Daughters of women with fibroids have the right to be informed about the potential of a family tendency toward fibroids. Being blindsided by pain, heavy bleeding and other symptoms isn’t pleasant, but then again, nobody wants her daughter to be over-worried about the potential for what might be taken as an unavoidable impending disaster.
Speaking comfortably with daughters about women’s health issues is easiest if a foundation of open communication has been laid early on in the parent-child relationship. If your children are still young, start setting a pattern of sharing and listening, both as a relationship-builder and as an avenue toward knowing what is going on in your child’s life. Once she feels okay telling you she was frustrated trying to tie her shoes and later, that long division is tough, there’s more chance she’ll share that someone gave her the creeps on the way to her friend’s house or that she’s experiencing unsettling medical symptoms.
First gynecologist visit
Growing up and changing is both exhilarating and confusing. Puberty can turn life upside down but can also serve as a magnificent stepping stone toward an optimistic future. At some point between puberty and age 21, a young woman should go for her first visit to a gynecologist. Discussing the need for this visit is an ideal time, if the topic has not been brought up earlier, to discuss gynecological issues in a relaxed atmosphere. Young people are generally capable of handling even complex information when delivered in a straightforward fashion by people who they feel care about them and are invested in their health, well-being, and future.
Paying attention to what your body is saying
Be it her knee, skin, abdomen or anywhere else, your daughter needs to know that paying attention to one’s body is important. Get to know it – what’s normal and what’s not – feel, listen and act. This awareness can and should begin at a young age. Does her tummy hurt? Well, why? Did she eat something strange? Is she stressed? Does this warrant a visit to the doctor? This thought process should follow through to a healthy adulthood.
Talk about it
It’s okay for your daughter(s) to know that Mom has a medical condition. Especially if you’re suffering, better she should know the real story and be assured that it isn’t life-threatening. Whew… her mother will also be around tomorrow. Huge relief.
The question, “Well, what about me?” may come up on its own. Be honest in answering it. Yes, there is a correlation that appears as hereditary in the reappearance of uterine fibroids through familial generations. HOWEVER, there are also studies showing that some of this could be caused by inherited lifestyle elements (diet, exercise, healthy habits) that may be changed through conscientious planning and hard work.
If a sit-down, heart-to-heart discussion around the kitchen (or living room – wow, intimidating!) table isn’t likely to succeed, how about talking while hiking or during a long car trip? Sometimes having something else going on and avoiding eye-to-eye contact makes communicating about difficult issues less intimidating.
Keep talking, but not necessary about IT
Once a comfortable, accepting and open dialogue has been established, at any age, keep it going! This is your family’s healthy platform toward problem solving, emotional support, health and growth. If and when fibroid questions arise, answer them in a non-alarmist and honest fashion. Sometimes, parents don’t have all the answers and that’s okay. Research the answer together. The same holds true for other issues that can and will pop up over the years. Being your child’s sounding board, even when she’s all grown up, is precious for all involved. Cherish that relationship.
Laugh, love and live every day with your family.
Microcopy: #Parenting with #fibroids: Here’s the scoop.The possibility of passing this on to the next generation needs to be discussed, so here’s how.