America is in the midst of a public health crisis and Dallas is showing leadership in addressing the most prevalent and costly health issue affecting women – uterine fibroids.
The Dallas City Council’s proclamation of July as Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month is a first step toward destigmatizing gynecological health conversations so more women can become informed about possible solutions.
The Dallas action underscores similar legislation passed last week recognizing July as Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month in the State of Texas.
Fibroid treatment is at the intersection of healthcare equity and racial justice. Latina and Black women are two to three times more likely to suffer from fibroid symptoms, including heavy bleeding, severe cramps, pelvic pain, urinary frequency, and reproductive dysfunction including miscarriage, early labor, and infertility.
Eighty percent of women have fibroids by the age of 50. Because information is elusive, many do not know the source of their symptoms and most women do not know they have several options for treatment.
In the United States, almost $8 billion is spent on obstetric outcomes attributed to fibroids, with a cost of more than $17 billion annually in absenteeism and short-term disability.
It is imperative to prioritize resources for research, treatment, and prevention of fibroids and to support a readily available, comprehensive, organized source of information about fibroid risk factors, symptoms, diagnostic techniques, and treatment options.
Fibroid awareness is not a political issue. It is a critical medical, social, and financial issue that disproportionately affects women of color. The exciting news is that the Dallas City Council recognized this, catalyzing conversations that lead to solutions.
Suzanne Slonim, MD, FSIR
Fibroid Institute Dallas
Jessica Shepherd MD, MBA, FACOG
Sanctum Med + Wellness
Andrea Arguello, MD, FACOG