INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis woman’s battle with fibroids continued even after losing 85 pounds.
She said the weight loss did nothing for her, so she opted for a hysterectomy.
Women who experience the extreme fibroid symptoms later in life often find relief during menopause.
Diagnosed just before 40 years old, Tamika Warren-Jenkins said considering the devastating impacts fibroids were causing while waiting for menopause wasn’t an option.
“These three are my father’s sisters, and they all had fibroid issues,” Warren-Jenkins said while pointing at a family photo.
Even with the family history, she didn’t know about it until her own surgery in 2017. Her mother who also had a hysterectomy didn’t talk about it either.
Women of that generation, she guesses, simply didn’t talk about those things and instead stuck to this idea: Just suck it up and get through it.
Warren-Jenkins doesn’t abide by that. “I absolutely talked about it in my circle because it’s important.”
She said she and many other women’s heavy menstrual cycles have ruled their lives. For her, she packed extra clothing for work and mapped out the nearest route to the restroom.
Then there were the migraines.
“My vision would, on the peripheral, I would get these lights. It looks like disco lights on the side,” Warren-Jenkins said. “Had never happened to me before and I was going to a neurologist. She couldn’t really explain how you were just suddenly have these issues.”
In those conversations, something else came up. Had she checked her reproductive health for fibroids? She set an appointment and doctors found them.
Hoping that leading a healthier more active lifestyle would help; she tried that and even dropped 85 pounds.
“I put in the work. Because the first thing they said was less hormones less estrogen. So if it’s less estrogen in your body, then they shouldn’t grow as fast. They should shrink. That was the thought at the time, but it didn’t happen that way.”
By then, she’d already had her two sons. With no desire for more children, hysterectomy was an early option but with one condition: leave the ovaries.
“I have no more plans for it. Nobody else needs the room.”
She shopped around for a bit before choosing a doctor. Today, she’s still leading a health life minus the pain from fibroids.
“I know reproductive health is like, ugh, I don’t want to talk about that, but you do need to talk about it.”
She said the idea of surgery was scary, but leading up to it with information from her doctor and reading up on the procedure calmed her fears.