Fibroids tend to be more numerous, larger and occur at a younger age among African American patients. Therefore, for African American women undergoing hysterectomy, this means they lose their uterus at a significantly younger age (typically in the their 30-s, but sometimes in their 20-s), and have a much higher risk of blood transfusion and post-surgical complications, such as infection and bleeding.
Studies have shown that postoperative complications after myomectomy were twice as high in African American women compared to Caucasian women. Additionally, preoperative blood transfusions as a fibroid treatment method were significantly higher among African American women versus their Caucasian counterparts.
Dr. John Lipman on Robert Mark Radio Show: Fibroids Are Predominant in African American Women
The issue of blood transfusions is further complicated by the overrepresentation of African Americans among Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group with a religious prohibition against blood transfusion. Published data estimated Jehovah’s Witness congregations to be 22% African American, whereas the general US population is 12% African American.
Because some gynecologic services and physicians insist that transfusions remain a medical option or decline to provide care for women who refuse transfusion, this can significantly affect African American women who avoid or delay needed medical care out of fear that their religious beliefs will not be respected.
Fibroids in African American Women Are Successfully Treated without Surgery
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) never requires a transfusion and therefore is a safe option for Jevovah’s Witnesses. But this is by far not the only reason why UFE is the safest fibroid treatment method for women’s health. It provides women the relief of symptoms, avoids the risks and long recovery of a surgical procedure, and allows them to keep their uterus.
Video: 4 UFE Myths You May Hear from Your Doctor
To learn more about UFE and its benefits for female health call Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-953-2600 or make an appointment online.