By Dr Atta K.Bonsu
The name “afabo” (as the old Akan community called fibroid) was unpopular among the old African community. Though their population was less compared to our generation (which has been one of the popular excuses of our present dispensation), fibroids were unpopular and uncommon.
What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are growths or tumours of the tissue, which are usually found inside the wall of the female genital system, especially in the womb or uterus. The one like fat like substances made of a mixture of muscle tissue from the uterus and threadlike fibres of connective tissue.
Unlike breast tumours that can generate the cancer, fibroid tumours are not cancerous. Though there are some reported cases of cancer involving long standing fibroids, it is very rare. Perhaps, out of a thousand cases, only one could be involved with cancer.
Fibroids usually shrink after menopause, which makes a woman with fibroids to be flexible and make proper assessment and medication if necessary. Under normal circumstance, new fibroids do not develop before puberty or after menopause. If this is the fact, then it might have something to do with the hormone estrogen.
Statistically, it is estimated that fibroids occurs in 2 or 3 of every 10 women. Especially, women between ages 35 and 50, though women even below 30 sometimes have fibroids. My personal observation is that young women in their 20s are seriously battling fibroids, which makes one to wonder the type of world that we live in-when young unmarried ladies are growing and nursing fibroids in their wombs.
Interestingly and sadly, most of these young women wake up, eat, dress up and move around nursing fibroids without knowing till symptoms appear. Some of the medical names given to the disease is leiomyoma, myoma, or fribromyoma.
Types of (Uterine) Fibroids
Fibroids grow in different parts of the uterus, and they are named according to which part of the uterus they are found. Chances of healing, childbearing and shrinking may also depend on the area of the womb that they are situated.
Fibroids that grow inside the wall of the uterus and found within the walls are called intramural fibroids, which by far is one of the most common types of fibroids.
There are some of these fibroids that grow outward from the wall of the uterus into the abdominal cavity. This type of fibroid is called Subserous or Suberosal fibroids. (See picture).
Those that grow inward from the uterine wall, taking up spaces outside the cavity of the uterus are called Submucous or Submucosal fibroids.
A fibroid that is attached to the uterus by a thick stalk is called pedunculated fibroid.
Symptoms of Fibroids
About one half of women living with fibroids do not know they have the growth. For many women fibroids cause no problem and they rarely show symptoms or any signs, until their doctors tell them so. The most common symptoms that usually show are:
Pains around the pelvic.
Scanty urination: as a result of much pressure on other organs-such as the bladder.
Constipation too seems to be common due to the reason that the bowel (colon) are pressed upon by large fibroids.
The most common symptom is heavy or excessive, long menstrual periods, with pains at times.
Causes of Fibroid
Scientists say that “causes of fibroids are not known”. Of course, fibroid tumours start as a simple muscle cell often in uterus and generates and grows big, even as the size of football. For scientists, the reasons are not known.
Significantly, comparing ages to ages, generations to generations, races to races and from a specific woman to the other, there could be a holistic understanding to the causes of fibroids. Why is it common in these days than the olden days? Why are they prevalent among the black race more than that of the whites or caucasians?
Changes in lifestyles-the way people eat, drink, dress and do our things have great contribution to this. In the old African home, our women were allowed to give birth to children, so naturally, as many as they would. There were no restrictions to this. We would recall the time when women were given births to as many as tens, twelves, fourteens and even seventeens. Those who do not know science properly believe, women risk their health when they give children to many children.
Interestingly, it is just like the opposite, the more we restrict women from having less children, the weaker they become. The observations are clear, in the olden days that women lived naturally and gave birth to children so naturally there were no or a few cases of these fibroids and gynecological problems, compared to today that all sorts of practices are involved in childbearing.
There is no argument for this, if we really understand the science of reproductive hormones, especially that of estrogen. At puberty, the ovaries produce more hormones, especially estrogen. At higher levels it may favour the growth of fibroids. But in most cases we flatter ourselves, with annihilated thoughts that, exactly how this might happen is not understood”. And during menopause, when estrogen seems to be diminishing, fibroids shrink.
