In honor of Women’s Day, we’re highlighting 3 amazing women who are raising public awareness around fibroids and other health issues affecting women all over the world.
These ladies have all taken the brave step of going public with their uterine fibroids, and speaking openly about their physical symptoms, treatments they’ve undergone, and emotional and psychological challenges associated with the condition.
By bringing uterine fibroids into the public conversation, these women are helping others living with fibroids learn about their options for managing the condition, and reducing the stigma around discussing this common health issue.
Jill Martin shared her radically honest perspective on fibroids
Today Show commentator and lifestyle influencer Jill Martin went public with her fibroid battle in March 2022, speaking frankly about how fibroids have affected her life.
With more than 570,000 followers on Instagram and millions viewing her TV segments, Jill’s honest documentation and talks about fibroids have helped raise public awareness about the condition.
“Here were my symptoms: I could not go anywhere without my heating pad. It hurt to have intercourse,” Jill wrote in a story published on the Today Show website.
“I was physically distorted and bloated…and I was in glaring pain most of the time. Oh, and another fabulous occurrence: When someone would say something funny, I would pee.”
Jill explained that her upbringing was a factor as to why she kept mum about her uterine fibroids for several years, as she felt like it was preferable to grin-and-bear-it, rather than complain.
But after she underwent uterine fibroid embolization to treat her fibroids, she felt it was time to tell the world about what she was experiencing.
“Before discovering this treatment, I thought the only way to fix my pain meant getting a hysterectomy. After talking with other women who suffer from fibroids, I realized I’m not alone,” she wrote.
Bethenny Frankel is encouraging transparency when it comes to living with uterine fibroids
The Real Housewives star and entrepreneur has been open about her life, but always kept her fibroids under wraps, until recently. But after her condition started affecting her day-to-day life, Bethenny ended up revealing her struggle with fibroids on screen.
What Bethenny was very surprised by, she said, is that the condition is so common, yet almost never publicly acknowledged.
“No one really talks about them,” Bethenny told People magazine. “I didn’t realize how many people have them. It’s still something women don’t share.”
She was hospitalized for three days following a surgery to remove her softball-size fibroids, describing the recovery period as “extremely painful.” But, Bethenny said, the treatment was worth it because she’s now able to live without heavy bleeding and overwhelming pain.
“I feel really good. I look forward to walking on the beach. I’m in a really happy place right now.” Her struggle with uterine fibroids “was, overall, a very enlightening experience,” she said.
Amber Ruffin believes ‘now is a great time’ to talk about women’s health, including fibroids
Talk show host, playwright, and author Amber Ruffin suffered from heavy menstrual bleeding and pain, and finally found out that she had fibroids after a particularly difficult period. Like Martin and Frankel, Ruffin was shocked that fibroids are so common, yet rarely talked about.
“You know what’s crazy? The amount of people I knew who had fibroids! There’s like a billion of us and no one said a frigging word!” Amber says.
“The only way I found out is I told everyone with ears and I’m not exaggerating when I say a third of the people I talked to had had it. Many had surgery to get them removed. But I knew almost nothing about fibroids when I got them, which is odd because it’s so common.”
“Black women are more likely to experience fibroids. So, let’s talk about it,” Amber notes, adding that “now is a great time to talk about women’s health.”
She has also been open about the fact that she eventually had a hysterectomy, an event which she recalls without shame or stigma. She says that the surgery has helped her regain control of her life after years of living with debilitating pain from fibroids.
Jill, Bethenny, and Amber have all leveraged their platforms to advocate for women with fibroids. They’ve discussed topics ranging from less invasive options for treatment to tips for speaking with your doctor and getting screened.
By bringing the conversation about fibroids and other women’s health issues to the forefront, they’re empowering women with the knowledge and practical advice they need to take charge of their health and live better with fibroids.