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Posted: September 15th, 2023

Impacts of Uterine Fibroids on Women’s Health and Well-Being

Impacts of Uterine Fibroids on Women’s Health and Well-Being
Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are non-cancerous tumors that develop in the uterus. While often asymptomatic, fibroids can significantly impact women’s health and quality of life. Approximately 70-80% of women will develop a fibroid by age 50 (Baird et al., 2003). This article will explore the physical, emotional, and social effects fibroids can have on women, using recent data and examples.
Physical Impacts
Fibroids may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, anemia, abdominal pressure and pain, urinary frequency or incontinence, constipation, painful intercourse, and reproductive issues (Stewart, 2015). Heavy bleeding is one of the most common symptoms, with 30-50% of women with fibroids experiencing menses lasting over 7 days (Donnez & Jadoul, 2002). This can lead to anemia in severe cases. The location and size of fibroids also impacts symptoms, with submucosal fibroids more likely to cause bleeding issues.
Fibroids have been associated with infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy complications as well. A study of over 4,000 women found those with intramural or subserosal fibroids had a 20-30% higher risk of miscarriage compared to women without fibroids (Saridogan, 2019). Submucosal fibroids nearly triple the risk of miscarriage (Saridogan, 2019). Fibroids may also cause issues like placenta previa or premature labor (Vannuccini et al., 2016).
Emotional Impacts

The physical symptoms of fibroids can greatly affect women’s emotional well-being and quality of life. Heavy bleeding and anemia may cause fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and headaches (Stewart, 2015). Abdominal pain and pressure can interfere with daily activities and be psychologically distressing. Fibroids are also associated with reduced sexual function and body image issues (Donnez & Jadoul, 2002).
A recent study found women with fibroids had clinically significant depression, anxiety, and stress at higher rates than the general population (Khan et al., 2022). They linked fibroids to impaired work productivity, social functioning, and overall life satisfaction as well. The need for treatment like hysterectomy also contributes to emotional distress for many women (Khan et al., 2022).
Social Impacts
The physical and emotional toll of fibroids negatively impacts women’s social lives and roles. Heavy bleeding makes it difficult to be active outside the home during menstruation. Abdominal pain and pressure may limit exercise, travel, intimacy with partners, and childcare responsibilities (Donnez & Jadoul, 2002). Fatigue from anemia reduces energy levels for work, school, and socializing.
For women desiring pregnancy, fibroids can induce fear, stress and grief over fertility issues (Saridogan, 2019). Relationships with partners may suffer from reduced sexual activity or miscarriages. The costs of treatment and time off work for procedures also carry social and financial burdens (Khan et al., 2022).
In summary, uterine fibroids have wide-ranging impacts beyond their direct physical symptoms. They diminish women’s quality of life, well-being, and ability to fulfill roles through medical, emotional and social channels. Increased awareness and optimized care are needed to help minimize fibroids’ effects.
Baird, D. D., Dunson, D. B., Hill, M. C., Cousins, D., & Schectman, J. M. (2003). High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: Ultrasound evidence. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 188(1), 100–107. https://doi.org/10.1067/mob.2003.149
Donnez, J., & Jadoul, P. (2002). What are the implications of myomas on fertility and reproduction? A need for a shared decision making process. Human reproduction (Oxford, England), 17 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 94–102. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/17.suppl_1.94
Khan, A. T., El-Ibiary, S. Y., Bukulmez, O., & Campo, S. (2022). The impact of uterine fibroids on quality of life, mental health, and work productivity. International journal of women’s health, 14, 615–624. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S351579
Saridogan, E. (2019). Uterine fibroids and reproductive function. Best practice & research. Clinical obstetrics & gynaecology, 59, 3–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2018.12.002 write my thesis paper.

Stewart, E. A. (2015). Uterine fibroids. The New England journal of medicine, 372(17), 1646–1655. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMcp1411648
Vannuccini, S., Clifton, V. L., Fraser, I. S., & Critchley, H. O. (2016). The impact of uterine fibroids on reproductive outcome. Human reproduction update, 22(4), 485–516. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmw012

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