While uterine fibroids are extremely common, fibroids awareness is very low. In fact, a recent Hologics online survey revealed that 48% of U.S. women don’t know that a hysterectomy is not the only way to treat uterine fibroids. And 51% of U.S. women don’t know that fibroids are not a form of cancer.
Because of that, many of us are working to raise fibroids awareness. That includes Kamala Harris, who sponsored a bill to build understanding and offer better fibroid care in this country. It’s also true of groups like The White Dress Project, who want women to live life free from fibroid symptoms. And now, it’s a cause for Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey-Hill. Which is why she’s our #WomanCrushWednesday this week!
Raising Fibroid Awareness with Information
Did you know that by age 50, as many as 70% of white females and 80% of African American females develop fibroids?. Well, it’s true. And that’s a big problem, because not that many women know their treatment options. Which is something Cynthia wants to change.
Recently, she helped launch a new platform: Responsum for Fibroids. This is a new, online resource for women. It’s designed to share important fibroid information with women. So they can make informed decisions and learn all the treatment options.
When announcing the launch, Cynthia said: “LADIES! We must take care of our bodies and our health. For those of you who are suffering with fibroids or need additional information about fibroids, download the @responsumforfibroids, for up-to-date information and helpful resources. I am so relieved since having my UFE procedure. I want you, too, to be informed and find the relief that works best for you. Be strong and stay well, xo Cynthia.”
We’re so grateful for women like Cynthia. In telling her story, she can help others explore alternatives to hysterectomy.
Want to join her efforts? Whether or not you have fibroids, if you have a uterus, you can help women everywhere. Just follow this link to complete the 2022 fibroid experience survey. Because, by raising fibroid awareness, you can join Cynthia in helping women become their own healthcare advocates. Which is something we hope to do as well, so keep reading this post for important information!
Removing Barriers to UFE Access
Want to know one of the biggest issues keeping women from having UFE? They don’t even know it’s an option, or that it might be important! In fact, as part of its Fibroid Fix campaign, the Society of Interventional Radiology surveyed women to learn what they knew about fibroids and treatment options. Here’s what they found:
A whopping 28% of respondents never heard of uterine fibroids, 57% did not think they were at risk of fibroids, and 19% believed them to be cancerous and require a hysterectomy. Those numbers alone are disturbing. But the evidence gets worse when you look at knowledge and treatment gaps based on location.
Why is that the case? According to a University of Miami study, between 2012 and 2013, 2470 treated their fibroids with UFE. (That’s compared to over 167,000 women who had hysterectomies for fibroids.) That’s already a big gap in treatment awareness. But consider this follow-up statistic. Of the women who chose UFE, 67% went to hospitals in large cities. Only 0.4% of women seeking UFE lived in rural areas. Clearly, women outside of large urban areas need some advocates for minimally invasive treatment options. So here’s how you can help.
How to Become a Uterine Fibroids Advocate
Know the Symptoms
Fibroids are growths within the uterine wall made up of muscle tissue, and can range in size from a few centimeters all the way up to the size of an orange. Many women who suffer from fibroids feel pelvic pain or pressure, but other common symptoms include:
- Heavy, long-lasting periods
- Frequent urination
- Painful intercourse
Know the Treatments
Depending on the size and severity of the uterine fibroid(s), our interventional radiologists will recommend the best treatment option for you. If your symptoms are less severe, your OBGYN may recommend to keep an eye on the growth supplemented with medication such as birth control or other hormone options. In more severe cases, your physician may recommend to remove the fibroid(s) with one of the following procedures:
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization
- Hysterectomy (usually only in extreme cases)
Take Advantage of Your Resources
If you want to help spread fibroids awareness, there’s plenty of ways you can get involved. First, check out The White Dress Project, a non-profit fighting for legislation, research, and funding for uterine fibroids.
Then, visit Ask4UFE’s website, and like and follow Ask4UFE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Finally, remember to explore your own fibroids journey. And share your experiences with women who need more information!
Talk With Houston Fibroids
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, be sure ask the right questions and be transparent with your physician. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and ensure that the treatment recommended is best for you.
The ultimate goal of raising fibroid awareness is to provide support for women. And to help answer any questions you may have about fibroids. (Which includes what treatment options are available.) Do you need help seeking answers on your fibroid journey? That’s what we’re here for. All you have to do is request an appointment with our experts. We’ll discuss your treatment options and help you find the fibroid solution that’s best for you!