The Mental Health Impact of Fibroids

The Mental Health Impact of Fibroids 645d505c37a8d.png

The Mental Health Impact of Fibroids

Studies have found that women with symptomatic uterine fibroids can experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and self-direct harm. This is especially true for women experiencing physical pain, and for women who are experiencing emotional difficulties as a result of a hysterectomy.

In 2022, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published the results of a study on depression, anxiety, and self-directed violence in women with fibroids, especially those experiencing pain or who have had a hysterectomy.

The study also screened its participants, eliminating those that prior to their diagnosis with uterine fibroids, had a prior diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or a history of self-violence. Women who had been prescribed anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication were excluded from the study.

Once the participants were selected, the study compared 313,754 women aged 18-50 that had been diagnosed with uterine fibroids with 627,539 who did not have fibroids.

What they found was that the women who had been diagnosed with uterine fibroids had much higher rates of anxiety, depression, and self-directed violence than those that did not have fibroids.

The researchers of this study also found evidence to support that there may be a link between chronic pain and depression.

Though the exact reason for this connection needs to be studied more, most experts agree that the connection could be due to similar biological mechanisms in patients with both chronic pain conditions and depression, as well as anxiety.

Another interesting finding of this study was significantly higher rates of symptomatic uterine fibroids in African American women.

Not only did the African American participants have higher rates of uterine fibroids with worse symptoms, but they did so at younger ages, and were more likely to have hysterectomies. For more information on this, you may wish to check out this previous article.

Though the study found that African American women experienced greater health challenges related to uterine fibroids, those in the study had lowered rates of diagnosed depression and anxiety.

The authors of the study purported that the lower rates of mental health issues amongst this particular group could be inaccurate due to a remaining stigma when it comes to getting help for mental health issues amongst African-American women.

Their theory was developed based on evidence in past studies that found that African American women, due to the stigma around mental health issues, are less likely to report symptoms even though studies have shown that they have higher loads of stressors than White women due to racial disparities, and other factors.

The bottom line is that no woman should have to suffer the physical, mental, and emotional impact that uterine fibroids can have on their life.

Therefore, if you or a loved one are experiencing fibroid symptoms or fibroid symptoms that coexist with chronic pain, depression, or anxiety, it’s important that you speak with your doctor, or call us here at MidAtlantic Vascular and Interventional, and together we can find the right treatment method for you.

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