ATLANTA — It’s no secret that there are racial disparities in health care. And when it comes to reproductive health, it's especially exaggerated.
An estimated 26 million women have fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors that grow on the wall of the uterus.
Research shows Black women are at an increased risk for the disease. According to The Mayo Clinic, Black women are two to three times more likely to suffer fibroids compared to white women.
Fibroids often appear during a woman’s childbearing years. Most don’t cause problems and never turn into cancer.
However, millions of people do suffer from debilitating symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding, long periods, pelvic pain, frequent urination, difficulty emptying bladder, constipation, or back aches.
According to a study published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, while most women will get them by age 50, fibroids are more common and more severe among Black women.
Women experiencing symptoms may have the fibroids removed through surgery. There are various surgical procedures based on the size and amount of fibroids including myomectomy, radiofrequency ablation, and a hysterectomy.
However, there are other options out there. A metro Atlanta doctor has been changing women’s lives through a non-surgical method. Dr. John Lipman, with the Atlanta Fibroid Center, specializes in fibroid treatment and provides a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). According to Dr. Lipman, after this 45 minute procedure, all fibroids shrink and stop causing debilitating symptoms.
If you suffer fibroids, you are not alone. It's suggested for patients to explain their symptoms to their doctor -- in detail -- so that you can get the help and treatment that you need.