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giantturtle
06-26-2008, 19:35
Hello,

I am a male diver writing with a question about women's health. I know this forum is for postings from female divers, but I hope you will forgive the intrusion under the circumstances. This is the perfect place for me to get some advice.

I am a diver and my new wife has expressed an interest in learning to scuba dive, so we can go on diving vacations together. I am thrilled of course - however, she has uterine fibroids which sometimes cause heavy and prolonged bleeding.

I want to know if anyone has any experience or knowledge of diving with fibroids they could share? I don't want to get my wife's hopes up if she isn't going to be able to dive. If I could get some info before going through the whole process of consulting specialists, etc. it would be helpful. The whole issue can be stressful for her, so I want to learn as much as I can so I can be prepared and supportive.

I haven't been able to find any info online, through DAN, etc. If anyone knows anything, please share here or by PM.

Many thanks.

thesmoothdome
06-26-2008, 19:59
Call DAN at 1-919-684-2948. They're there to answer questions M-F 8:30am-8:00pm EST.

giantturtle
06-26-2008, 20:25
Thanks for the thought. I am interested in hearing experiences and knowledge from women if anyone can share anything...

Monkeylemon
06-28-2008, 09:15
Are you worried about the pressure on her abdominal area or about the possibility of blood hitting the water?

giantturtle
06-28-2008, 13:52
A little - but mainly the possibility of blood clots or embolism. I would have thought that would be the main threat to her health.

Your post reminds me I need to find out if the blood released from fibroids is menstrual or systemic blood (or both). I have read widely that only systemic blood is appealing to sharks.

I was just wondering if there was anyone else out there who had been through the process of researching this already or had some info?

Martin2
06-28-2008, 16:31
There's an OB on the board that might have some info. You might PM her.

fisheater
06-28-2008, 17:09
I really wouldn't run a poll for a diving medicine question. Like thesmoothdome suggested, call DAN. They're the world's experts on diving medicine and the call is free.

Of course, you should also JOIN DAN, as they provide such a wonderful and life-saving service.

obrules15
06-28-2008, 20:52
There's an OB on the board that might have some info. You might PM her.

I think they meant me :) there isn't any increased risk by diving with fibroids. There is no change in the blood flow that would put you at increased risk while diving. There is no difference in the blood besides the amount. The biggest problem would be the unpredictable nature of the pain and the bleeding. One would be quite pissed to wake up in paradise with a dive plan for the day but with excruciating bleeding and pain. That is why I usually recommend continuous birth control pills and lots of naprosyn (alleve) for trips.

P.S. I am a Board Certified Ob/Gyn and an Assistant Prof of Ob/Gyn and a PADI Divemaster.

giantturtle
06-28-2008, 21:16
Those of you suggesting DAN, sincere thanks for the advice, however please refer to OP. I am not running a poll, I am interested to hear from people who actually have the condition or have experience of it. The experience of the individual is very important information - especially in regards to women's issues, where the opinion and experience of the woman is often overlooked.

Of course I am going to take this up with DAN, our OB and others - but (as mentioned in the OP) it is good to know what you are getting yourself in for before heading into a potentially traumatic doctor visit.

Thanks to obrules15. That is very helpful and reassuring. Can you speak to the nature of the blood that fibroids produce? Is it of concern vis a vis shark attraction?

Thanks again everyone.

obrules15
06-28-2008, 21:25
Those of you suggesting DAN, sincere thanks for the advice, however please refer to OP. I am not running a poll, I am interested to hear from people who actually have the condition or have experience of it. The experience of the individual is very important information - especially in regards to women's issues, where the opinion and experience of the woman is often overlooked.

Of course I am going to take this up with DAN, our OB and others - but (as mentioned in the OP) it is good to know what you are getting yourself in for before heading into a potentially traumatic doctor visit.

Thanks to obrules15. That is very helpful and reassuring. Can you speak to the nature of the blood that fibroids produce? Is it of concern vis a vis shark attraction?

Thanks again everyone.

