Hello WombCare Warriors,
I am so excited to start this blog to create a safe online forum to encourage women and their partners going through the storms of managing heavy periods, chronic pelvic pain, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), miscarriages, and infertility. I never thought that I would be doing a blog of this nature, but after being diagnosed with uterine fibroids and endometriosis, and having silo conversations with family and friends, I discovered that others are struggling secretly as well. This blog is here to break down the walls of silence that shackle us in shame and misery and is intent on creating honest dialogue to help our communities voice their concerns openly. So here goes…
I was first diagnosed with uterine fibroids at the age of 22 years old. Prior to this diagnosis, I got my first period at 12 years old which were ALWAYS heavy, unbearable, painful, and quite frankly a burden. Like many women who have heavy and painful periods, I thought this was normal. Like many menstruating individuals, I would dread the thought of another cycle, be doubled over in pain on my bed, caressing my abdomen with a hot pack coupled with multiple doses of Tylenol extra strength. This pain cycle lasted from the age of 12 until I was 30 years old! Can you imagine 18 years of being in severe pain on a monthly basis? It is common for many people to struggle in silence, particularly in marginalized communities for several reasons: personal beliefs about pain, cultural barriers, and limited access to competent healthcare providers who understand the pain experience of marginalized groups. I plan to dissect these factors in granular detail in later blogs.
My journey through this process of understanding and caring for my body is ongoing, and I know of you are on your own journeys to healing and restoration. My personal experience is the catalyst for the work I am currently do with WombCare and I am so pleased that my pain is being used to fulfill my purpose here on this earth. Through my research, I have come to realize the dangers of not having race-based data and population interventions in Canada to help women like me gain access to quality treatment. It is the lack of race-based data collection within our institutions that inevitably lead to poorer health outcomes such as complex pelvic disease presentation and costly surgeries down the road. The pathway to optimal care involves not only the individual who receives care, but an entire health system comprised of healthcare providers, community health agencies, hospitals, universities, researchers, policy advisers, and government entities to ensure the right care is provided to populations who need it most.
As we embark on this journey of healing and restoration, I look forward to being open and honest about my reproductive health trials and triumphs and hope you will be inspired to do the same. Just know wherever you are in your journey, you are loved, adored, strong, and dare I say a warrior!
Do you have a similar story with heavy periods? If so, please share in the comments below.
Tune in next week where I explore how to manage common reproductive challenges during this COVID-19 pandemic.