Have you ever heard about ute­rine fibro­ids? Ute­rine Fibro­ids are abnor­mal, non­can­ce­rous growths in, on or around the ute­rus that appear during the fer­tile years. There can eit­her just be one or a whole bunch of them. They can vary in size from just a little seed up to as big as a grape­fruit. Fibro­ids, also cal­led myo­mas, can cause a variety of sym­ptoms ran­ging from very heavy peri­ods, extreme abdo­mi­nal pain or uri­nary pro­blems. Yet, not all people living with fibro­ids expe­ri­ence sym­ptoms and most people don’t know they even have ute­rine fibroids. 

Living with fibroids

By the age of 50, as many as eight out of ten ute­rus owners will have ute­rine fibro­ids, making it a com­mon medi­cal issue. Des­pite the pre­va­lence of the con­di­tion, it is yet ano­t­her under-dis­cus­sed topic of people having an ute­rus. The cause of fibro­ids is still unknown as limi­ted atten­tion on the con­di­tion of fibro­ids comes with lack of rese­arch and tre­at­ment opti­ons. Today we are rai­sing awa­reness for what living with fibro­ids looks likes by publi­shing our inter­view with Rosco Spears, who was dia­gno­sed with having fibro­ids eight years ago. Thank you so much, dear Rosco, for sharing honestly with us what your life and expe­ri­en­ces with fibro­ids looks like.

Welcome! Please introduce yourself.

I’m Rosco Spears. I am a pain­ter, tea­ching artist, lover and part­ner. And I am the crea­tive direc­tor for The Lip Bar, a vegan cos­me­tic line based in Detroit, MI. I am cur­r­ently living in Beacon, NY.

myome, living with fibroid, rosco, Vulvani

Photo Credits: Rosco Spears

What was your medical history until the final diagnosis of having fibroids?

For about 2 years, I expe­ri­en­ced very heavy blee­ding and cram­ping. In 2011 I star­ted to seek ans­wers about my body. I saw a few dif­fe­rent doc­tors. They all agreed that I was just a heavy blee­der and there was not­hing to be con­cer­ned about. I was pre­scri­bed birth con­trol, which cau­sed me to bleed for 2 mon­ths strai­ght, so I deci­ded to just deal with the heavy blee­ding. I moved to New York in 2012 and star­ted see­ing new doc­tors. It was then that I was dia­gno­sed with having fibro­ids. During this year, I lost a lot of blood, had my first blood trans­fu­sion and an abdo­mi­nal myo­mec­tomy was sug­gested to remove the fibroids.

What is your experience with doctors?

My expe­ri­ence with doc­tors has been a whirl­wind. I’ve rea­li­zed that with most doc­tors, you will need to ask for an ultra­sound (one of the few ways that fibro­ids can be dia­gno­sed). I went years with doc­tors tel­ling me that I was just a heavy blee­der. It wasn’t until recently that I had a doc­tor tho­roughly exp­lain fibro­ids to me by drawing a dia­gram and how the pla­ce­ment of fibro­ids in or around the ute­rus can affect you dif­fer­ently. I’ve also never had a doc­tor tell me of any holistic prac­ti­ces that could be done to help ease the pain and blee­ding. Visi­t­ing a doc­tor has gene­rally been a lonely expe­ri­ence where I left with unans­we­red questions.

Leben mit Myome, Leben mit Fibroide, starke Periode, Menstruation, Fibroide, Fibrome, Living with fibroids, Rosco Spears, Menstruation, Menstruationsblut, Menstruationsklumpen, Periodenblut, Fibroids, unbekannte Krankheit, Frauengesundheit, Vulvani
Leben mit Myome, Leben mit Fibroide, starke Periode, Menstruation, Fibroide, Fibrome, Living with fibroids, Rosco Spears, Menstruation, Menstruationsblut, Menstruationsklumpen, Periodenblut, Fibroids, unbekannte Krankheit, Menstruationsbeschwerden, Regelschmerzen, Periodenschmerzen, Frauengesundheit, Vulvani

Photo Credits: Rosco Spears

Which symptoms do you have?

I was anemic for years. I expe­ri­ence very heavy blee­ding and clot­ting. Some­ti­mes the clots are the size of my fist or lar­ger (see above pic­ture). I expe­ri­ence extreme fati­gue when I am clot­ting in large amounts. There are days where all I can do is go to the toi­let and go back to bed because I don’t have energy for anything else. When a clot is try­ing to pass, the pain that is felt is inde­scri­bable. Medi­cine no lon­ger works for me. I’ve also deve­lo­ped a heart mur­mur due to my low levels of blood. I finally got on Norethin­drone, a birth con­trol that was sup­po­sed to regu­late my period. I bled ever­y­day for 15 mon­ths strai­ght, begin­ning in Octo­ber of 2018. Now, I will expe­ri­ence clot­ting and high levels of pain when I’m in high stress situa­tions or with intense workouts.

Which treatment options or therapy forms have you already tried?

In terms of tre­at­ment, I’ve tried some of ever­ything. I’ve tried cut­ting meat, soy and dairy. I’ve tried acu­p­unc­ture. End­less num­bers of herbs and teas and yoni stea­ming. I recei­ved my first sur­gery for fibroid remo­val, an abdo­mi­nal myo­mec­tomy in Sep­tem­ber of 2013.

Are there any everyday habits that help you to live better with fibroids?

Ever­y­day habits that make living with fibro­ids easier include mana­ging my stress levels. Making sure that I take an iron sup­ple­ment daily. Cut­ting soy and dairy from my diet and limi­t­ing my meat intake. Deep breat­hing exer­ci­ses and sin­ce­rely lis­tening to my body also help a great deal.

Leben mit Myome, Leben mit Fibroide, starke Periode, Menstruation, Fibroide, Fibrome, Living with fibroids, Rosco Spears, Menstruation, Menstruationsblut, Menstruationsklumpen, Periodenblut, Fibroids, unbekannte Krankheit, Menstruationsbeschwerden, Regelschmerzen, Periodenschmerzen, Frauengesundheit, Vulvani

Photo Credits: Rosco Spears

What is living with fibroids like?

Life with fibro­ids is hard. It’s anxiety indu­cing. Life with fibro­ids is having to carry an extra set of clothes to work because you may ruin your pants en route. It’s losing so much blood that you have to get blood trans­fu­si­ons, but you’re also used to living life half energized.

starke Periode, Menstruation, Fibroide, Fibrome, Living with fibroids, Rosco Spears, Menstruation, Menstruationsblut, Menstruationsklumpen, Periodenblut, Fibroids, unbekannte Krankheit, Menstruationsbeschwerden, Regelschmerzen, Periodenschmerzen, Frauengesundheit, Vulvani

Photo Credits: Rosco Spears

Do you have questions about living with fibroids?

Thanks so much for hel­ping us learn more about living with fibro­ids, dear Rosco! If you have more ques­ti­ons about ute­rine fibro­ids, check out the non-pro­fit Fibroid Foun­da­tion, who are dedi­ca­ted to sharing know­ledge, tre­at­ment opti­ons and gene­ral infor­ma­tion about fibro­ids. They have also initia­ted the Ute­rine Fibroid Awa­reness Month, which is every July (and inspi­red this inter­view), to close the dis­pa­ri­ties in health infor­ma­tion, rese­arch and lack of awa­reness when it comes to living with fibro­ids. As always, feel free to share your expe­ri­en­ces and sto­ries with us, if you are affec­ted with ute­rine fibro­ids as well.

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.