Even after living with my mom and two sisters – one being my older, wiser, knew-everything-before-I-did sister, there were some things I didn’t know about. Maybe my mom and sisters didn’t experience them, or simply chose not to discuss them. Or in some cases, I was the first among my sisters, to go through certain milestones! I was the first to have kids for instance. My daughter was born in the summer, over 10 years ago. There were certain aspects – ok MOST aspects – of pregnancy that I had to find out for myself. For example, I’d never heard the word fibroids until I found out I had them after my first ultrasound. And that’s why I’m a proponent of empowering women through information – so let’s talk about it.
The Female Health Issues You Should Be Talking About Right Now:
Change the Cycle:
What is Change the Cycle? It’s an online community where women who suffer from uterine and pelvic health conditions can find resources that help promote a better understanding of not only their conditions, but of potential solutions. The thing is, the uterus plays a critical role in menstrual and reproductive health, but we don’t always have the right information about potential issues or abnormalities we should be looking for. There are a number of conditions that can affect our uterine health. Have you heard about abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) or uterine fibroids? They can cause pain, heavy bleeding, and fertility issues. These are common issues, but they’re not often discussed. As a result, sometimes women wait years to seek medical attention, rather than addressing the condition proactively. Change the Cycle can help you get the information you need to be proactive about your health.
Why should we seek more info?
It’s because advocating for your health starts with knowing your body, and that means knowing what’s considered normal vs. abnormal when it comes to your menstrual cycle. It’s amazing what we don’t know sometimes, and that we just don’t think to ask! Instead we think heavy periods are something we have to suffer through, or we’re super shocked to run into fertility problems down the line, that could have potentially been prevented or at least explained. Heavy periods, fibroids and pelvic health are topics of conversation we should be focusing on! I wish I had known more then, but it’s not too late.
Chances are, you’re not alone.
While I haven’t experienced AUB, I have had fibroids. Not only that, but many of my female loved ones have experienced/are experiencing them as well. Fibroids and heavy periods are super under-discussed issues women should be aware of, and should be actively discussing with doctors – especially if you are experiencing abnormal symptoms. It’s time to make your health a priority, so you can be aware of these below-the-belt health issues! It’s more important than ever.
What can you do TODAY? You can visit www.changethecycle.com to learn more about these female health issues. And take the symptom checker quiz here. In fact, I took it and got to see how my answer compared to other women’s answers.
Reasons Why Talking About Women’s Health is Important to Me:
- Fibroids are noncancerous tissue growths in the uterus.1 That said, I didn’t even know they existed until I had already conceived and was getting my first ultrasound. I was hopeful and scared and I remember that piece of information making my experience more nerve-wracking. Ultimately, my fibroids weren’t a hindrance to my first pregnancy, but I have heard from many women who had trouble conceiving/keeping a pregnancy that this was the reason.
Up to 80% of women will experience fibroids by the age of 50.2 And I’m part of the 80%. That is a large majority of women experiencing something we don’t talk about nearly enough. We need to normalize the conversation, so women can be aware. It can start by talking about symptoms. Fibroid symptoms include: Heavy bleeding, periods lasting more than a week, frequent urination, pelvic pressure or pain, difficulty emptying bladder, constipation, and backaches or leg pains.1
1 in 5 women suffer from heavy periods that dramatically affect their health, confidence and quality of life.3 And that’s a high number too! Do I know women with this? MANY! Do they know their options? Not always! I know in my heart of hearts that I wouldn’t necessarily think to discuss heavy period symptoms with my doctor, unless they prompted me with specific questions. I would just assume it was a part of womanhood we all experience.
66% of women report that they feel exhausted when their period is at its heaviest.4 Yes. For sure. And sometimes I do cancel/miss plans during this time, or I dread leaving the house. I can’t imagine how I’d feel and what I’d miss if my periods were heavier. Our periods should not have that much control over our lives, and they don’t have to!
On average, women with AUB experience their period for 14 days a month.4 Imagine that. That’s half of a month and half of a year, and half of life! I’m so proud to be talking about these female health issues right now, and I hope I can help spread this information to women who might need it, so they can have the knowledge they need to talk to their doctor and get back to living their lives to the fullest.
Uterine fibroids: Overview. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/home/ovc-20212509. Accessed April 25, 2017.
Uterine Fibroid Fact Sheet. Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids. Accessed April 27, 2017.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/ women/menorrhagia.html. Accessed April 07, 2017
Hologic, Inc. Data on File; AUB Patient Journey Research, conducted January 2017. Survey of 1,003 women who self-identified as currently or recently experiencing heavy bleeding with need to change feminine hygiene product every hour or more.
Compensation was provided by Hologic via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hologic or Momtrends.