Fibroids, Relationships, and Tough Decisions

Fibroids, Relationships, and Tough Decisions

Do your fibroids affect your ability to enjoy physical intimacy with a partner? For many women, the painful symptoms and side effects from fibroids can ruin all desire for sex. Hear from patient advocate and fibroids patient Charisma Burton about how fibroids impacted her romantic partnership, and why she and her partner decided that a hysterectomy was the best choice.*

Fibroids, sex, and relationships

Many couples struggle with physical intimacy, and for many reasons. Physical discomfort and/or hormonal changes often play a big role for fibroids patients. For Burton, “raging” hormones and exhaustion contributed to her lack of sexual desire. 

One of her biggest struggles, she explains, was trying to communicate her physical and emotional symptoms to her partner, who was confused and frustrated by Burton’s sexual standoffishness. 

“I was trying to get him to understand that I’m not angry, I’m not flipping out for any reason,” she says. “When I’m in a good mood, I’m in a great mood. When I’m down and out, I don’t know how to help me, so I don’t know how to tell you to help me, because neither of us knows what’s going on here.” 

Since she’s the “sexual aggressor” in their relationship, she explains, if she doesn’t initiate intimacy, it doesn’t happen. On top of working and raising children, navigating and addressing the uncomfortable side effects of fibroids was not easy. Weeks and months went by, and Burton just didn’t feel the urge. Finally, she reached out to her gynecologist. 

Choosing a treatment

The gynecologist immediately recommended a hysterectomy, since Burton was approaching 40 and already had two children, but Burton wasn’t satisfied that the doctor was helping her make an informed decision. She took charge, did her own research, joined a Facebook support group, and discovered a “plethora of options that [she] hadn’t known about.” 

Burton says that she and her partner, who had been discussing marriage, weighed the pros and cons of each. Burton’s youngest child was 11 years old. A myomectomy would allow Burton to have another child at some point, but would also allow the fibroids to return. The same would be true of procedures to shrink the fibroids. On the other hand, a hysterectomy would permanently remove the option of having more children, an option that she initially wanted to leave open. 

She flip-flopped between myomectomy and hysterectomy, she says, until she woke up one morning and knew that a hysterectomy was the best choice for her. “I have suffered long enough,” she recalls thinking. “Do I really want to give it the option to come back?…And the answer was no.”

There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment

All fibroids treatments have consequences, some of them permanent, and choosing one can be challenging. There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment that’s right for everyone. Having open, frank discussions with your gynecologist and family, and asking lots of questions, will help you to weigh your options and choose the best one for you. 

*The White Dress Project: We CAN Wear White. (2020, July 26). Fibroids force some tough relationship decisions [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from