Speak up! Why you don't have to be embarrassed about explaining fibroid issues - and what to say.


Many women suffer while managing the symptoms of uterine fibroids completely (or nearly completely) on their own. Aside from perhaps close family members, there still exists a taboo over discussing women’s health issues in polite company.

That taboo will continue to exist exactly as long as we as a society ALLOW it to continue. So please, join hands and let’s move past this dangerous, damaging, imaginary billboard that tells us to keep our mouths shut.

Across Europe, millions of women suffer from any of numerous chronic medical conditions. Fibroids unfortunately bring more than one chronic symptom, so you’re in good company. What’s more, the days of menstruation being the ultimate unspoken evil need to be relegated to the annals of history. If we want to make sure underprivileged women become informed and are provided with products to promote menstrual hygiene, periods need to become a topic of un-hushed discussion.

As with any medical issue, there’s no need to go into vast detail when explaining the situation. How about choosing one of these lines:

  • Sorry, I have fibroids, so that plan isn’t going to work for me.
  • I was home because I was dealing with symptoms caused by my uterine fibroids.
  • I’ll be back in a few minutes, just need to deal with side effects from my fibroid.

See? That wasn’t so tough. As for how to answer the inevitable, “Huh? What’s that?” that follows, what’s your style?

  • They’re non-cancerous tumors that can cause chronic pain, bleeding and other uncomfortable symptoms.
  • An alien being in the form of a benign tumor has made a home in the area of my uterus and it periodically takes control of my life.
  • Just be glad you’re male. If you want more details, google it.

While nobody owes our co-workers, nosy neighbors or anyone else an accounting on the inner workings of our lady parts, a quick explanation can make the situation more understandable, thereby earning both cooperation and understanding.

If not for yourself, then consider making the effort toward normalizing the open discussion of feminine issues for the sake of women worldwide (or for the next generation!) Take for example Samikshya Koirala. At age 21, she serves as a youth executive with Amnesty International of Nepal. Holding a simple, homemade sign stating, “Ladies Problem? NO. Ladies Pride. #MenstruationMatters,” Samikshya is making a difference, breaking taboos.

Breaking taboos is a vital step toward women and girls, worldwide, receiving access to information, medical care and health-promoting products that have otherwise been difficult to attain.

Next time someone asks – or doesn’t – about your medical condition, feel free to share. If you’re the type to roll out diagrams and give all the nitty-gritty details, more power to you. If not, that’s okay too. Just know that one or two sentences of brief information can be the key, not only to understanding for yourself, both in work and social situations, but also to add a positive spark and boost of empowerment for women around the world.