Burden, Prevalence, and Treatment of Uterine Fibroids: A Survey of U.S. Women

Erica E. Marsh, Ayman Al-Hendy, Dale Kappus, Alex Galitsky, Elizabeth A. Stewart, Majid Kerolous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Most women will experience uterine fibroids by the age of 50, yet few data exist describing the overall patient experience with fibroids. The objective of this population-based survey was to characterize symptom burden, patient awareness, and treatment decision-making for fibroids, including a comparison among women of varying backgrounds. Materials and Methods: Women (≥18 years) were recruited via email from GfK KnowledgePanel®, a representative panel of US households, or identified with opt-in consumer panels. The Uterine Fibroid Symptom and Health-Related Quality of Life (UFS-QOL) questionnaire and Aberdeen Menorrhagia Severity Scale (AMSS) were included. Results: Eligible women were grouped into three cohorts: "at-risk" (symptoms suggestive of fibroids without clinical diagnosis, n = 300), "diagnosed" (n = 871), and fibroid-related "hysterectomy" (n = 272). Cohort and intracohort race/ethnicity and income analyses revealed differences in symptom burden, awareness/perception, and treatment history. Based on UFS-QOL scores, at-risk women reported significantly greater symptom severity and decreased health-related QOL versus diagnosed women; Hispanic women reported greater symptom severity versus white and black women. At-risk women also reported heavy menstrual bleeding and significant impact on work productivity. Among diagnosed women, 71% used pharmacologic therapy for symptom relief, and 30% underwent surgical or procedural treatment. Initial discussions with healthcare providers significantly impacted treatment outcomes; the hysterectomy cohort was most likely to first discuss hysterectomy. Conclusions: Women with fibroids or symptoms suggestive of fibroids experience significant distress that reduces QOL, particularly racial minorities and women in lower income brackets. Survey results suggest that many women are likely undiagnosed, underscoring the need for improved awareness and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1359-1367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • burden
  • health disparities
  • quality of life
  • race/ethnicity
  • uterine fibroids
  • work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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