'I'm worried I will bleed to death': Mum-of-seven's horror over prolapsed fibroid

Photos: Renatta is a single mum of seven kids and suffering from a prolpased fibroid
Photos: Renatta is a single mum of seven kids and suffering from a prolpased fibroid 

Renetta Millington has been suffering from a medical condition causing such severe bleeding, she fears it may kill her before she gets treatment. 

The single mum-of-seven from Wangaratta in Victoria has a prolapsed fibroid. 

"I am worried I will bleed to death," the 46-year-old tells Essential Baby

Photo: Renetta Millington. Supplied
Photo: Renetta Millington. Supplied 

The large fibroid is about 10cm by 10cm and in March it prolapsed, which means it is now hanging outside her vagina.

The fibroid was first diagnosed about four years ago when Renetta experienced extreme bleeding - going through two maternity pads within 15 minutes. Doctors gave her hormones to put her into early menopause and slow the growth of the fibroid while she waited to have it removed.

Four years on, she is still waiting.

"You can only be on the medication for three months. The bleeding settled down and I started taking herbs from a Chinese naturopath to slow the bleeding," Rennetta shared.

Her GP referred her to the Mercy Hospital in Melbourne to have the fibroid removed, however she never heard back from them and the bleeding eased.

Last year the bleeding became bad again, requiring a trip to the emergency department. Rennetta's GP sent another referral to another hospital who told her she would be put on a six to 12 month waiting list for a phone consultation.

Advertisement

"My GP said we can't wait that long, so she referred me in to Reproductive Medicine Albury who saw me in late March and have booked me in for surgery at the end of May."

Rennetta must constantly push the fibroid back inside her as it falls out.

"Sometimes I have to push it out of the way so I can urinate. It puts a lot of pressure on my bladder, so I have to go to the toilet every half an hour."

She has now been bleeding constantly since before Christmas – losing large amounts of blood and large blood clots.

Over the Easter long weekend Rennetta said the bleeding became "catastrophic".

The hospital called an ambulance but on the way her heart rate became erratic, and she experienced bradycardia.

"I was pretty frightened because of the all the blood loss, my whole body started shaking, the ambulance guy told the one driving to pick up the pace," she said. 

Rennetta was given multiple blood and iron transfusions.

"I was put on Tranexamic Acid to stem the bleeding, fluids and pain relief and they packed the vagina to try to stop the bleeding before being sent home again the next day," she explained.

Rennetta said her youngest child is 11 and she fears she will collapse from the blood loss while home alone with her.

"I am lightheaded and exhausted all the time from the blood loss with severe anaemia and low iron. There is constant period like pain, and I can barely walk by the end of the day. It is a very heavy feeling where it has prolapsed."

According to Rennetta, the prolapsed fibroid has impacted all aspects of her life, virtually leaving her housebound and causing her significant depression.

"I have had to put my life on hold, cancel appointments for work and get colleagues to attend them or do phone consultations. I used to be a personal trainer but can't go to the gym or even risk going for a walk.

It is very debilitating," she explained.

Rennetta said her doctor at Reproductive Medicine Albury is horrified she has had to wait so long for treatment. She is concerned she will need a full hysterectomy, which the doctor fears may damage her urethra and kidneys due to scarring from childbirth.

Dr Talat Uppal, obstetrician and gynaecologist from Women's Health Road in Sydney, said she was also surprised Rennetta had not received treatment.

"Her symptoms are quite extreme and debilitating. Having a prolapsed fibroid is quite serious and if she is needing blood, she should have been given priority treatment."

Dr Uppal said fibroids are common and at least one in five women will develop them.

They are a benign tumour of the muscle of the uterus which becomes knobbly and if they are in the cavity of the uterus, they can create risks with pregnancy and cause increased bleeding.

While they are generally asymptomatic and only detected during a pelvic ultrasound - if it's a big mass it can cause pressure symptoms, increased urination or bowel pressure.

A spokesperson for the Mercy Health said: "As an organisation patient care is our number one priority so we are sorry to hear that this patient was in any way dissatisfied with the care received at Mercy Health.

Due to privacy laws, we cannot comment specifically about this patient, but we wish them well and will continue to offer services to support their recovery."