If you are a Black woman living in America, you probably have a friend, sister, mama, or best friend who suffers from fibroids. It may even be you.
The ailment effects Black women more than any other population in the U.S., studies show.
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, fibroids occur more in African-American women than White women, as well as at a younger age, NBC news reports. Doctors are still puzzled as to why this is.
One factor that may play into our suffering is the normalization of the condition in our communities.
Many women struggle through their symptoms without getting proper care. A study by the Mayo Clinic and the University of North Carolina of more than 900 women found that Black women, on average, wait four or more years before seeking medical treatment for the condition.
“Historically, African-American women have been culturally conditioned to endure hardship and discomfort. ‘Oh, quit complaining,’ ‘We all go through that.'” Dr. Angela Marshall, a physician in Silver Spring, Maryland, explained.
“Sometimes our tolerance for enduring the pain and disability associated with fibroids can be to our detriment.”
Dr. Marshall advocates for women to find doctors they know and trust.
“It’s important to know if the fibroids have become such a burden that they cause disability — extreme pain, dangerous anemia with the associated fatigue and other symptoms, and/or cause missed work — then maybe it’s time to consider taking action,” Marshall told NBC.
The key here is not to suffer in silence. We understand historically Black women are expected to be strong and long-suffering. But it’s time for us to emphasize self-care first in order to live pain-free lives.
SOURCE: NBC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty