In this episode of Sisters Without Shame, a friend in crisis says that she is living in constant pain and suspects that she might be suffering from uterine fibroids which are benign tumours that grow in and around the walls of the uterus. Pretoria-based diagnostic and interventional radiologist Dr Andrew Lawson shares his insights and advice for the management of uterine fibroids.
Lawson’s primary focus is on treating patients suffering from fibroids or myomas with uterine artery embolisation.
He says, “Fibroids are very similar to the muscle in a womb, and they are small balls of muscles. Why do they grow? We don’t know. We can certainly see that there is a tendency towards African females to get large and multiple growths.”
Rest assured that these growths are not cancerous, he adds.
“Fibroids are not cancer. There are a few guarantees in life; only women can get them and they only occur in the uterus or the womb.”
When should you be alarmed?
Fibroids can make life very unpleasant for women,” says Lawson. “One of the most common problems they have when they have fibroids is heavy periods. In medicine, we call it menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia can get so intense that it can often keep women away from work, Lawson adds.
The pain can often get unbearable.
“Many women without fibroids have period pain, it is a normal thing in women. There is a group of patients who have fibroids and horrendous period pain and the usual painkillers do not work. Half of that pain is not just related to their periods, it is in between too.”
Many women are not told about non-invasive treatments that don’t affect fertility.
On this episode Lawson also unpacks:
- Treatment options available and which is best for your health.
- Fertility and diet; and
- Management of fibroids.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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