Are Uterine Fibroids Affecting Your Quality of Life? By Dr. Mouro
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “quality-of-life”? Does physical health come to mind? Or maybe you think more about emotional well-being or mental health. According to the World Health Organization, good quality of life is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” I like this definition because it encompasses all in life that contributes to how we feel, and it confirms that illness or disease can significantly impact more than just our physical health.
Methods for measuring the quality of life have received a lot of attention in medical research, and thankfully some highly effective tools have been developed. As a result, we have been able to measure the impact of such conditions as diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer on a person’s quality of life. Recently, some researchers pooled together the results of numerous quality-of-life studies on uterine fibroids and compared the results to other, more well-known conditions like those mentioned above. What they found was surprising.
Uterine fibroids are tumors that grow in the uterus or womb and are a common cause of heavy menstrual periods as well as pelvic and abdominal pain. You can imagine then that quality-of-life scores are low in women who have fibroids. They are low, but the recent study showed that the scores were, in fact, worse than the same quality of life tests in women with diabetes, heart disease, or breast cancer. In other words, women who have uterine fibroids tend to suffer a worse psychological, social, and physical burden than women with diseases commonly considered to be more harmful.
The quality-of-life study highlights the fact that women’s health issues like fibroids and abnormal period bleeding are important and deserve the same attention that other conditions receive. If you have uterine fibroids or are struggling with such symptoms as heavy menstrual bleeding or pelvic pain, you should not think you need to “deal with it” or accept them as a “normal part of life.” You can and should seek help. The good news is there are a variety of treatment options available, options that are effective in getting you back to a great quality of life. We’re here to help. Schedule your consultation online or call 309-692-6838.
Virginia Arlene A. Go, MD, et al. A systematic review of the psychosocial impact of fibroids before and after treatment. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2020; Volume 223:674-708.