Well, fibroid blood is the same as menstrual blood. I have seen people weigh in on menstrual blood vs. systemic blood and I don't know if there really is a difference in terms of sharks. Menstrual blood is composed mostly of the breakdown of the lining of the uterus not actual blood blood per se. HOWEVER, what most don't realize is that the water pressure externally will prevent blood from coming out WHILE DIVING. Can't make any promises if you sit on the boat for an hour in between. Best thing honestly is a good tampon then it really is a non issue.

jimmysdevoted
06-28-2008, 21:34
last year I wa stold i have mes sof them, tiny ones but theer none teh less. I too ahve bleeding that looks like someone got stabbed.

here is what I do, and you amy want to pass it along.
Tylenol for some strange reason slows flow. We dont know why but it does. She can try it and see if it helps.
also eating anything high in Vitamin K will help.I eat eggs and take a Vitamin K when i go heavy.
embolisms are in a different part of teh body. She may feel woozy from loss of blood ..so limit the dive.
teh only thing that we worry about is passing very large clots that go beyond the tampon by pushing it out. so i wear an exatr pair of absorbing cotton underwear under my bathing suit to help in case of breakthrough. I also take a change of clothes with me.

We try to get the cramps and bleeding under control and time when we go. So pin point the heaviest days and go from there. if she is like me with continual cramps then keeping those in check with a good antispasmodic will help too

oh and if she has her own gear and it gets messy, use prell shampoo in a bathub of cool water...... it gets the blood out.......

j

obrules15
06-29-2008, 08:48
last year I wa stold i have mes sof them, tiny ones but theer none teh less. I too ahve bleeding that looks like someone got stabbed.

here is what I do, and you amy want to pass it along.
Tylenol for some strange reason slows flow. We dont know why but it does. She can try it and see if it helps.
also eating anything high in Vitamin K will help.I eat eggs and take a Vitamin K when i go heavy.
embolisms are in a different part of teh body. She may feel woozy from loss of blood ..so limit the dive.
teh only thing that we worry about is passing very large clots that go beyond the tampon by pushing it out. so i wear an exatr pair of absorbing cotton underwear under my bathing suit to help in case of breakthrough. I also take a change of clothes with me.

We try to get the cramps and bleeding under control and time when we go. So pin point the heaviest days and go from there. if she is like me with continual cramps then keeping those in check with a good antispasmodic will help too

oh and if she has her own gear and it gets messy, use prell shampoo in a bathub of cool water...... it gets the blood out.......

j

I don't know why Tylenol would slow the flow but a non-steroidal i.e. Motrin or Alleve taken around the clock starting 48 hours prior to the onset of menses has been proven to reduce total blood loss about 20%. There is no reason you cannot use both.

jimmysdevoted
06-29-2008, 09:59
I think for some its the blood thnning and ability to have platelets and RBCs slid easier with aspirin than tylenol.
All I know is my doctor told me to try it and it worked...

I also use garlic chips to stop the flow when I have had enough heavy bleeding............
garlic acts like progesterone and elevates teh progesteroine level to halt the flow.. too much garlic no period.. which I ahve done on many avaction trip and restart with green onion omlets when i got back.......

obrules15
06-30-2008, 17:52
I think for some its the blood thnning and ability to have platelets and RBCs slid easier with aspirin than tylenol.
All I know is my doctor told me to try it and it worked...

I also use garlic chips to stop the flow when I have had enough heavy bleeding............
garlic acts like progesterone and elevates teh progesteroine level to halt the flow.. too much garlic no period.. which I ahve done on many avaction trip and restart with green onion omlets when i got back.......

Though there is a blood thinning component with Aspirin it is not enough to change the flow and Aleve and Motrin decrease the flow not increase it though they do have a "slight" thinning effect it really is not significant nor noticible. The drugs of choice in the current literature and the current recommendations of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is an NSAID (Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Ketoprofen) to decrease pain and decrease flow. No literature has shown Tylenol to decrease flow.

jimmysdevoted
06-30-2008, 18:26
not everyone metabolizes everything the same way.. i know in me Tylenol slows flow and if i take aleve i bleed like a stuck pig.......
but thast me,, thast why i prefaced the suggestion..... FOR ME it works..
no one knows why but it does...
then again no one knows why my X chromosome shortens one leg and changes..... and that is in every woman in my family on my dads side....

no one knows why mediterranian people cant have quinine,. but we cant.. its an anomoly.........

j

obrules15
07-01-2008, 18:12
not everyone metabolizes everything the same way.. i know in me Tylenol slows flow and if i take aleve i bleed like a stuck pig.......
but thast me,, thast why i prefaced the suggestion..... FOR ME it works..
no one knows why but it does...
then again no one knows why my X chromosome shortens one leg and changes..... and that is in every woman in my family on my dads side....

no one knows why mediterranian people cant have quinine,. but we cant.. its an anomoly.........

j

Actually we do know why mediterranean people cannot have quinine it has to do with the enzyme in the red blood cells that metabolizes the quinine differently it is the G6PD enzyme. We have known that for ages.

