Stephanie Odili stated that she knew something was wrong when her stomach ballooned to three times its usual size.
The 23-year-old stated that she looked like she was four months pregnant and she had been experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding for years, with her periods sometimes lasting for up to 10 days.
She would wear double pads and change them almost every hour.
Stephanie, who is a Nigerian writer, stated that she would receive sharp pains in her stomach and that made her start taking painkillers for the pain and birth control to stop the bleeding considering she did not know what was happening to her.
On one of her many visits to the doctor, her scan revealed that there was swelling and her other symptoms were caused by fibroids.
Uterine fibroids or fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus.
Some of the symptoms of the fibroids include urinating constantly, heavy and painful periods, stomach aches, and pain during sex.
According to doctors, any woman who is of reproductive age can develop fibroids but Black and African women are more likely to have them.
Dr. Ugochukwu Ekwunife, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at Lagoon Hospital in Lagos Nigeria, stated that the cause of fibroids has not been found but it has been linked to the hormone estrogen (this is the female reproductive hormone produced by ovaries).
The doctor also stated that fibroids can cause complications with pregnancy and childbirth as ones located in the inner lining of the womb can prevent the growth of the babies.
The fibroids can be shrunk by doing a fibroid embolization which is a non-invasive procedure used to shrink fibroid tumours.