On Tuesday 15 May 2018, Fibroids Treatment clinic in partnership with The White Dress Project, a non-profit organisation that sets to raise awareness about Fibroids and urge women to seek help hosted an educational experience to drive awareness on the impact that fibroids has on millions of South African women.
This flagship initiative which brought together experts and women in one room aimed to allow women to reclaim their voice in speaking about this prevalent condition.
Studies show that in South Africa alone, 4 out of 10 women have fibroids. And 80% of women are at risk of developing fibroids from their reproductive age to the age of 50. Head of Fibroids Treatment Clinic, Dr Gary Sudwarts says; “ As a doctor treating women with fibroids, I realised that the biggest problem many of our woman face is not knowing that they have fibroids and they are certainly not aware of the treatment options available to them. They suffer in silence experiencing symptoms such as pelvic pain, constipation, frequent urinating, pain during intercourse, infertility and heavy bleeding.”
White Dress Project was launched to support women living with Fibroids because women who have fibroids avoid wearing a white dress because of heavy menstrual bleeding. “ The White Dress Project is a tremendous opportunity to support women suffering from fibroids. They need to know that they have the right to be able to choose what to wear without fear of being embarrassed by a medical condition.” Dr Gary Suwarts says
He continues to say “This event was a platform to encourages women to share their experiences, discuss treatment options and to know that they are not alone. Women can finally imagine a life without Fibroids, a life in which they are not constantly tired or have a big pelvic mass. Where they can have children and have the energy to care for their families.”
The event was attended by some of Mzansi’s faves including, actress and model Jay Anstey, plus size model & photographer Thick Leeyonce.
• THE WHITE DRESS PROJECT
Since its inception in the United States by Tanika Gray Valbrun who is the only surviving child from a mother that has lost two successive set of twins and has been diagnosed with Fibroids herself. She founded the White Dress Project to galvanise support and promote awareness about the ‘embarrassing’ fibroid epidemic among women. This project has stretched its wings to the horizon of other parts of the world including South Africa.
As part of suppressing the fear of wearing a white garment and supporting survivors collectively, white was chosen as a symbol of hope, empowerment and perseverance.
Fibroids are non-malignant tumours that exist within or on the uterus, they usually affect women between the ages of 30 to 50. Fibroids can cause infertility or create difficult pregnancies, miscarriage or preterm births.
THERE IS HOPE – THE FIBROID TREATMENT CLINIC
Fibroids are most often found during a routine pelvic examination. The Fibroid Treatment Clinic offers a non surgical permanent treatment for fibroids. It’s called Uterine Artery Embolization and it works by blocking the small blood vessels to the fibroids starving them of their nutrient supply. It is a minor procedure that is performed in hospital and paid for by medical aids. Uterine Artery Embolization is incredibly effective and very popular as it requires no cutting and not removing the uterus.
The clinic is committed to spreading the message and empowering women to know that they can over overcome this potentially life threatening condition and improve their quality of life, a life that is fibroid free.