This is not simply a medical documentary.
These are the stories of real women whose lives were interrupted because of uterine fibroids,
a common illness affecting 70% of all women and 89% of
African-American women today.
There is no known cause for this reproductive illness, yet over 500,000 fibroid-related
hysterectomies are performed each year.
Direct and indirect costs of uterine fibroids in the U.S. are calculated between $6 and $36+ billion annually.
"Research is formalized curiosity, it is poking and prying with a purpose."
- Zora Neale Hurston
A childless black woman, fed-up with multiple invasive surgeries to save her uterus, seeks answers from scientists, doctors and historians about the cause, symptoms and cure for her major reproductive disease before her biological clock comes to a stop. After nearly dying from her condition, suffering multiple miscarriages, infertility and poverty, she meets other black women suffering from the
same illness, with inconceivable stories about their survival.
In 2008, during a routine trip to the OBGYN, Erica decided to be fitted for a popular birth control device to regulate her unpredictable periods. As the doctor attempted to fit her for the apparatus, she screamed out in excruciating pain. Her physician dismissed her pain and simply told her that some women aren't able to wear IUDs. Despite the prognosis, Erica decided to seek a second opinion. After her first sonogram with a new gynecologist, she was diagnosed with multiple fibroid tumors. This would mark the beginning to 13 years of treatments, surgeries, pain, poverty and ultimately the intensive care unit.
After fighting both fibroids and endometriosis and seeking multiple doctors (one of whom suggested a hysterectomy in her early 30s), Erica, like many other women, had begun to give up the idea of a marriage and family, believing that her symptoms were too extreme.
Choosing faith over her diagnosis, she did some research and found that over 70% of all women have fibroid tumors and 89% of African-American women will be diagnosed with fibroids by age 50 and will suffer from the symptoms the most. After speaking with girlfriends and relatives with uterine fibroids, Erica realized that there is little conversation among women, legislators and the medical industry about the fibroid tumor epidemic. Women have normalized pushing through pain, which could eventually lead to an unwanted hysterectomy and the inability to become pregnant.
WHY AREN'T WE TALKING ABOUT IT?
The goal of Red Alert: The Fight Against Fibroids is to build awareness and compassion for the vast amounts of women who are suffering from fibroids and related reproductive illnesses. Our goal is to present the faces of fibroids, while expressing the hopes and fears of the women whose lives have been interrupted, through thoughtful, artistic production, along with cutting edge research that could spark progressive change for millions of lives everywhere.
No more suffering in silence.
Uterine fibroids affect 171 million women worldwide.
Why hasn't more attention and research funding been given toward this illness?
a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain
- Oxford dictionary
a benign tumor of muscular and fibrous tissues, typically developing in the wall of the uterus
- Oxford dictionary