(UK) This year the global theme for International Women’s Day on 8th March is #PressForProgress and Noire Wellness and Lake Health and Wellbeing are calling for progress to be made to improve the experience of women with fibroids.
This initiative has been designed to raise awareness of key areas that need focus if there is to be equality in healthcare. Noire Wellness and Lake Health and Wellbeing are calling for:
- Breakthrough research into fibroids and ethnicity
- Patient insight on the impact of diet and exercise on fibroids
- A commitment to professional excellence when caring for women with a family history of fibroids and symptoms associated with fibroids
- Global and local support networks to ensure that women with fibroids never feel isolated
- Greater awareness of different types of fibroids, it’s symptoms, and their impact on women’s lives, particularly the psycho-social impact.
Despite fibroids being very common, a survey conducted in the UK by Lake Health and Wellbeing showed that there is a low level of awareness of fibroids, and women don’t feel equipped to make an informed decision about their treatment1. The survey revealed gaps in patient information on all aspects of fibroids and in the availability of peer support. Women also reported that fibroids affected their quality of life, affecting them both physically and emotionally.
Additionally, the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health’s fibroids inquiry found that 43% of women were not satisfied with the information about their treatment choice and a third of women were not happy with their treatment2. Furthermore, 40% of women were not told about the short-term complications of their treatment and 50% were not told about the long-term complications.
Research has shown that fibroids are more common in black women with an estimated 50-80% of black women affected3. In addition, black women are known to develop fibroids at a younger age, are more likely to develop larger, multiple fibroids, and tend to develop more severe symptoms4. The reason for this is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.
The experience of women with fibroids reveals an inequality in healthcare that needs to be addressed. Noire Wellness and Lake Health and Wellbeing believe that because fibroids are a women’s issue: it affects predominantly an ethnic minority group: and it is not life-threatening, it has been overlooked. But, many women are suffering, and something needs to be done to ensure that women receive the attention, support, and quality of care they deserve.
Candice Bryan of Noire Wellness says:
“In order to truly provide a better experience for women living with fibroids, we must acknowledge that health inequalities continue to have a detrimental impact on the quality of life for black women living with fibroids across the globe. It is time to collaborate and press for progress to provide solutions”.
Whilst Abi Begho from Lake Health and Wellbeing said:
“For too long women with fibroids have been neglected and it’s time for society to step up and address this inequality. We need to ensure that women, particularly black women, with fibroids have easy access to accurate, reliable information, appropriate support, and a high standard of care to improve their wellbeing.”
The campaign will utilise social media to highlight what needs to be done to improve the experience of women with fibroids. The public can get involved by using the hashtag #PressForProgress in the week leading up to International Women’s Day to tell everyone of the change that needs to occur. To help, organisers have created a briefing which is available HERE.
NOTES TO EDITORS
If you would like to write a feature or interview the team behind the campaign, please contact Abi Begho/Candice Bryan
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ABOUT NOIRE WELLNESS
Noire Wellness is a wellness brand established in 2016 that aims to improve the health and well-being of African and Caribbean communities living in the UK through providing a range of evolving and enriching wellness experiences, nurturing the provision of community wellness hubs, community consultancy and a growing wellness network of professionals.
ABOUT LAKE HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lake Health and Wellbeing is a Caribbean based organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the black community through research, public health interventions, giving patients a voice and raising awareness.
- Lake Health and Wellbeing (formerly known as The Lake Foundation), (2014). Understanding the Needs of Women With Fibroids.
- All-Party Parliamentary Group of Women’s Health, (2017). Informed Choice? Giving Women Control of Their Healthcare.
- Wise L. and Laughlin-Tommaso S. (2016). Epidemiology of Uterine Fibroids: From Menarche to Menopause. ClinObstetGynecol, Volume 59(1), p 2.
Radmila S., et al. (2016). Epidemiology of Uterine Myomas: A Review.Int J FertilSteril, Volume 9 (4), p 424.