A surgeon, Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu, says no drug will shrink fibroids in a woman.
Olowojebutu, also the Founder, Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation, a non-governmental organisation made this known at a news conference on Saturday in Lagos.
Fibroids are non-cancerous abnormal growths that develop in or around the womb (uterus). The growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue, and vary in size.
The surgeon advised women that instead, they should visit a doctor and get examined when they suspect that they might have fibroids.
“There are lots of fallacies and superstitious beliefs around fibroids that you can take medicines to shrink or pass it out from the anus; that is what is killing many women today.
“Some women have been taken herbal drugs for years and instead of shrinking the fibroid, it is getting bigger.
“We want to create awareness to let people know that there is help for them,” Olowojebutu said.
He said that his foundation was willing to meet the needs of women who could not afford to pay for surgeries.
According to him, we are targeting 1,000 women for free surgeries in 2019.
Olowojebutu said that the average cost of surgery was N500,000 in the Mainland and about N1million in the Island, both areas in Lagos State.
“So, imagine somebody earning N4,000 a month. How long will such person save to be able to pay for surgery.
“ The goal of BOF is to, in the long run, change the healthcare space with love and compassion.
“Our project for 2019 is called “Journey To 1,000 Free Surgeries”; our aim is to be able to help 1,000 indigent patients suffering from fibroids, lipoma, breast lumps and hernia.
“We have started already and we just concluded the Ikorodu outreach where eight fibroid surgeries took place.
“We are off to Cross River, Imo, Abia, Edo, Rivers and Ondo States from the February 1, “ he said.
Olowojebutu said that fibroids were very common in African women and also in Nigeria.
He said, however, that the risk of developing fibroids could be reduced if a woman married early and they have a break from menstruating due to pregnancy.
“Women who menstruate early, let us say at 10 years old and you are now 35 years old, that is 25 years of bleeding without a break.
“When there is no break in your menstrual flow, that is, the longer you are menstruating for, the more time you have to stimulate the oestrogen hormone to produce fibroid.
“Women who have many babies may not have fibroid, because there is usually a break; one year of pregnancy and another for breastfeeding, which is two years of break.
“So, the oestrogen hormone cannot stimulate their wombs to grow the fibroids,” he said.