Today we would like to share a story of one of our patients at the Atlanta Fibroid Center. A 45-year-old IT specialist, a resident of Atlanta, shares her journey to defeating adenomyosis and uterine fibroids.
“I’ve been dealing with the fibroids since 2010, and honestly, you just get to the point where you know what you need to do and when you need to do it. That time of the month, you make sure you have plenty of sanitary napkins, make sure you have your ibuprofen on hand and you know, you do what you do.”
But one day everything changed. Her routine was disturbed by severe pain. It wasn’t a “normal” menstrual cramp or anything close to it. It was much different. A little later she found out that she suffered from uterine fibroids and adenomyosis at the same time.
Hysterectomy As a Sentence
In December of 2017, she started suffering from unusual pain and wasn’t sure what was going on. The pain spread through her abdomen area and intensified to the point where she was literally doubled over in pain. The pain persisted with every movement, and when she went to the bathroom to urinate, she would also experience pain like never before.
To get some answers, she consulted a doctor who said, “you have fibroids and they’re pretty big. You’ll probably need a hysterectomy, and I can fit you in pretty soon. That’s the only way you’re going to get rid of them. That’s the only way you’re going to get relief.”
“No different options, no choice. Just Hysterectomy. Really? He doesn’t even know anything about me!”
She absolutely didn’t like the fact that the first response many women in her situation hear is a hysterectomy. Moreover, she had several friends with the same diagnosis, and their prognosis was much the same: a hysterectomy. All of them struggled to understand if the hysterectomy was really the only way to treat fibroids; if it was the only option they had…
“In my mind, I’m like, it’s easy for a man to say that but if a man was told that the only way that he could be relieved of something was castration, I don’t think that he would immediately jump on that and say “yeah, let’s go with it.”
She was 45 years old. She did not want to have more kids but at the same time, she was not ready to go into a menopause immediately. A hysterectomy didn’t leave any other options.
Video: Why Avoid Hysterectomy
There Is Light at the End of the Tunnel…
One day she had an appointment with yet another OB/GYN and expressed her concerns; the doctor advised to consult Dr. Lipman. In January, Dr. Lipman officially diagnosed her with both, fibroids and adenomyosis.
Dr. Lipman explained that people with adenomyosis can often be misdiagnosed. They are diagnosed with fibroids because [just like adenomyosis] fibroids involve the uterus and cause the same symptoms: heavy periods and pelvic pain. You just can’t see everything on an ultrasound that OB/GYNs do in their offices, but you can see fibroids. To know what’s really going on, a patient needs an MRI.
As a result, Dr. Lipman recommended performing uterine artery embolization (UAE), and the procedure was very successful!
“I struggled when I found out that I had fibroids because they were really bad. They caused me to be anemic and it wreaks havoc on your body in ways you don’t even realize. It just becomes the norm. I was getting up four or five times a night to urinate. I thought these things were normal. They aren’t.”
She doesn’t have any pain anymore. She missed four cycles after the UAE procedure, which was a little concerning. But then, in July, she started to have a cycle again. She is not in menopause, and her cycle is nowhere near to what it was pre-treatment: she doesn’t have any cramps and the flow is much lighter.
“You must know, hysterectomy isn’t the only option to treat fibroids and adenomyosis! There is an alternative. It’s called UAE, and I’m so glad I had this procedure instead of surgery.”
She managed to find the strength to fight not only for her health but for the opportunity to be a woman. Adenomyosis is not a sentence; uterine fibroids are not a sentence. Consult Dr. John Lipman to get a second opinion and possibly, a chance to be happy and healthy again.