COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) — We’re taking a look at a hidden danger inside a woman’s body.
This issue can cause blood loss, miscarriages and impact intimacy.
Staff Sergeant Rachel Michaud Israel served our country for nearly 9 years and while in the military she deployed three times: once to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.
It was during her time oversees that she discovered something unsettling about her health.
“I noticed that every time I would run, I would experience some vaginal bleeding and I knew it wasn’t normal,” said Israel.
After an ultrasound, doctors told her she had uterine fibroid.
Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop from the muscle tissue of the uterus.
Dr. Albert Odom is with Prisma Health and says plenty of woman have fibroids but they might not be symptomatic.
“If you extrapolate that to the United States, about 35 million women will have fibroids, of which about 7 million will be symptomatic,” Odom said.
Here’s what Odom said to look out for:
“They can cause things like bad periods, prolonged heavy periods, pelvic pain, back pain, frequent urination, constant constipation, painful intercourse. They can certainty cause severe anemia because of the bad periods,” he said.
Dr. Odom says it’s something to watch out for because fibroids have turned into cancer before.
“It can cause a malignancy called a sarcoma. They’re very rare,” says Dr. Odom.
Rachel’s case got so intense that she was hospitalized twice this year due to constant blood loss. Her story hits close to home because Rachel is my sister-in-law.
“My hemoglobin fell to 5.7 which is its lowest it has ever been and normal range is from 12-15,” says SSG Israel.
So how do you get fibroids?
“We don’t really know for sure. We know that there is a genetic component to it. If you’re African-American as opposed to Caucasian, you’re more likely to have fibroids and you’re more likely to get them at an early age and then multiple fibroids,” Odom said.
Odom says fibroids can be a size of a corn kernel and grow to the size of a basketball!
“Diets that are high in red meat fats, alcohol, obesity things like that will increase the risk of fibroids growing,” he said.
Odom says women no longer have to have a hysterectomy to get rid of it. There are procedures that can either cut the blood supply to the fibroids or essentially burn it. Many women are changing their lifestyles in hopes to avoid going under the knife.
Dr. Odom says without surgery, it would take a miracle to get rid of fibroids.
Visit the Acessa Health website for more information: www.acessaprocedure.com.