Inside One Woman’s Mission to Offer Hope Beyond Fibroids
Advocacy July is Fibroids Awareness Month, and Gessie Thompson has been a major force behind the campaign. The fertility coach is on a mission to educate and empower all women about the noncancerous uterine tumors.
Thompson struggled with fibroids for 14 years, including 10 years of infertility due to the tumors. She had 10 surgeries, five of which were for fibroids. She also endured five in vitro fertilization cycles and one miscarriage.
After that long struggle, a miracle happened. Thompson and her husband welcomed their baby girl, born seven years ago and weighing not even three pounds. “My daughter Nia has been my greatest inspiration on my journey because birthing her is what launched me into my work,” she says.
Thompson’s fibroids and infertility journey is relatable for many women, especially black women. Thompson, a nutrition and health coach, is one of the 90 percent of black women affected by fibroids by age 50.
Fighting against fibroids
“My daughter Nia has been my greatest inspiration on my journey…”
Unfortunately, the cause of fibroids is still unknown. According to the Fibroid Foundation, hormones estrogen and progesterone, which stimulate development of the uterine lining during menstrual cycles, seem to promote the growth of fibroids, which can range from undetectable to bulky. “As a fibroids survivor, I experienced the shame and silence that shrouds this disease personally,” she says, noting there’s not a lot of data, research and support for the condition.
Thompson wants women to recognize fibroid warning signs and symptoms, such as heavy bleeding requiring changing sanitary napkins more than three to four times a day; cramping requiring pain medications; anemia; bladder incontinence, caused by fibroids pressing on the bladder; and infertility, which is defined as being unable to conceive for almost a year.
Partnering with patients
Author of the book, “Hope Beyond Fibroids: Stories of Miracle Babies & the Journey to Motherhood,” Thompson is focused on holistically preventing and curing inflammatory diseases including fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis and others through lifestyle changes.
She co-founded the DeTox and Hope Beyond Fibroids Elimination Programs, which help women eliminate their fibroids and infertility through lifestyle changes.
Thompson says one of her clients eliminated 50 fibroids through the programs. “I am deeply moved by the courageous people I work with daily to help them heal and protect their wombs,” she says.