Here is answer by a Specialist-
Fibroid in itself does not kill. Remember in many cases women do not even know they have it.  *However, the complications it causes if not checked can kill.*
Examples of such are:
1)

Heavy bleeding every month can result in anaemia that could cause heart failure and death. Many women in our  rural areas across African nations and even in the cities are already low on iron from poor diet which is characteristic of low socioeconomic class. So, juxtapose heavy bleeding on that and the result can be dire.

2)

Furthermore, as it was in my case when they get real big or are in a position where they cause reduced blood flow due to pressure on the pelvic vessels,  blood clots in legs and lungs arise from the sluggish flow. These can   kill! 

3)

Also, in pregnancy after delivery it can cause significant bleeding and that can kill if not promptly managed.

4)

If a woman’s fibroid is in the way or lower part of the womb at delivery and she had no scans antenatally and she is delivering in a church or nursing home, that baby can not come out. If not sectioned she may die trying to give birth normally from malpodition/ uterine rupture/ bleeding etc.

5)

The concoctions people drink can kill them before the fibroid some times . Liver toxic and kidney toxic herbs… no proper randomised control trials to check their side effects. These days people even but pills over the internet and swallow them….without knowing what is in it. Let’s be safe and sensible my dear ladies. 

6)

In cases where fibroids contribute to the challenge of sub fertility or infertility, women run from pillar to post trying to get a child. From hot pots on the abdomen to “melt” the fibroids, through repeated botched surgeries to even suicide, in the root cause analysis, the fibroid may be found as the primary trigger of the end complication. 

7)

In our African sociocultural milieu, there is the need for cultural integration to help support these women with this condition and enable them cultivate  better health seeking behaviour from the right specialists. It is not the time for some men of God (not all) to tell women to keep praying so the fibroid turns into a baby when in the meantime it gets bigger getting ready to cause a major complication. No need to go to “mamalawo” to get that hot pot put on your tummy and get 3rd degree burns or drink mixtures that smell like ‘yurk’. It is also not an “arrow” thrown by the first wife at the younger wife or vice versa.

Let’s talk health and gospel…the healthcare providers get their knowledge from God. How we utilise our knowledge is what makes the difference. Utilising it to cause no harm but to improve the quality of lives of other people surely glorifies our creator irrespective of religion, creed or race! 

As a final word, it is my prayer that I find a way, *with other groups of health care providers* to ensure all pregnant women in Nigeria, no matter how far in the rural areas they live, get at least one scan in pregnancy. A tree does not make a forest but a tree can start a forest. ?One person can not do it alone, but overall, together we can be the change we wish to see.

*That they may live to reap the fruit of their labour* in the words of my teacher Prof. A U Oronsayae of blessed memory.

© Loretta Ogboro-Okor April 2019.

The Health Gospel

Uterine Fibroid and the African womanSpeaker: Dr Loretta Ogboro-Okor( Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)Host:Dr Idee Charles 19/04/2019

Posted by Thehealthgospel on Friday, April 19, 2019

Categories: Health Tips

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