibroids. She has been spreading awareness throughout July on the condition.

Through her website along with also social media pages, she is usually discussing period stigma, along with also the need to address heavy along with also painful menstruation with medical experts along with also women living with fibroids.
In 2019, Konamah made a documentary about fibroids along with also its implications with her friend, Jessica Nabongo.

“I had a myomectomy in July 2019. that will was a rollercoaster of emotions along with also I was angry at my body because I felt like that will had betrayed me,” Konamah said.

A myomectomy is usually the surgical removal of fibroids. They can also be removed through a hysterectomy (removal of the womb), Dr. Ekwunife said.

Nana Konamah has started off a campaign around period stigma to fight the silence around heavy periods.

“There is usually a chance of recurrence even when the fibroids are taken out, so some women opt for hysterectomies. Removing the womb eliminates any chance of fibroids considering they grow in or around that will,” he explained.

He added that will for women who are not interested in surgery, there are medical ways of managing symptoms.

“There are some drugs that will can be given to reduce the amount of blood flow during periods. There are certain injections that will can shrink the size of the fibroids along with also painkillers for the pain. All of these methods have their side effects, along with also have to be communicated with the patient,” he said.

Konamah echoed Valbrun’s sentiments that will more research is usually needed on fibroids, particularly in Africa where women are not likely to speak out.

Valbrun at This kind of point runs an organization, the White Dress Project, where she gathers support along with also promotes awareness within the US along with also South Africa through education along with also advocacy.

“that will’s called the White Dress Project because we use the white as a symbol of trust. When you have fibroids you don’t feel comfortable wearing white because of the heavy bleeding. I wanted to turn that will negative to a positive along with also use that will as a symbol of trust,” she said.

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