Can you recall the last time you checked your voicemail and heard the dreadful message to inform you that it’s time for your pap smear/pelvic exam? Although pap smears are important in maintaining your cervical health, legs up in stirrups, a cold room and a cold doctor isn’t necessarily your definition of a good time. Imagine this, you being new to a city and/or hospital system looking for a doctor to manage your feminine health and fibroids. You have searched all around and talked to several people and they refer you to someone that is a “ trailblazer in fibroid management” and the first time she meets you during your pap smear and pelvic exam, she says, “ Oh no we need to schedule your surgery right now’ . I felt disappointment, heartbreak, fear, and uncertainty about my fibroid management, my ability to have kids in the future and even the possibility of another surgery. The doctor I trusted to help me just shattered my dreams and didn’t provide any hope or alternative methods. Picking a doctor to mange your fibroids is just like picking a daycare for your child, a surgeon for a surgical procedure, a meal for a special occasion, picking a partner in life and it definitely should not be a crap shoot. The doctor you choose should hear your concerns and allow you to be a part of your treatment plan especially if your fibroids aren’t causing life-threatening issues.
Who is my doctor NOW? Because of my last experience with a “fibroid expert”, I changed gynecologist that would hear my thoughts and concerns. My doctor is a holistic gynecologist that keeps a regular tab on my estrogen level (dominance), my hemoglobin and hematocrit, consistent with my pelvic exams and ultrasounds every 6 months to assess the growth or shrinkage of my fibroids and discusses my dietary changes to keep estrogen intake low, exercise regime and even recommends various herbal supplements to help my body get rid of excess estrogen.
When you are on a quest for your doctor, remember how important this search is and have a couple of questions in mind (feel free to ask a ton more):
1) Have you managed fibroids via alternative methods? If, so what alternative treatments have you used with patients?
2) If I am trying to become pregnant, is there any particular test you can perform to ensure that fibroids aren’t preventing actual conception?
3) Are there any dietary or lifestyle changes you recommend to promote fibroid shrinkage or decrease estrogen dominance?
4) Will you be open to my ideas for management of my fibroids?
5) How many women have you treated in which their fibroids actually shrunk via natural methods and they were able to have children?
Search for a doctor like you would search for a house, a good school district or daycare for your kids, a pair of shoes. “There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ, they would brag about it…. So should we “~ Ina May Gaskin.