There is more known than is commonly understood and while everyone is an individual and there are definitely different individual reactions there are basics that *tend* to work on large populations of people. For instance, Acetominophen is a centrally acting pain reliever -- meaning it stops the sensation of pain in the brain not in the peripheral tissue. As for the NSAIDS, they act on the tissue by reducing the prostaglandin PRODUCTION. Prostaglandins cause the pain. Since prostaglandins are the culprit in pain and in flow by inhibiting the production you change the characteristics of the flow. The problem with most people is the way they take it. They wait until they have a full on flow emergency and are in horrible pain. Well that is never going to work because it doesn't take care of the prostaglandins already produced it only stops the production of new ones. Under those circumstances you could get an increase in flow. It takes ingestion at least two days prior to the onset of PAIN (not the period) and continuation in an around the clock manner to get efficacy. I have worked with a TON of people with this problem in my career starting with myself and my family and with few exeptions this change in the med schedule takes away a lot of the issues with individual response. Not to say don't do whatever works for "you" but most women are going to respond to a different regimen.

giantturtle
07-02-2008, 02:37
Thanks for all the posts on this topic. My wife and I are encouraged by all of your input. Thank you all for sharing your insight.

Monkeylemon
07-02-2008, 09:06
Good luck!

NoSouthernBelle
07-23-2008, 16:58
If you guys don't want children right away, ask her GYN about Depo. I have the same condition and with Depo, I have NO problems!

lisa
07-30-2008, 12:02
Hi
I've got the fibroids myself. No one should have to bleed that much when there is a simple procedure called ablation. Electricity is used to burn out the uterine lining and bleeding stops forever!!! You cannot feel it and the recovery is minimal.
The fibroids in the wall and outside of it are still there and can still cause the same ol' cramping. Ibuprophen addresses the prostaglandins that start that process. Ask a nurse to explain it.
Congratulations, I hope she goes for it. It's the coolest thing I've ever done.
lisa

PopeDani
11-16-2012, 17:28
I had fibroids and dove with it.

I was doing my commercial scuba license. Didn't know i had fibroids, just knew i was in a lot of pain and had a lot of bleeding when my 'shark week' arrived each month. I didn't do anything about it because i was travelling a lot and just thought it was a normal body change or perhaps diet and physical activity of diving 5 times a day. If anything, it was more annoying then anything else: The pain was debilitating and the bleeding was starting to effect my job as a commercial diver... in a dry suit ... for 4 hour dives ... with an all male crew... and no toilets. I finally went to the doctors to go on birth control to control it and wanted to know how the drugs would effect me underwater, that's when i was told i had a extremely large tumour in my uterus and that i was anemic, borderline transfusion. When your HG blood count goes below 80, you need immediate blood transfusion. Mine was at 81, so i took immediate Iron injections. At the time, I was getting ready for my new diving project in the Mediterranean and that's when my doctor told me, in my condition, i should not dive. I was forbidden to dive for 6 months - that was the hardest to deal with.

It is really important to know all the details of your type of fibroids and what it is doing to your body. If there is excessive bleeding, the issue isn't whether sharks will smell you coming, it's with anemia, which can cause dizziness and extreme fatigue, more specifically if you are diving while on 'shark week'. I wondered why i always felt exhausted at the end of the day, and attributed it to the amount of diving i was doing.

But if you are anemic (no matter the medical condition), diving would not be a good idea. You can take iron pills and supplements, and possibly transfusion if it comes to that. It also depends on the depth of your dives. Shallow diving will be more acceptable, although if your HG blood levels are below, say, 140, you really should go to a doctor about going on iron pill/injections and find a way to stop the blood loss.

I had a laparoscopic myomectomy. Frankie the Fibroid is gone. Shark Week better. Diving more enjoyable and safe.

Hope i helped in some way.

Largo
11-18-2012, 07:19
I believe that PADI offers a specialty course on diving with fibroids.