Here, heredity may also be another factor, but other woes of this generation is the artificial living that we have chosen. The greatest victims are Africans. Why? Comparing the rate of fibroids among the African Americans to that of the white Americans-the blacks are affected more-because western style of living do not favour them (the blacks).
During pregnancy the medicines that our women take, the food they eat, child delivery system, contraceptives and family planning systems do not favour black people, so we find breast and cervical cancer, cysts, and fibroid cases, even among our young women.
Thiere is vast difference between the land and the people of Europe and Africa. Geographical and climatic conditions can tell you more. The black African skin with much melanin is good for us living in this hot, tropical region. The white skin of Europeans are also suitable for their temperate region. There are some ways of living-medicines, foods and certain practices that may be good for white people which may not be good for black people.
Africans do not need tablets, pills, injections and vaccines but herbs and diet in their most natural forms as possible. Until we realize this and turn back to ours, there will be less sickness and death rate may drastically reduce. Comparatively, the black race look more different from the whites. Though all artificial lifestyles may not favour both races, yet the latter may subsist such practices more than the former.
For instance, A whiteman can live in air-conditioning(artificial air) in Africa by causing less or no harm, but a Blackman risks his health in this condition, because the practice favours the Europeans climatic condition more than us living in this tropical, hot areas.
Africans suffer today from all types of diseases more than even Europeans and Americans, not because we are poor, as we are being told, but because we have adapted the Western type of living, which do not favour us due to many reasons. History will not permit us to go back to the 14th century when Europeans were sailing down to the African continent.
If we would go back to recall the events of those days, where African death rate was extremely low and the best of the globe, and compared to today where we die more than any group of people on the earth, tears may not be enough to control and console this stigma.
Not quite long, less than 40 years back, there were no or less recorded cases of cancer, hypertension, diabetes and these fibroid, but today that we have totally adapted this artificial lifestyle of living-especially introduction of chemical medicines, we are dying more than rats-even HIV/AIDS. Until we go back to that natural eating and medication, then there will be peace on the continent.
Who is Likely to Get Fibroids
These days, any woman of reproductive age can get fibroids. In the olden days, only mature women around their menopause had the disease, and even the disease naturally shrank after menopause. But, today, fibroids grow among women of all ages, even unmarried women and under 30s. As I have earlier said, there are many women living with fibroids without knowing, they only know when their doctors tell, especially during marriage when they are looking for children.
Do Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?
There are different types of fibroid. The position, the size and the constitution of the victim’s blood would indicate weather she can bear children or not. The fact is, most women with fibroids have no trouble becoming pregnant, and their risk of a bad pregnancy or childbirth outcome is no higher. Especially, those who use natural treatment during pregnancy, while yet nursing the growths. In most cases, as the child grows the tumour also shrinks.
About 1 in every 5 women with fertility problems has fibroids, but these growths could be usually bystanders. That is to say, a woman’s inability to become pregnant has less to do with fibroids-they cause only about 2% to 3% of cases of infertility.
Fibroids that block one or both of the fallopian tubes may prevent spermatozoa from fertilizing the female sex cell (ova) when it is liberated into the fallopian tubes. Fibroids that grow and fill the entire uterine cavity may hinder the process of implantation of the newly fertilized egg.
Consequently, fibroids of this nature, especially those located in the cavity of the uterus may increase the chance of a miscarriage. And during childbirth, fibroids of this nature often increase the chance that the baby not positioned well to come out head first. In most cases, they increase pregnancy and delivery complications.
Fibroids and Placenta Abruption
A woman can take a whole of nine months to nurse a baby in the womb, but joy and happiness arrive when the woman safely give birth to the unborn child. After childbirth, the afterbirth (placenta) separates from the uterus. That is to say, after the baby is born, the placenta needs to come out from the genital system. After this, without pains and excessive bleeding, then we say the woman had a safe childbirth.
