How Fibroids Affect Black Women Today

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  • According to HealthDay, black women are more likely than whites to have severe uterine fibroid symptoms, and 32 percent of black women wait more than five years before seeking medical treatment compared to 17 percent of whites.

    Fibroids, which are benign tumor in and around the uterus, affect up to 80 percent of American women before the age of 50, and are the leading cause of hysterectomies.

    Nearly 1,000 women with fibroids responded to a Harris Interactive survey, and close to one-third of those with jobs said they missed work because of symptoms, including heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, cramping and fatigue.

    Many of the women expressed concern about fibroid treatment. More than three-quarters said they would prefer noninvasive approaches, more than half wanted to preserve their uterus, and younger women were often focused on preserving their fertility.

    “I was impressed by how strongly women felt about uterine preservation,” said study author Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “For many women, even if they don’t want fertility, preservation of their uterus is an important goal.”

    Fortunately, fibroids won’t necessarily require a hysterectomy, especially if women get medical care early, she said.

    Among the other findings: 24 percent of the working women said fibroid symptoms kept them from reaching their career potential, and 41 percent of women saw two or more health care providers before getting a diagnosis.

    Experts weren’t surprised by the findings.

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    One thought on “How Fibroids Affect Black Women Today

    1. A couple of things that struck me as odd about story:
      1) Why would a doctor be “impressed” that women wanted to preserve their uterus. When did the uterus become disposable?? And not just any doctor, but an ob/gyn specialist.
      2) Why do we treat a BENIGN condition (fibroids) with the removal of uterine/ovarian organ/function (hysterectomy). What is more abnormal (benign fibroids) or removed/amputated organs and thus the permanent loss of function. Yet fibroids are the leading cause of hysterectomy.
      3) Why would it matter when you saw a doctor for fibroids – sooner or later – to avoid a hysterectomy; again fibroids are a benign condition.
      4) If fibroids are so prevalent, then why is there no discussion on reproductive health and prevention. Oh, right, doctors don’t know what causes fibroids – but they know that hysterectomy is the gold standard answer.
      5) The article gave the name of all treatments, except the one where the fibroids are just removed (Myomectomy) which is the only constructive treatment that doctor’s offer – at least if you can get one and are not upgraded to a hysterectomy.
      6) The article seems to place a lot of emphasis on the symptoms that are commonly blamed on fibroids – this emphasis causes women to lose sight of what’s really important – the needed functions of their reproductive/sexual organs.

      Lastly, I think women would be better off with less medical intervention into their reproduction/sexual health – but doctors probably would not.

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