After years of debilitating pain and experiencing a miscarriage, 38-year-old Bettina Celestin had surgery to remove 26 uterine fibroids at NYU Langone’s Center for Fibroid Care, paving the way for her dream of becoming a mother. Just three months after the fertility-sparing procedure, Celestin became pregnant, ultimately giving birth to a baby girl.
Uterine fibroids affect millions of women worldwide, and too often they tolerate their symptoms in silence. Celestin and Taraneh Shirazian, MD, director of the center and associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, are sharing their experience and insights, aiming to bring attention to this prevalent issue.
It all started in 2016, when Celestin was diagnosed with three small uterine fibroids, noncancerous tumors of the uterus. Because Celestin had no symptoms, her doctor counseled her to “watch and wait.” But over time, she started experiencing heavy bleeding and pain. “I hesitated to pursue seeking further treatment,” said Celestin.
It wasn’t until December 2021, when Celestin had a miscarriage, that she sought further treatment options. Celestin found Dr. Shirazian and the Center for Fibroid Care online and booked an appointment.
Dr. Shirazian recommended the immediate removal of Celestin’s fibroids via abdominal myomectomy to better her chances of getting pregnant. Within the month, the surgery was scheduled.
“The right treatment for fibroids depends on each person’s individual case, and if someone’s symptoms are mild, they might not require any treatment. It depends on the goals of each individual,” said Dr. Shirazian. “For people who have large fibroids or a lot of fibroids, a surgical procedure like the myomectomy Bettina underwent may be the best choice to remove the growths. It’s important for women to know they have options.”
Celestin had her myomectomy in March 2022. Dr. Shirazian removed a total of 26 fibroids, with the largest almost 4 inches wide. Just three months later, Celestin was pregnant.
“There was a lot of fear, but it all worked out. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl on January 24, 2023,” said Celestin. “I felt even more safe knowing the team at NYU Langone was going to deliver our baby.” Eloise is now 6 months old.
“There are so many women out there with Bettina’s story, and I just want this to be in the forefront because I don’t think people really realize how many women suffer with this or lose a baby with this,” said Dr. Shirazian. “There are so many options and procedures to eliminate fibroid burden, and they can be life-changing.”