“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star, international model, and successful entrepreneur Cynthia Bailey has been named a USA Fibroid Centers Ambassador to increase fibroid awareness. As a fibroid ambassador, Bailey, who successfully underwent Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), will encourage women to have more conversations around fibroids and treatment options.
“We are proud to announce Cynthia Bailey has joined the fight to empower more women to learn about fibroids and minimally invasive treatment options,” said Yan Katsnelson, M.D., Founder and CEO, USA Fibroids Centers. “We applaud her efforts to bring public awareness to the fibroid epidemic that affects over 26 million American women. Conversations about fibroids are essential because they can lead to screening and early detection. If more women are made aware of fibroid disease and its symptoms, they are more likely to be proactive about seeking treatment.”
Bailey, who has shared details about her 14-year struggle with fibroids on her TV show, successfully underwent uterine fibroids embolization (UFE)—a minimally invasive procedure used to treat fibroid tumors of the uterus that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pain, and pressure on the bladder or bowel.
Bailey first learned she had fibroids when she was pregnant with her daughter Noelle. Other than heavy menstrual bleeding, Bailey didn’t realize they would cause any future health problems. However, as her fibroids grew, Bailey’s symptoms intensified. She became severely anemic to the point that it was difficult for her to work. Her periods were also increasingly painful, with severe cramping. “I felt like my life revolved around my period,” Bailey said. “There were so many turning points and embarrassing moments that I knew I had to get my fibroids under control.”
Like most women, Bailey didn’t know what caused her fibroids. Fibroids are growths (tumors) that develop from the smooth muscle layer of the uterus. They are the most common growths of the uterus and female pelvic organs and affect 80% of women, with black women diagnosed with fibroids three times as frequently, developing them earlier in life with more severe symptoms.1
“We work together with our patients to raise awareness about the benefits that UFE offers as a treatment option,” Katsnelson said. “UFE is a non-surgical treatment option for fibroids that preserves the uterus and fertility. Performed as an outpatient procedure, UFE doesn’t require a hospital stay or general anesthesia. Most women are fully recovered within a week or two compared to eight weeks for a hysterectomy.”
Bailey’s recovery from UFE was only one week. “UFE completely changed my life. I didn’t know how miserable I was until I had the procedure done,” Bailey said. “My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.” As a fibroid ambassador, Baily hopes to encourage more women to make investments in their health. “No one has time for fibroids,” she said
The FDA-approved UFE procedure offers many benefits over hysterectomy and myomectomy, routinely offered as the only fibroid treatment options. UFE does not interfere with a women’s hormones or negatively affect other organs like the bladder, bowels, and the pelvic floor. Using ultrasound guidance, an interventional radiologist inserts a tiny catheter into the main uterine artery. Embolic materials are injected that stop blood flow and nutrients to the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and symptoms to disappear. Not only is the uterus left intact, but there is also less risk of excess blood loss, pain, or infection.
“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for every woman with this widespread condition by providing awareness and education,” said Katsnelson. “UFE offers the additional benefit of preserving fertility, yet many women are unaware of this less invasive treatment option.”