It's a medical issue some women may never even know they have: uterine fibroids. But for an Omaha woman, her fibroid grew so large, she and others immediately took notice.
Michelle Greenwood loves strolling at Lake Zorinsky with her husband by her side.
Not long ago, her walks came to a halt.
Michelle Greenwood says, "About ten years ago, I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids, then last winter they started to grow."
The fibroid-a noncancerous tumor grew so rapidly, Michelle's clothes started becoming uncomfortable to wear.
Michelle Greenwood says, "I knew it was large because it looked like I was about seven months pregnant."
She turned to Dr. John Cote, an OB/GYN.
Dr. Cote says in Michelle's case, surgery was the only option.
Dr. John Cote/OB/GYN says, "In the end, we weighed it about eight pounds, four ounces, so essentially she had a fairly large baby that we removed from her uterus...
Dr. Cote says Michelle's case is a rare one.
Although one in five women may get uterine fibroids, most of the time they won't cause symptoms or problems.
If you do have symptoms...
"Women that come in to see us are complaining of bleeding problems, intermenstrual bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, pelvic pressure." says Dr. Cote.
Dr. Cote says fibroids are estrogen dependent and a genetic issue-doctors have no way of preventing them.
In Michelle's case, an abdominal hysterectomy was the only option, but she was back to work in less than five weeks.
Greenwood says, "I am so surprised how my quality of life is so much better."
Uterine fibroids are most common in African-American women.
Rebroadcast with permission of WOWT.