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5 Things your HerMD Healthcare Professional Wants You to Know

Did you know? If you are living with uterine fibroids, you are not alone. It is estimated that up to 90% of Black women and 70% of white women will develop uterine fibroids by the age of 50. And while not all uterine fibroids cause symptoms, symptomatic fibroids can be distressing and impact quality of life. For women who develop symptoms, these may include heavy menstrual bleeding, pain (with menses and/or with sex), bloating, bowel or bladder dysfunction, back pain, and fertility struggles.

The onset of uterine fibroids differs by race. Black women are 2-3x more likely to be diagnosed with uterine fibroids than white women. Black women are also more likely to have uterine fibroids diagnosed at a younger age, and experience larger fibroids and more severe associated symptoms than other races.

There are many treatment options. Treatment options for uterine fibroids will vary based on whether the treatment approach is medical or surgical. When fibroids cause symptoms, treatment with certain medications can help to alleviate these symptoms. Select surgical procedures can harness the power of energy-based therapy, as well as modify the blood supply to the uterine fibroids, to shrink the size of the fibroids and thereby reduce symptoms. In select cases, complete surgical removal of fibroids may be recommended. Treatment approaches will often depend on the severity of symptoms.

Can lifestyle modifications help to alleviate symptoms? Engaging in routine physical activity and embracing healthful eating patterns may help to reduce the risk of developing uterine fibroids, as well as minimize associated symptoms. Physical activities such as yoga, walking, and stretching may help reduce symptoms of uterine fibroids, although it is important to follow the specific exercise routine that works for your body, especially if you are living with uterine fibroids. Healthful eating patterns, such as embracing the Mediterranean diet and eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, tuna, egg yolks, and foods fortified with vitamin D (cereals, orange juice, milk, cheeses), may help reduce the risk of developing uterine fibroids.

I think I may be experiencing symptoms of uterine fibroids. When should I seek care? If you experience persistent symptoms that interfere with your daily life, you should seek evaluation by a healthcare professional. For example, if you experience pain with sex or pelvic pain, find yourself avoiding routine activities, missing work, or not venturing outside due to fear of heavy bleeding, visit your nearest HerMD center for a comprehensive evaluation and review of treatment options by a HerMD healthcare professional.

Somi Javaid, MD

Dr. Somi Javaid is a board-certified OB/GYN, leading women’s sexual health thought leader, and menopause advocate. She is the Founder and Lead Chief Medical Officer of HerMD.

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