Placenta Abruption, is a situation when the placenta separates itself and comes out from the uterus too quickly, before the baby is born. This happens in rare cases, in every 200 pregnancies, it occurs but once. This in many cases cut of the baby’s supply of nutrient and blood; and can threaten the baby’s life, and if care is not taken, death follows. Rarely do fibroids cause this Placenta Abruption.
Fibroids and Postpartum Hemorrhages
This is one of the fears of most pregnant women during childbirth. After childbirth, the placenta normally separates from the uterus. The muscle in the uterus usually squeezes the uterus to help stop bleeding when the placenta is separating from the womb.
When this is done, the uterus becomes feasible and the presence of fibroids in the uterus makes the squeezing of the muscle less effective, and in most cases the woman giving birth bleeds more. This is some of the reasons which make fibroid and pregnancy a bit scary, yet most women like this go through without difficulties. This may also depend on the size, position and other factors of the growth. Some fibroids grow during pregnancy, some remain the same while others shrink and disappear before even the child is born. This may depend on many factors, more especially the treatment that is involved.
Herbal treatment for fibroids during pregnancy (Coming soon)
How Does the Doctor Detect that You Have Fibroids?
Africans have lost holistic and intuitional science the old people used to detect and diagnose diseases. Most of the diseases that we battle today, though there were in rare cases, they were able to detect them without the use of modern laboratory equipment. And there were traditional names related to diseases of this present generation.
Indigenous African women gave birth to their children at home. In every home, there were not less than 2 mature women who had traditional midwifery experience. And by then, there were only but a few cases of pregnancy and childbirth mortality.
Traditionally, they knew the types of herbs to promote pregnancy, they knew those that could assist the pregnancy in every related month, and knew those herbs that could be given to enhance a smooth delivery.
Amazingly, they were able to read and detect all the occupants in the pregnant woman’s womb without the use of these modern sophisticated ultrasound machines. This means, they were able to detect whether there were twin or triplets in a particular womb, they also detected weather there were existing fibroids. They used their intuition science without our universities and high medical institutions but they performed extremely better than we do today.
For a modern society, the doctor performs a routine pelvic exam. A uterus that is enlarged or irregular in shapes is a sign that a woman may have fibroids. A modern physician may not waste time to direct you to machines. In the modern system, before a disease or problem is detected and diagnosed, a greater part of the victim’s strength has already been exhausted. Of course, most of these diagnostic systems, especially those involved with X-rays have serious side effects, which often weaken the victims strength and facilitates the process of death and many end up dying before the problem is detected.
Various Modern Tests to Be Sure of Fibroids
Times have changed. Everybody is on the modern trend. Many Africans are charmed with the fascinated manner at which diseases are treated. Labs are common every where. Even herbalists practicing in public “Kiosk” have labs. And that is all that we believe. The sick are almost charmed when they pass through machines. They will not listen to you when you use that old intuition science to diagnose their ailments. They want to be sure, and most of the time these modern machines are so deceptive to tell different stories. The following are some of the diagnostic systems that modern practitioners use to find out that a woman has fibroids.
During this test, sound waves too high-pitched that you can hear, travel from a handheld instrument that is normally placed gently on the abdomen or in the vagina. During this process, the sound waves “bounce” off of internal organ and return to the instrument. This creates or leaves the instruments with a picture of the internal organs that can be seen on a screen.
This system of diagnosis does not take much time, it takes about 15-30 minutes to perform this, which does not use X-rays, and thus, has no risks, and safe for a pregnant woman. But this may also depend on the technology and the type and quality of machines used.
Magnetic Resonance Imagine (MRI):
Doctors often order for MRI, when the patient’s ovaries are difficult to be seen by an ultrasound test. Or, if the doctor wants to see detail of the structure of the fibroids, even after the ultrasound.
