A Strong Mother-Daughter Relationship Means Discussing Fibroids
Posted byAlicia Trent
It’s time for the talk. THE talk. You shoo the rest of the family out of the room and you sit down just the two of you: mother and daughter. The talk may be awkward, but just remember that a good mother-daughter relationship is built upon trust, communication and support.
While you explain her upcoming period, it’s just as important to discuss topics like fibroids. According to the National Institutes of Health, fibroids are the most common non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age.1 So, since fibroids are common and they could result in symptoms that may affect her period, it’s key to touch upon the subject so she knows what to look for. Here are some tips for how to approach the subject of fibroids with your daughter.
When Is a Good Time to Talk Fibroids?
Even though fibroids are most common in women in their 30s or 40s, the uterine growths can occur at any age, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.2 Bear in mind that if you or a family member had fibroids, your daughter may have an increased risk of developing them, notes the Mayo Clinic.3 That’s why it’s essential to talk to your daughter about the topic as she nears reproductive age or shortly after her first menstrual cycle starts. Discussing fibroids with your daughter at this time ensures she knows the signs and symptoms that may point to fibroids and that she should talk to you or her doctor about them. Keeping an open dialogue contributes to a closer mother-daughter relationship.
What to Say and How to Say It
One way to approach the subject of fibroids is to raise the topic while discussing other period-related subjects with your daughter. Perhaps you are explaining the ins and outs of a menstrual cycle or you have moved on to the mechanics of tampons. This is often the perfect time to bring up potential challenges of menstruation, such as fibroids.
Make sure your daughter knows the average length of a menstrual cycle and the average amount of bleeding that generally occurs. Explain that fibroids may cause longer, more frequent or heavier periods and that the growths could lead to menstrual discomfort.2 Ask your daughter to watch for these symptoms, and assure her that your mother-daughter relationship means tackling difficult and challenging issues together. She can always count on you to lend an ear.
Addressing Concerns and Soothing Fears
It’s normal for your daughter to be uneasy about fibroids and how they may affect her body. If you had fibroids, it’s helpful to share your story and how you managed them. If you have family members who had fibroids, ask if they’re OK with sharing their experience. If she’s comfortable, then your daughter may consider speaking with other family members about the subject.
Your daughter may wonder how she’ll deal with heavy, uncomfortable periods and whether fibroids will impact her everyday activities. Be honest and explain that it depends. Every woman is different. Emphasize that only a doctor can diagnose fibroids and that the condition can be identified through a routine pelvic exam, lab tests or an ultrasound, lists the Mayo Clinic.4 The more information your daughter has about fibroids, the more comfortable she will feel. By sharing this information, you two can build a stronger your mother-daughter relationship.
July is Fibroid Awareness Month! Join us in spreading the word by using #WhyIWearWhite to show your support!
1“Uterine Fibroids: Overview.” National Institutes of Health. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/uterine/Pages/default.aspx
2“Uterine Fibroids,” The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Uterine-Fibroids
3“Uterine fibroids, Symptoms and Causes” Mayo Clinic. July 6, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/symptoms-causes/dxc-20212514
4“Uterine fibroids, Diagnosis.” Mayo Clinic. July 6, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/diagnosis-treatment/diagnosis/dxc-20212528
- Posted by Alicia Trent
- On July 5, 2017