A uterine fibroid tumor is a benign muscle tumor that grows on the walls of a woman’s uterus. Some times the tumor is not harmful enough to require treatment. If it is to be treated, it is often removed by a simple surgical procedure called myomectomy. Normally a uterine fibroid tumor does not cause major health scares, but such was not the case with me.
Because I was young and careless about the symptoms, my uterine fibroid tumor caused a near death experience. Since then, I have learned to value my health.
I was a senior in college – about 22 years old – when I first noticed my period getting heavier. I was still regular, but the discharge contained more-than-usual bleeding and sometimes even blood clots. Consumed with studying and having fun my last year in school, I paid no attention to the heavy bleeding.
The next year, I got my very first job. It was a stressful position and I probably never should have taken it. But like I said, I was young and careless. All I worried about was working during the day, going out on the weekends, and living up my early 20’s. My health, therefore, took a back seat.
After a few months, my periods got heavier and heavier. I was so consumed with living my life and having fun, it didn’t occur to me to visit the doctor. When I finally did set up an appointment with the gynecologist, I was bleeding 25 days out of a month and soaking through a thick overnight pad every hour!
The situation was dire! I was immediately hospitalized and received 4 bags of blood during a much-needed blood transfusion. The hemorrhage was caused by a large uterine fibroid tumor, of course, and it was the size of a baseball. My doctor, in the softest way possible, told me that 1 more week I would have been dead!
Suddenly, as I sat alone in the dark hospital room, with needles inside my arms, I realized how bad I had treated my own health. All that glamorous social life I had over indulged in had almost taken away my life!
After a few months of hormone treatment, which was deemed unsuccessful, I had my uterine fibroid tumor removed via an abdominal myomectomy.
As a twenty-something, I had not thought of having children. But now that I am of mothering age, I must suffer through a C-section to give birth. Because the myomectomy cut into the uterus, it made natural labor a danger.
Since my health scare with a uterine fibroid tumor, I have been more careful with my health. Even if it caused inconvenience, I always made sure to attend yearly physicals with both a family doctor and a gynecologist. Because uterine fibroid tumors are likely to return, I have been scheduling annual ultra sounds as well.
If anyone is suffering heavy bleeding during their period, I urge them to talk to their gynecologist and get an exam. If the tumor is placed in a bad position, it may cause miscarriage. If it grows into a large size, like the one I had, it may cause hemorrhage. Although a uterine fibroid tumor is only a benign growth, it is always better being safe than sorry. Please don’t let a minor health issue become a major health scare!