In this test, a powerful magnetic forces are used to create a picture of the internal organs. This also does not involve X-rays, and thus safe on pregnant women.
Doctors rarely suggest C.T Scan for patients because it is expensive. But, they are compelled to do so when MRI is not also available. CT stands for Computerized Tomography. This type of tests uses X-ray, and may not be safe for a pregnant woman.
This is advanced test, which allows the doctor to look directly into the cavity of the uterus. In most cases, the doctor decides this test when a woman is having heavy bleeding, having pregnancy troubles (miscarriages or inability to become pregnant), or fibroids are suspected of causing the infertility.
Here also, a thin telescope called a hysteroscopy is gently inserted through the cervix and into the womb, to enable the doctor view the internal structure of the uterus to know what is exactly wrong.
H.S.G (Uterine X-Ray)
H.S.G. stands for hysterosalpingo-gram. Another medical term for this is Uterotubogram. This test is also used to detect the cause of excessive bleeding and the probable cause for infertility.
An instrument is gently inserted into the opening of the cervix. Dye (not harmful, in the form of iodine) is injected, filling the uterus. At this period, the doctor sees the uterine cavity and can take X-ray pictures of the uterus and the oviduct or (fallopian tubes). This will make it easy for him to detect whether the tubes are blocked or not. If they are blocked the dye (liquid) will not pass through them.
This test involves X-rays and may not be safe on a pregnant woman.
Here, a small piece of the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is removed and examined under a microscope. This is mostly suggested to rule out infections or cancer. And mostly ordered for heavy, lengthy periods.
Dilatation And Curettage (D & C)
It is done of the same purpose as the best test. An imbalanced of hormones often cause heavy menstrual periods.
Modern Treatment For Fibroids
Under normal circumstance, if a woman is diagnosed with fibroids, which have no problems, they may need no treatment apart from regular medical check ups. In this case, she visits her doctor at a given appointments, and the doctor only examines her to find out if her system is responding well. This is called watchful waiting. The doctor examines a woman two or three times a year.
This is called “watchful waiting” in the sense that, if nothing strange happens, after menopause, the fibroids automatically shrink and freeing the woman from all this. This means, this may also depend on the condition and the status of the woman. In most cases, “watchful waiting’ normally favours mature women, who have already given birth to children, and are almost at their menopause.
Fibroids become more wearisome for immature young women who have not married, or even married but have no issues. When it happens to women as mentioned above, they move here and there to find a quick solution, and often in a haphazard manner, entangled in horrible treatments that eventually worsen matters.
I would therefore advise this group of women to be much patient and cautious of any treatment they are pressurized to choose. As I have earlier stated, if proper holistic approach to treating fibroids, the victimized woman may treat fibroids at the same time bearing good children. All this could be achieved if we consult God our Creator and proper and safest direction is directed and pursued.
It is not scaring to live with fibroids: it may not cause cancer as some lobbies promulgate to scare many to undergo some dangerous treatments which end up with serious, dangerous complications.
Can fibroids cause cancer? (Coming soon)
Surgery (Surgical Removal Of Fibroid)
Of course, surgical removal of fibroids is the standard treatment for fibroids that are causing pain, heavy or heavy menstrual bleeding or other problems. Modernists believe that only surgery could relieve women seriously troubled in these fibroids. But is this the safest and rational solution? In certain cases, perhaps surgery without delay would save the victim from any other serious complications. But if the old system of herbal poultices, enema and others are earlier administered, many would be saved from post surgery complications.
There are two kinds of surgery:
i. Hysterectomy: This is surgical removal of the entire uterus, and usually the cervix. When this happens, it means childbearing has become impossible. And I do not think, a young unmarried woman may accept this type of surgery, else she becomes childless throughout her life.
Here too, though many consider the female genital system as not part of the vital organs in the body, yet experience shows that women who undergo this surgery often bring lots of other health complications, which are undesirable and unbearable at times. Much wisdom is required for one to make choices of medical treatments.
ii. Myomectomy: Is the removal of fibroids without removing entirely the uterus. This operation preserves a woman’s ability to become pregnant and bear children. However, a successful pregnancy is not guaranteed: 4 or 5 out of ten become pregnant and give birth after this operation.
