Uterine fibroids affect millions of women
According to the Fibroid Foundation, there are an estimated 26 million women between the ages of 15 and 50 in the United States that have uterine fibroids. Women with symptomatic uterine fibroids often experience a diminished quality of life. For many women, fibroids can cause prolonged or heavy periods that interfere with their daily living due to fibroids. Fibroids can also affect the ability to conceive or keep a pregnancy.
Uterine fibroids affect black women at a higher rate. A recent study found that through ultrasound screening, the estimated cumulative incidence rate of uterine fibroids by the age of 50 is significantly higher in black women (80%) compared with white women (nearly 70%). Black individuals with fibroids have also been shown to have more severe symptoms and develop early-onset uterine fibroids that develop into larger tumors. Annually, uterine fibroids account for approximately half of all hysterectomies performed in the United States, which creates a significant multi-billion dollar annual economic burden.
Women with fibroids often suffer in silence. Limited treatment options, the high cost of treatment, insurance coverage, and difficulty finding fibroid specialists are some of the roadblocks women face when diagnosed with fibroids.
Newly introduced legislation for fibroid research has been introduced in Congress
Uterine fibroids are the most common gynecologic condition in women, however, treatment options and medical research funding have yet to match the enormity of the affected community. So it is encouraging to finally see the introduction of meaningful legislation for fibroid research aimed at addressing the uterine fibroid public health crisis in the U.S. which is impacting women and their families. The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Fibroid Research and Education Act — H.R. 2007, introduced in The House of Representatives by Representative Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9) in March 2021, will provide long-overdue fibroid research funding. A vote on the bill in the fall of 2021 is anticipated.
If passed, this legislation will provide $150 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Legislative benefits of the Uterine Fibroid Act include:
- Appropriation of $30 million for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026
- Establishment of a research database for treatment of fibroids
- Reporting on state treatment expenditures
- Coordination of data and outcomes at the federal level
- Dissemination of evidence-based care outcomes for individuals with fibroids
Your support can make a difference
How can you help? The best way is to use your voice to advocate for this legislation with our elected officials in Washington, D.C. Your voice can help this bill achieve the Congressional sponsorship required for H.R. 2007 to become law. By writing a letter of support to your elected House representative, you can give them a reason to support fibroid research. Download this template to send to your congressional representative today!