Let’s face it: it’s hard to talk about fibroids. Now as fibroid specialists in Houston, we know that a fibroid diagnosis doesn’t have to change your entire life. But we also know how scary it can be to learn you have tumors in your uterus-even though they aren’t cancerous. So that’s why his week’s Woman Crush Wednesday is our choice of honoree- she’s getting very real (in a very public way) about her fears over a fibroid diagnosis. Plus, she’s scoring attention nationwide, making it easier for all women to talk about fibroid. Here’s to you, shay Johnson, for sharing your fibroid story on Love & Hip Hop. And for your new role as the Fibroid Fighters Ambassador.
Spreading the Word
Recently, the Fibroid Fighters association named Shay Johnson as a brand ambassador. Fibroid Fighter is a non-profit group with a mission that’s close to our hearts. Their goals include:
- Educating people about how fibroid cause health, social and economic damages
- Focusing on research and treatment advances
- Spreading the word about minimally invasive treatments like uterine fibroid embolization(UFE)
In announcing Shay’s new role, CEO Yan Katsnelson said that the star’s “ Willingness to share her ordeal with fibroids will help bring attention to this health epidemic. Women need to hear from others that have suffered from fibroids and learn about non-surgical treatments such as Uterine Fibroid Embolism (UFE) that preserve the uterus and can relieve their painful symptoms.” And those goals are something Shay’s been all about. For a long time now.
Women Need to Talk About Fibroids
When discussing her new role. Shay said, “At one point when I Had to say the word, fibroids, I was terrified because I had memories of my symptoms and what I had to go through.”
And that was clear when, a few years back, Shay took to her social media accounts, sharing images of her in a hospital bed. She’d been admitted for a blood transfusion. But, at the time, she didn’t explain why she needed that transfusion.
Then, a little while later, she changed all that. Shay explained to her fellow cast member, Michelle Poach, “There are few things going on with me medically that I haven’t told you about. I’m not dying, [but] I do have a medical condition called fibroids.”
In fact, she continued, she has two fibroids- one of them that has grown so large, it’s now the size of a grapefruit. And this, it turns out, was the explanation for last year’s transfusion.
As Shay explained to Michelle, one of her fibroid symptoms is that she has, “heavy menstrual cycles for longer than 15 days, [and] on top of that, I’vve been fainting because I’m losing so much blood.”
Because of her severe symptoms, Shay’s doctor suggested she remover her fibroids surgically (myomectomy.) In telling Michelle about this suggestions, Shay admitted that she was scared-both about her upcoming surgery and about what her monthly periods would look like afterwards.
Providing Women with Other Fibroid Treatment options
Like many African-American women (who are disproportionately affected by fibroids), Shay opted to treat the fibroids surgically. And that may well be the treatment option that’s best for her. But, many women aren’t told they have non-surgical options, too. That’s why, today, Shay says, “I went through a myomectomy which they removed the fibroids, instead of a hysterectomy that would have removed my uterus.”
Now she knows why we all have to talk about fibroids. She says, “I realized that… the more we speak up about fibroids, the more awareness we can bring to women who are going through the same issue. The more awareness we raise means we can help prevent the miscarriages, the extended periods, and the pelvic pain women experience by having better treatment options.”
Of course, that includes procedures like Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), which can help women with severe fibroid symptoms. Typically. The relief they experience will be equal (or even superior to) that of women who’ve had fibroid surgery.
For more information, visit USA Fibroid Centers at www.fibroidcenters.org or call 855-615-2555