While most women with Fibroids spend up to 8 years suffering, the truth is most can shorten that considerably. It can'be be said enough that "I bleed too way too much" can cost years of time on the path to relief.
Between your GP and your first GYN appointment (to get a diagnosis) you spent 1 to 2 years waiting for appointments. By your second visit to the GYN you've run tests and are told you have Fibroids.
You have your diagnosis! THIS is
where you CAN take control.
Once you're confirmed to have symptomatic Fibroids, your GYN will review "the list" (PDF) of Common Health Canada approved treatments. You will be given an overview of these but likely offered Birth Control Pills (maybe in conjunction with something to limit bleeding) or perhaps Ulipristal Acetate (currently the only UA drug approved in Canada for the treatment of Fibroids is Fibristal). The idea is to offer the least invasive options first.
But what if your case is HORRENDOUS?
More time will pass, and experimenting with other treatments will require repeat visits.
Eventually many symptomatic Fibroids Patients have a GYN Visit Chart that would show 5-7 appointments have passed since first arrival; but in "practical patient terms" that translates is 4 to 5 years of suffering. Why? Because most GYN appointments are between 7 and 13 months apart.
It's easy to blame doctors for the pain and suffering in that time, but the most-under used advantages we have is knowledge and information. These alone can shorten your time spent suffering.
Here's how you can help your GYN.. help you faster
1. The power of accuracy in symptom overview.
Use The CANFib Printable Fibroids Survival Kit on our TOOLS Page to measure blood loss. Use pads, tampons, both, or a diva cup. All will work and this will help you save a number of appointments (and as a result years of wait times).
Because your GYN needs to AGREE that your case is horrendous. "I bleed a lot" means nothing compared to "I bleed 2 cups a day on my first two days" and so on. Even talking about pads to your GYN without a chart of quantity is not workable as 2 pads an hour can be half full, totally full, over flowing.
2. The power of information.
It's vital you know the most common approved treatments available in Canada, and learn everything you can about them.
For example, some women do not want to use hormones if possible and other women do not want surgery if possible. A woman interested in UAE might change her mind when she finds out there is a risk of being thrown into menopause early. Fertility may be a concern for some. Having an educated idea of what you want and don't want will help your GYN focus on your case rather than a generic list of treatments. Sure some may just not be possible, but those that are can be under more immediate consideration.
Accuracy and Informed visitation CAN shorten your path to your best treatment.
With proper quantification and really accurate overviews of your situation (and treatment preferences) your GYN has a better chance of getting to the right solution the first time. And even if there is a miss, the chance of a home run is better on your next visit.