Its encouraging to find now that I’m not alone. I’ve always known I’m not alone in fighting fibroids and infertility, but recently I’ve seen more Black women sharing their stories. The lack of discussion and transparency in the Black community inspired me to start this blog. I knew several women my age and older that have gone through this, but no one talked about it or used it as a testimony. Now I slowly see more and more Black women speaking up on this issue, and I love it!
Yesterday, I was inspired by a woman named Gessie Thompson. In the May issue of Essence magazine, she shares her story. I had the good fortune to hear her as a guest on a radio show as I drove home. She was so passionate, and so joyful and showed so much faith. Please read her story at Essence.com here
Her story is my story. Even though I’m only one myomectomy, 2 HSGs, 3 ultrasounds, and 1 hysteroscopy in, this woman gives me hope. Even in this early part of my journey, I see the mountain that is ahead of me, and I get overwhelmed. It may sound crazy, but I’ve seen my baby. I know what the name will be. More importantly, I am open enough to understand that I may not give birth to my baby at the end of this journey, but I will have one. They will be loved, and healthy, and beautiful. God promised this to me. That doesn’t make this journey any less frustrating, stressful or painful while I’m in it.
It’s easy to think that getting pregnant is just a matter of having sex on the right day at the right time (and often 😉 ). But there are so many women, especially Black women, who have trouble conceiving usually because of uterine fibroids, the damage they cause, and the subsequent surgery (or surgeries) to have them removed. There is a tremendous physical, emotional, and monetary cost to infertility that can potentially break you as a woman, break up your marriage, and stress your family. Many insurance plans do not cover IVF and other fertility treatments. There are some states, like New Jersey, Ohio, and Hawaii, that mandate infertility treatments are covered under insurance plans, but there are only 15 states these types of policy. This trouble with fibroids is real. 80% of percent of Black women will suffer with fibroids at some time in their life. Because fibroids are generally benign in regards to cancer, many people do not understand how serious they can be. Fibroids can not only cause problems with fertility and menstrual cycles, but as they grow and the uterus expands and distorts, they can cause other problems with digestion, back pain, kidney, and bladder function. This problem is serious and we need to do more.
I am now more determined and inspired than ever to continue this blog and do even more to be an advocate and educate on fibroids and infertility.
In addition to Gessie Thompson’s story, Essence ran a wonderful education piece about fibroids:
Essence: Fighting Fibroids
To learn more about Gessie Thompson, her story, and the work she is doing (including a prayer circle. I love that idea!), please visit her website, www.whatsyournia.com
Please click here for a list of states that currently have laws requiring insurance coverage for infertility treatment.