Essence no longer bills themselves as specifically a black women's magazine (if I remember right), but they do cover issues other mags don't, such as:
HEALTH: THE TRUTH ABOUT FIBROIDS—In addition to being two to three times more likely to develop fibroids than other groups, Black women also tend to get them at an earlier age. With cure developments spawning new hope, ESSENCE takes a look at the latest in the treatment of fibroids, through the use of uterine fibroid embolization. Writer Linda Knittle also provides readers with resources for individual research on alternative methods to treat fibroids, as well as how to manage them.
If you can't find the mag -- think that's last month's issue at this point -- there's also information online. From the Federal Government, for example, at Health Problems in African American Women: Uterine Fibroids:
Uterine fibroids are tumors or growths, made up of muscle cells and other tissues that grow within the wall of the uterus (or womb). Although fibroids are sometimes called tumors, they are almost always benign (not cancerous). Fibroids can grow as a single growth or in clusters (or groups). Their size can vary from small, like an apple seed (or less than one inch), to even larger than a grapefruit, or eight inches across or more. No one knows for sure what causes fibroids. Researchers have some theories, but most likely, fibroids are the result of many factors interacting with each other. These factors could be hormonal (affected by estrogen levels), genetic (running in families), environmental, or a combination of all three. Because no one knows for sure what causes fibroids, we also don't know what causes them to grow or shrink. For the most part, fibroids stop growing or shrink after menopause. But, this is not true for all women with fibroids.
Most of the time, fibroids grow in women of childbearing age. While no one knows for sure what will increase a woman's chances of getting fibroids, researchers have found that African American women are 2 to 3 times more likely to get them than women of other racial groups. African American women also tend to get fibroids at a younger age than do other women with fibroids.
And also from the Philadelphia Black Women's Health Project, AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN AND FIBROIDS:
What are the signs and symptoms of fibroids?
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Abnormally heavy menstrual periods that come more frequent than your normal cycle (less than every 28-30 days).
- Pelvic pain/pressure
- Painful menstrual periods.
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse.
- Pressure on the bladder which can cause frequent urination.
- Acute or severe pelvic pain from twisting of the fibroid on its stalk, or from degeneration of the fibroid.
Treatment options are listed, including Ablation and Hysterectomy. You can look those up your own self, if you're that curious and don't know.
Not an issue I'll have to deal with personally, but I know it runs in the family, so any girl children I have will run the risk.
For the opposite situation, less frequent periods instead of more, there's an article at Scarleteen covering that.
Wrote this in a bit of a rush, and without enough coffee. If there's any false or misleading info, or the whole thing just makes no sense, let me know.
Update: In for a penny. . . Center for Uterine Fibroids: Be an Advocate for Women's Health:
On May 20, 2003, as a recently appointed member of the House Ways and Means Committee (which oversees health care issues), Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio introduced the following bill to the 108th Congress to increase the funding available for research and education about uterine fibroids. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski introduced identical legislation to the U.S. Senate. This new legislation will allocate $10 million a year from 2004 to 2008. Passage of this bill into law would mean that new fibroid treatments and new information about fibroids' causes and development might become available. Click here to read Representative Jones' and Senator Mikulski's press statement about the bill.
Not sure about the current status of the bill. I really don't want to go digging, because I'm pretty sure I already know the answers I would find, and they'd just put me in a worse mood than I'm already in.
Update: Fuckit. Hiding from the truth doesn't make it go away.
H.R.1672 : To provide for an increase in funding for research on uterine fibroids through the National Institutes of Health, and to provide for a program to provide information and education to the public on such fibroids.
Sponsor: Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] (introduced 5/2/2001) Cosponsors: 89
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 5/15/2001 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
Looks like I'll have to send a snail-mail note to Jesse Jackson, Jr., who's still my congressman since I haven't changed my address. Couldn't find an email address at his site or at his U.S. Rep. page.
Well, I hear those are more effective anyway.