Why more women need to pay closer attention to the symptoms of fibroids

Fibroids are a debilitating health issue that has many women suffering in silence. Some may think their symptoms are normal, while others put off treatment.

WGN’s Courtney Gousman has more on the battle with fibroids, and why women should be paying more attention to them.

Joanne, 30, spoke to WGN as she was getting ready to undergo a surgery she hopes will change her life.

“You don’t really want to do anything. My heating pad has become my best friend. It’s the only thing that really provides relief,” she said.

Last August, she was diagnosed with uterine fibroids which are non-cancerous tumors that grow in and on the uterus. Joanne’s fibroids made her abdomen bulge even as she lay flat.

“The largest one is probably a small cantaloupe,” she said. That cantaloupe-sized fibroid was also pushing on her spine.

“If I happen to lay on my back, it’s an immense pressure on my back. If I lay on my side, you can actually feel the shift,” she said.

Illinois Masonic’s, Dr. Abraham Shashoua specializes in minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries, including those using a robotic arm. He removed Joanne’s fibroids during an open myomectomy due to the advanced state of her case.

“Women can have a large fibroid pressing on their colon and cause constipation. They can have a large fibroid pressing on their bladder that causes urinary frequency. The nerves of the back can be effected by the weight of the fibroid that causes the back pain,” Shashoua said.

Other symptoms of fibroids include:

  • constipation
  • frequent urination
  • back pain
  • bloating
  • pain during intercourse
  • fatigue
  • anemia
  • heavy and extended periods of menstrual bleeding

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