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Here's How to Close Fibroid Treatment Gaps for Black Women

Posted on April 04, 2024

All over the world, Black women must deal with fibroid treatment gaps and other healthcare disparities. This is a particularly troubling problem when it comes to fibroid care, because Black women are also more likely to develop these tumors; when they do, the fibroids form at an earlier age, and tend to trigger more invasive symptoms than those experienced by white women. But what's behind these disparities and how can we close the gap? Keep reading to find out.

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Black Women's Increased Fibroid Risk

The National Institutes of Health has studied why Black women are disproportionately affected by fibroids. And researchers discovered that it's because of a unique gene expression that occurs within the muscular tissue of Black women's uteri.

Here's the deal: our bodies can turn genes on and off within our cells. And, when they're turned on, these genes produce RNA as well as proteins. However, in Black women's bodies, the VWF (von Willebrand factor) gene in the muscular cells of the uterus gets overly turned on. As a result, it produces more proteins; then, the women's bodies form more uterine blood vessels, and that leads to the formation of more smooth muscle tissue in the uterus, in turn triggering more fibroid growth.

Furthermore, Black women's fibroid risk is also increased by chronic, racism-related stress, along with greater exposure to both environmental chemicals and toxic hair products. Add in the fact that the healthcare system typically doesn't listen to Black women's concerns as closely as they do to those presented by women of other races, and you begin to understand why women of color face such appalling fibroid treatment gaps.

Closing Fibroid Treatment Gaps, One Voice at a Time

Black Women’s Health Imperative CEO and president Linda Goler Blount, aims to close fibroid treatment gaps by removing the stigma surrounding discussions of fibroid symptoms. She knows that “Women don’t want to talk about it. Men obviously don’t want to talk about it. This makes it a challenge. And as Black women, we are socialized to suffer in silence.”

In spite of (or because of) that hesitancy to speak out about fibroid pain, Blount believes that, “Women—Black women in particular—need to pay attention to our bodies. We need to know this isn’t normal. You shouldn’t be suffering month in and month out. Suffering is not normal, and it is not necessary.” And, as Georgia fibroid specialists, we are completely on her side. So, to help change the reality for fibroid sufferers, we aim to amplify conversations around women's lived experiences. At the same time, we work to raise awareness of treatment options that allow women to avoid unnecessary hysterectomies.

Fibroid Treatment in Georgia

Too often, Black women aren't told about fibroid treatment options other than getting a hysterectomy. And yet, there are effective, minimally invasive treatment options that would provide relief while allowing women to preserve the uterus!

Do you want to learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization in Georgia, a procedure that offers an effective alternative to a hysterectomy? Click here to request an appointment with our fibroid specialists. We'll help you explore your options and advance our goal of closing fibroid treatment gaps, one patient at a time .

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