Thousands of women across the globe suffer in silence with uterine fibroids, a condition that is complex and often misunderstood. Doctors and scientists cannot determine the exact cause of these benign but sometimes incredibly painful growths in the uterus, making the condition even harder to understand for those who suffer from it. Despite the lack of knowledge, it is estimated that up to 80% of women in the world will struggle with fibroids in their lifetime, some never finding a diagnosis for the symptoms they are suffering.
Fibroids are tumors that grow in the tissues in or around the uterus. Although they are almost always benign and non-cancerous, these growths can cause a number of debilitating symptoms that interfere with life for women. Since doctors have been unable to determine what causes fibroids in the first place, prevention of this condition is difficult or impossible. Genetics and hormone levels are the two leading causes of the growth of fibroids, but without understanding the exact cause, prevention takes a back seat to treatment.
Fibroid symptoms can range in severity for women depending on the size and location of the tumors within the uterus, resulting in a plethora of adverse effects in those who have them. Small fibroids often go undetected, the symptoms resulting from them minimally troublesome and often written off as part of a woman’s normal menstrual cycle. Heavy bleeding and pain during menstruation are common, but those with undetected fibroids might unknowingly be suffering from the effects of a fibroid, and not from normal menstruation.
Women with larger fibroids suffer from greater symptoms that often have incredibly devastating effects on the quality of life as well as their health and well-being. Extremely heavy bleeding caused by fibroids can lead to dangerous levels of anemia, generally accompanied by chronic pain and discomfort. Some fibroids can grow so large that they cause serious medical issues such as infertility or prolapses that require intervention through surgical procedures to repair.
Despite how prevalent this issue is, thousands of women often suffer in silence. A lack of education and awareness about this very serious condition results in numerous women suffering without answers for their pain and symptoms. A new women’s group for those with uterine fibroids is working to bring awareness and education to women so that they can learn more about the condition and better understand their options.
The White Dress Project is a woman’s group dedicated to increasing awareness through education and research as well as funding and advocacy for those suffering from the condition. Their efforts to help raise awareness have helped thousands of women across the world not only understand this complex condition but also find valuable resources to treat it. Raising awareness and increasing the education of women and health practitioners has given hope to thousands of sufferers. This support is vital to improving the quality of life.
One way this women’s group for those with uterine fibroids helps is through erasing stigma associated with the condition and helping to bring awareness to the risk factors that lead to the condition. Black women are disproportionately affected by uterine fibroids. Research has been unable to determine the basis for this disparity. The White Dress Project helps women in this demographic find support within their communities. Through this support and education, women suffering from uterine fibroids can find advocates and information that are vital for securing the best care and treatment options.
Advocacy and knowledge are especially important for black women struggling with fibroids. The racial disparity in gynecological care is an obstacle for women seeking treatment for this incredibly common condition and being armed with information provided by this support group can help. Increasingly beneficial for women with this condition is the support that comes from realizing you are not alone in your suffering.
The lack of knowledge about why fibroids form in the first place as well as the lack of research into preventative options, can make suffering from fibroids feel like an isolating struggle. The symptoms and pain can often be intense. Very few people understand how debilitating these experiences can be unless they too are suffering from them. Finding support and understanding in this community of women can ease the stress and burden, giving hope to those who are struggling.
Understanding treatment options can be another difficult hurdle in treating uterine fibroids. The White Dress Project works hard to ensure that women are educated about all of their options. Not long ago, the only option available to women was a complete hysterectomy, resulting in infertility and robbing women of the chance to have children. With advances in technology, women have more options available to them and this new women’s group for those with uterine fibroids is helping raise awareness of these options.
Choosing a treatment option can be confusing and scary, but the support offered by this women’s group helps those with fibroids know their options so they can select the right one for their condition. New, minimally invasive procedures are available to reduce the size or remove fibroids while preserving the woman’s fertility. Awareness of these options is key to improving the lives of thousands of women around the world. Arming women with knowledge can help them be better advocates for their own health and reproductive choices, removing confusion and empowering women to make the choice that is right for them.
Fibroids can be a scary, painful, disruptive, and sometimes dangerous condition for thousands, but these women no longer have to suffer alone. The support, education, awareness, and research provided by The White Dress Project is working to bring hope to women across the world while erasing the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding this condition. Finding hope, support, and understanding will make it easier for women who have uterine fibroids to overcome this condition, reducing the stress and burden of the suffering and bringing awareness to this widespread but misunderstood struggle.