Fibroid Treatment Is Often Delayed Due To Lack Of Knowledge
According to a new study, most women who suffer from uterine fibroid are unaware of the treatment options and fear of treatment often discourage them from seeking help. This inference was drawn from a new study conducted on 1,000 US women.
Uterine fibroid is benign growth in the walls of myometrium that are often asymptomatic. The fibroids may be solitary (single) or multiple; small (up to 1 inch in size) or as big as a big golf ball (up to 8 inches across). Although these growth of connective tissue and smooth muscle cells are non-cancerous, but large fibroids are usually symptomatic; ranging from abnormal uterine bleeding to abdominal cramps and even infertility.
Surprisingly, uterine fibroid is extremely common and according to latest estimates, more than 80% women develop uterine fibroids before they turn 50. Uterine fibroids are also the leading cause of hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus) in women i.e. about 300,000 cases of hysterectomies are performed to address the complications of fibroids.
Details Of The Study On Uterine Fibroid
Study conducted by Boston scientists suggested that adult women bear a lot of pain and suffering before actually deciding to opt for treatment.
As part of the survey, the team of investigators discovered that:
- Women at an average, delays the treatment by 3.2 years after developing the symptoms of uterine fibroid
- More than 32% females wait for over 5 years before they see a doctor
- The key factors that delay the treatment in women are; fear of losing relationships, body-image, need for a hysterectomy etc.
- Most women prefer procedures and treatments that aims at preserving the uterus
- A major concern of delaying the treatment is fear of losing work in about 2/3rd cases
- African- American women suffers from more severe symptoms that includes heavy menstrual bleeding, intermenstrual bleeding, anemia, etc.
- More than 32% African-American wait for over 5 years before seeking medical help as opposed to 17% White women.
How To Address Uterine Fibroid By Non-Invasive Techniques?
Women who are living with symptomatic uterine fibroids should keep in mind that there are a number of non-invasive treatment options that can preserve the uterus and other reproductive organs. For example, since 2004, ultrasound therapy has been widely used in the United States to manage fibroids in adult, reproductive aged women. Ultrasound therapy employs high frequency heat and sound waves to degrade fibroid cells without affecting the healthy uterine tissue. Ultrasound therapy is a micro-invasive procedure that is usually performed in an out-patient setting. It is noteworthy that women can resume their normal day-to-day activities within 2-3 days after the procedure.
Besides ultrasound therapy, myomectomy and hormone therapy are two other non-invasive and uterus preserving treatment modalities that are frequently employed for the management of symptomatic fibroids.
- Stewart, E. A., Nicholson, W. K., Bradley, L., & Borah, B. J. (2013). The burden of uterine fibroids for African-American women: results of a national survey. Journal of women’s health, 22(10), 807-816.
- Chabbert-Buffet, N., Esber, N., & Bouchard, P. (2014). Fibroid growth and medical options for treatment. Fertility and sterility, 102(3), 630-639.