The Foundation’s patient advocacy program, Fibroid Relief, has been garnering nationwide media coverage of a newly published survey that found that uterine fibroids cause significant fear and morbidity and can compromise workplace performance. It also found that women prefer treatment options that are not invasive and protect fertility (like focused ultrasound).
Results of the survey, which was developed by Fibroid Relief and leading fibroid experts from the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of North Carolina, were published this month in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Journal of Women’s Health. The survey included nearly 1,000 U.S. women with symptomatic fibroids and is the first of its kind.
Key survey highlights include:
• On average, women delayed seeking treatment for 3.6 years, with 32% of women waiting more than five years.
• Most reported fears associated with their fibroids, including being afraid that they will grow (79%) and that they will need a hysterectomy (55%), as well as fears regarding relationships, sexual function, body image, loss of control, and hopelessness.
• Two-thirds (66%) of women were concerned about missed days from work due to their symptoms, and 24% of employed respondents felt that their symptoms prevented them from reaching their career potential.
• The vast majority said they prefer a minimally invasive treatment option that preserves the uterus.
• When presented with treatment descriptions, the majority of women surveyed (60%) rated focused ultrasound as their top treatment choice.
• African-American women were signiﬁcantly more likely to have severe or very severe symptoms, including heavy or prolonged periods and anemia, more often reported that ﬁbroids interfered with physical activities and relationships, and were more likely to miss days from work.
The results prompted Fibroid Relief to develop a new conversation starter tool for women for use in navigating treatment options with their health care providers.