Causes & Treatment

If You’re Suffering from Fibroids, You Need to Read This

Eloise Edington  |   14 Feb 2022

At Fertility Help Hub, we know fertility problems can affect anyone – sometimes the cause is clear, other times not. In rare cases, complications arising from fibroids can cause infertility and the NHS reports around 1 in 3 women develop fibroids at some point in their life. Yet there is evidence to suggest that the rate of fibroids is higher in women of African-Caribbean origins.

To learn more about how infertility affects the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community and what can be done to support women of color, we turn to Laurel Fertility Care in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Laurel Fertility Care is a black-owned fertility clinic, providing personalised, expert fertility care to its patients. At the fertility practice, Laurel Fertility Care’s doctors and staff constantly endeavour to raise awareness of reproductive health and challenges African American women experience. You can book an introductory call via Laurel Fertility Care’s website (here) to make the next step in your fertility journey.

Read on to learn what fibroids are, how they disproportionately affect black women and a discover 16 amazing resources to support women with fibroids.

Over to Laurel Fertility Care…

While we know that infertility affects all races, genders and backgrounds, some races have shown higher rates of infertility paired with a lower likelihood of seeking or accessing fertility treatment. Research has shown that black, indigenous and women of color experience infertility at higher rates than their white counterparts. More specifically, black women have a greater lifetime incidence of fibroids and are three times more likely than white women to have uterine fibroids.

This year’s theme for Black History Month is Black Health and Wellness and it is an important opportunity to highlight the reproductive health disparities and risks that exist in the black community.

Despite higher rates of infertility, African American women are less likely to seek fertility treatment when trying to conceive. While specific reasons vary from person to person, research has speculated why those affected by infertility delay seeking fertility treatment or don’t seek it at all.

It could be due to the assumption that black women are hyper-fertile, less willing to share private pregnancy struggles, less trusting of medical providers, don’t have access to insurance coverage for treatment and more. As a black-owned fertility practice, Laurel Fertility Care strives to help raise awareness about reproductive health in these communities.

What are fibroids and what are the symptoms?

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop around the uterus and vary in size. Whilst many women are unaware they have fibroids because they experience no symptoms, other women will seek treatment for symptoms like heavy or painful periods, bloating, back pain, abdominal pain, frequent need to urinate, pain or discomfort during sex, constipation and infertility resulting from (rare) fibroid complications. The symptoms can cause stress and have a significant impact on one’s quality of life if left untreated – uterine fibroids have a disproportionate impact on African-American women.

What support is available for women with fibroids?

There are nonprofits and other organizations focused solely on helping women with fibroids connect with healthcare providers and fostering a community of support. We encourage you to take advantage of the resources these communities can provide— wellness tips, insurance information, treatment options… to name a few of the benefits of a fibroid support community.

If you are seeking fertility treatment or experiencing infertility, it’s not uncommon to feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. Looking after your mental health is important when trying to conceive and can help to prepare for any challenges that might lie ahead. Finding and leaning on a community for support can also make a significant impact on your journey. Support groups can open your eyes to new options, help you cope with difficult emotions during fertility struggles and create lasting connections.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Instagram accounts, podcasts, communities and resources for black women and people that were created by black women to help guide and comfort you on this journey.

Whether you’re suffering from fibroids, know someone who is or just wanting to find out more about fibroids, we hope you’ll find support amongst these incredible fibroid communities. Living with fibroid symptoms and experiencing fertility complications needn’t be tolerated. There are fibroid support communities and expert fertility doctors like Laurel Fertility Care who can guide you through the fertility treatment process with fibroids.

If you’re concerned about how fibroids affect your fertility and to discuss fertility treatment options, book a free, virtual call with Laurel Fertility Care here.

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