With systemic inequalities embedded in the American healthcare system, skepticism within the African American community has been a long-standing battle. From 19th-century relics claiming that black people are more resilient to pain, black women being 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, and the historic Tuskegee experiment, it’s no surprise that the current state of fibroids and hysterectomies disproportionately affects black women.
Far too often, patients suffering from fibroids are not informed of options for treatment, and women as young as 20 years old are forced to receive hysterectomies. One patient stated, “I was told hysterectomy was my only option to treat my fibroids. It was either hysterectomy or continue to suffer with it.” As the Founder and Medical Director of the Atlanta Fibroid Center, Dr. John Lipman specializes in the nonsurgical treatment of uterine fibroids with a procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE is a procedure that takes less than an hour and faster recovery. This life-saving procedure offers an alternative to invasive procedures and complications from having a full hysterectomy.
Approximately 26 million women in the U.S. are diagnosed with fibroids and the failure to inform women of UFE is a continuation of medical disparities in the African American community. The Atlanta Fibroid Center has teamed up with OWN’s Love and Marriage: Huntsville cast member Destiny Payton to help spread awareness.