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Celebrity Cynthia Bailey talks about battle with uterine fibroids

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Celebrity shares personal story about uterine fibroid.

Supermodel and actress, and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey discussed her "embarrassing" health condition on today's show of the "The Doctors". According to Bailey, more women; especially African-American women, should be aware of uterine fibroids that caused the actress to stop having sex, pain, bloating and excessive vaginal bleeding that caused her embarrassment. At one point, Bailey was rumored to be pregnant as the result of bloating from her health condition.

What are uterine fibroids?

Fibroids of the uterus (womb) are non-cancerous growths that happen from unknown factors. Studies suggest diet and lifestyle could play a role in a woman's risk of developing the condition. African-American women are at highest risk for the condition.

In her interview, Bailey admitted she uses hair relaxers that have been implicated for causing the growths. She also explained she was born in the South and was raised on a diet rich in meats that might also contribute to uterine fibroids.

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According to womenshealth.gov, eating a lot of red meat can raise the chances of uterine fibroids that are muscular tumors that grow on the wall of the uterus. Sometimes the tumors can grow very large. It is also possible to have singular or multiple small fibroids. A woman's risk of the condition is also increased after age 30 up until age 40.,

Sometimes the tumors shrink, but when they don't, treatment options are available that should be discussed with your doctor. Bailey opted for embolization therapy that involves cutting off the blood supply to the tumors, causing them to shrink. Women with heavy bleeding who want to avoid hysterectomy and don't want to have children in the future are the best candidates for embolization.

Other options for uterine fibroid treatment include freezing the tumors by inserting a needle by way of surgery known as a laparoscopy, hysterectomy or removing the lining of the uterus. There are other treatment options that can also be discussed with your doctor.

Uterine fibroids can cause pain, interfere with a woman's sex life and cause symptoms that otherwise decrease quality of life. If you have symptoms of fibroids of the uterus, know there are treatment options and discuss your condition with your doctor. According to Cynthia Bailey, women too often suffer in silence with symptoms of fibroids that can also include back and rectal pain and frequent urination.

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Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is the non-surgical, outpatient procedure that Cynthia Bailey had. It treats the symptoms from fibroids (exs. heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, increased urinary frequency) very successfully while at the same time allows these women to completely avoid the significant risks/long recovery of surgery AND they get to keep their uterus. Keeping your uterus is very important even in women who are no longer interested in bearing children. Many women who undergo hysterectomy suffer psychological distress and/or sexual dysfunction. It also increases bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis. Hysterectomy is just not necessary for the treatment of fibroids (which are benign tumors) when there is a much safer, less expensive, less invasive procedure like UFE. Patients like Ms. Bailey went home the day of the procedure with just a band aid (and their uterus !). To learn more go to ATLii.com