Risks Involved In Surgery
While, we cannot deny the fact that the easy and the fastest way of dealing with fibroids is removal by surgical operation, we cannot also be so negligent to tell you some of the risks involved.
Problems such as infections and blood clots in the legs or the pelvic region of the body. There is no argument for this: Anything that involves cutting and use of knives are mostly associated with these complications.
Why Can It Be Difficult to Become Pregnant After Surgery
The reasons for a woman to find it difficult to become pregnant after surgery (myomectomy) are many but let us consider the following.
When the uterus heals after surgery, scaring can occur (though not all situations are like this), and may cover the ovaries or block one or both of the fallopian tubes. This scaring can make it impossible for the tube to pick up the eggs (ova) after their release from the ovaries (ovulation).
As I have earlier underlisted some of the risks involved in myomectomy, it is likely, and in most cases, many a woman become infected during surgery. We know how infections can cause to the reproductive process, especially the hormones and the fertility sex cells.
Can Fibroids Cause Cancer?
Another big question under this study: can fibroids cause cancer? Oh! Yes! It can!
This has been the area that fibroid treatment lobbyists have ever used to scare victimized women, and ‘forced’ them to undergo horrible and dangerous treatments, even involuntarily surgical operations, and end up with serious unbearable complications.
Well, as I have straight-forwarded answered this question, of course, fibroids in some instances can end up with cancer. But, this occurrence is extremely rare that some use to scare women living with fibroids.
In most women, fibroids do not lead to cancer. Rarely, however, fibroids can turn into a cancer called a leiomyosarcoma. And this happens to an estimated 1 in 1,000 women who have fibroids. Some cancerous tumours may develop directly from normal tissue in the uterus.The average age of a woman with leiomyasarcoma is 55.
Obviously,that is to say that, out of about one thousand women that have fibroids only one can generate into cancer. Significantly, this fact has also cleared the mind and the notion that makes affected women scared of the disease, that is fibroid becoming cancerous when a woman lives with it for a long time. Here, with this statistical analysis, it means that,though fibroids can become cancerous, the rate is extremely low, and such occurrence is extremely rare and uncomon.
Graciously, if one out of every thousand women who have fibroid end up and die of cancer,then of course, women with fibroid must take patience and care and in a holistic manner carry out treatment of their best choice; probably what our Lord, the Creator approves. But you may not listen to comments from lobbyists who are there to frustrate you for you to pursue for treatments that often end up with so many complications.
The best way is to see your doctor, to examine you, then direct you to the safest way to dealing with the matter. Most sincere doctors often suggest watchful waiting for these women,especially when the situation has not so advanced, with the aim that a careful,holistic approach could be used. You may also try herbal, alternative, natural treatment, but pray that you do not fall into the hands of these quacks, who are all over to rob you of your money.
Warning Signs of Cancer
I have always said this that; the sick must be flexible to deal with every disease crisis. Causes of diseases can only be traced and ascertained by only the sufferer not even the doctor, and if a woman can carefully examine herself every sign would allow her to know what to do. Watch these signs, they are not good when nursing fibroids.
i. Rapid growth of the fibroids or the uterus
ii. Bleeding from the vagina, before or after menses.
Though not all cases prove cancer, if a woman has either of these problems, she would see a doctor right away, but, pray for a heart-felt doctor, who can put you on a right cause.
Natural Treatment Of Fibroids (How To Treat Fibroids Without Surgical Operation) – Coming soon!
See the following books.
- Fibroids & Breast Cancer; every woman’s fear.
- Power Of Garlic
- Secret About Health
Healing With Simple Plants.
(All authored by Dr. Atta K. Bonsu)
You may also order for these herbs (treatment for fibroids)
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