July is Fibroid Awareness Month and Porsha Williams is dedicated to breaking the stigma of women speaking out about their personal experiences. The former The Real Housewives of Atlanta star opened up about her personal journey on the Bravo series in April 2020. She shared more about her struggle with fertility in her memoir, “The Pursuit of Porsha: How I Grew Into My Power and Purpose.”
Speaking to Williams in November 2021, ABS admitted she learned about her fibroids while pregnant with daughter Pilar Jhena ‘McKinley.
She said: “Actually, it’s quite sad that I didn’t find out I had fibroids until I was pregnant. So, you know, I’m very interested in making sure women get screened… for fibroids because, unfortunately, doctors don’t ask you about it. Doctors don’t test.” The reality star continued, “And … I ended up having to miscarry because they didn’t know they were there. And then I got pregnant.”
In her own research, she learned that “depending on their size, they can outgrow your fetus.”
After six years of struggling with fertility, Williams became pregnant with her rainbow baby — a term affectionately used to describe a baby born after a miscarriage. She was hospitalized during pregnancy because of her large fibroids. Years later, she finally had a myomectomy “to rid me of them so I could give birth to my daughter.”
“And now, fortunately, they’ve grown back,” the actress explained at the time. “And one of them is so big. It literally makes me look like I’m three or four months pregnant.”
On March 22, 2019, she gave birth to Pilar, whom she shares with her ex-fiancé. Dennis McKinley. Now one’s mother wants other women to share her stories and get screened for fibroids.
“I intend to speak publicly about it in the future because I’ve suffered so much from these fibroids. And I just feel like if young women have that conversation, they can find out sooner and not have to go through what I went through,” she noted.
ABS spoke to the former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” a day before she had what she described as a “life-changing procedure” from a leading fibroid specialist Dr. John C. Lipman. She had undergone uterine fibroid embolization, which is a minimally invasive treatment. It uses tiny particles to “stop bleeding or block blood flow to a tumor or abnormal area of tissue,” according to the National Cancer Institute’s website.
She later revealed plans to hold a workshop or seminar with Dr. Lipman to let other women know that the procedure “preserves your fertility.” She added: “I hope to have more children in the future. So I’m just thrilled that I met him.”
Dr. Lipman founded the Atlanta Fibroid Center, where Williams revealed more about her fibroid journey at a women’s health event in June. The two met years ago after Lipman donated $250,000 from his Apple stock to the building that houses Hosea Helps, the foundation named after William’s grandfather Hosea Williams. Dr. Lipman performed the same procedure on William’s former cast member Cynthia Bailey who also shared her experiences on “RHOA”.
According to the center’s website, uterine fibroids are tumors that grow in and on the uterus. Although there is no precisely known cause, 40 to 70 percent of women have fibroids, and the risk is higher for African American women, who are 80 percent more likely to develop fibroids by age 50. Research shows that African American women are two to three times more likely to grow fibroids than white women. It has also been linked to family genetics, obesity, and other health factors.