Psychological Toll of Fibroids

Psychological Toll of Fibroids 645d50cbc28b2.png

Psychological Toll of Fibroids

Uterine fibroids can not only interrupt our lives, but they can also affect our relationships, our self-esteem, and our perception of our bodies.

Though some fibroids can visibly distort the body, others can distort our perception of our body. This perception of our body is known as our body image.

According to experts at the National Eating Disorders Collaboration,

“Your body image is what you think and how you feel when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. This includes how you feel about your appearance; what you think about your body itself, such as your height and weight; and how you feel within your own skin.

Body image also includes how you behave as a result of your thoughts and feelings. You may have a positive or negative body image. Body image is not always related to your weight or size.”

When it comes to having uterine fibroids, research has shown that there is indeed a connection between having fibroids and body-image-based concerns.

In fact, according to a recent article in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine entitled “Body image concerns in individuals diagnosed with benign gynecological conditions: scoping review and meta-synthesis,” not only can gynecological conditions like uterine fibroids lead to increased body dissatisfaction, but if this body image concern goes untreated, it can lead to a great reduction in quality of life.

In 2014 a study was released by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, which took a look at the psychological effects of having uterine fibroids.

The study followed 48 women that were suffering from diagnosed fibroid pain. These women were regularly examined in regard to their emotional and psychological relationship with having fibroids.

What the study found was that the women in the study did indeed experience emotional reactions to having fibroids and fibroid-related pain.

Their emotions linked to their fibroids ranged from mild worry to intense feelings of fear and anxiety. Some women even reported experiencing symptoms as severe as depression.

One of the most commonly reported reasons for these feelings was the unpredictability of fibroid symptoms, as well as the feeling of helplessness in regard to the effect that fibroids have on their bodies and their lives.

Women in the study reported feeling self-conscious about the impact their fibroids had on their appearance and weight, whether the effect of the fibroids was physically evident or not.

As a result of feeling uncomfortable within their own bodies, many of the women reported that it negatively affected their sexual and intimate relationships with their partners.

One of the most upsetting results of the study was the finding that many of the women thought they had no choice but to live with and endure the symptoms of uterine fibroids. And- the psychological toll that comes with it.

Fortunately, that is not at all true, and there is a solution.

In our next article, we will take a further look at the effects of fibroids and the first steps to getting treatment and finding relief.

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