Dr. Jessica Shepherd Talks Kandi Burruss’ Fertility Issues

April 30, 2015  |  

Earlier this week, we told you that Kandi Burruss would be undergoing in-vitro fertilization after unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for over a year. Today, Burruss will appear on “The Dr. Oz Show” along with her husband Todd Tucker and women’s health expert and OB/GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd to discuss her fertility issues.

We were recently able to connect with Dr. Shepherd, who provided further insight into the problems Kandi and Todd are facing in trying to get pregnant. She also dished on some common issues relating to women and their reproductive health including trying to get pregnant after 40 and when couples should seek fertility assistance.

MN: We know that Kandi suffered from uterine fibroids, but can you provide insight regarding her specific situation?

It was basically the location of her fibroids and basically that she had previous surgery before that made it a little bit more difficult to conceive.

MN: How do fibroids present issues with conception exactly?

Basically with conception, it all depends on where the fibroid is. If the fibroid is actually in the cavity of the uterus, it can create an environment that has a lot of inflammation. It can also take up space, which can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting inside the uterus where it needs to be.

MN: What are common symptoms of fibroids? Are they always painful?

No, actually the number one complaint of fibroids is heavier periods. It can also cause constipation heavy bleeding during periods, urinary frequency. It all depends on location. Depending on the size of the fibroid, it can cause infertility and conception issues.

MN: Are some women more susceptible to suffering from fibroids than others?

Yes, which is why this is a great site to share this information. African-American women, by the age of 50, up to 75% of them will have fibroids. Any other women of other ethnicities, up to 50% of them will have fibroids by the time they’re 50. It’s a very common problem in women, but with African-American women, in general, the chances are increased.

MN: Is there any way that someone can lower their chances of developing fibroids?

It’s one of those things that just happens. Usually, family history plays a key part in whether or not someone will have them. Usually, if a mother, sister, or grandmother has fibroids, most likely a woman may find herself with fibroids.

MN: There was a study a few years ago that suggested some sort of correlation between relaxers and fibroids?

As someone who deals with fibroids on a regular basis, I have not witnessed a correlation. Having read the studies, I think the significance of the study was not very strong—the significance meaning when you look at the strength of the study.

If you look at fibroids, they’ve been very prevalent in African-Americans, even before we started using perms. And also, women who have never had perms are also susceptible to having fibroids. It’s very hard to use that as a strength in suggesting that people would have an increased risk of developing fibroids. Even if people don’t have perms, they still can have fibroids.

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