July marks Fibroid Awareness Month, a key moment to start a national dialogue about the impact fibroids have on millions of women. While uterine fibroids impact women all throughout the year, July offers the timely opportunity to engage in national discussions about fibroids and increase education among patients, ultimately driving them to seek treatment options that are best suited for them.
Approximately 26 million women in the U.S. between the ages of 15-50 are estimated to have uterine fibroids.1 Though women of any race can develop fibroids, prevalence among women of color is heightened with studies estimating more than 80% of Black women will have fibroids by age 50.2 Further, Black women wait four or more years before seeking fibroid treatment compared to white women – a period of time that may be due to a number of reasons, including not knowing about treatment options beyond hysterectomy.3 Women can also be unfamiliar with normal and abnormal menstrual flows and associative abnormal symptoms, which may further delay them seeking diagnosis and treatment for fibroids. Fibroid Awareness Month serves as a designated time to help inform patients of what is normal, and what should be addressed with a doctor.
To date, broader awareness of the range of treatments available for uterine fibroids has been limited. Knowledge of less invasive, non-hormonal alternatives to hysterectomy, like Lap-RFA, needs to be more widespread. Through educating and counseling patients about treatment options available to them, women may be spared from unnecessarily invasive intervention. Studies have found that Black women are 2.4x more likely to undergo hysterectomy for fibroids,4 so increasing awareness of other safe and effective treatments is critical.
By contributing to the #FibroidAwarenessMonth discussions present on social platforms and in medical practices, providers can aim to educate patients, potentially sparing them from further delaying care and undergoing the most invasive intervention, hysterectomy.
The GYNMarketing website offers providers resources that can help your partake in the Fibroid Awareness Month discussions, including office resources. Please feel free to access these materials and distribute within the practice as needed. You can also find educational materials about Hologic’s minimally invasive GYN solutions, including the NovaSure®, MyoSure® and the Acessa® Procedures.
1. Hartmann KE, Fonnesbeck C, Surawicz T, et al.(2017)Management of Uterine Fibroids [Internet]. Comparative Effectiveness Review, 195. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537742/
2. Eltoukhi, H. M., Modi, M. N., Weston, M., Armstrong, A. Y., & Stewart, E. A. (2014). The health disparities of uterine fibroid tumors for African American women: a public health issue. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 210(3), 194–199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2013.08.008
3. Stewart EA, et al. (2017). Epidemiology of uterine fibroids: A systematic review. Obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1471-0528.14640
4. Wise LA, Laughlin-Tommaso SK. Epidemiology of Uterine Fibroids: From Menarche to Menopause. Clinical obstetrics and gynecology. Mar 2016;59(1):2-24.