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Survey Shows Lack of Awareness for Uterine Fibroid Embolization Procedure Commonly Performed by Interventional Radiologists


New survey findings show that over half of the female respondents were unaware of uterine fibroids and less than 20 percent of women diagnosed with the condition received information about less invasive treatment options such as uterine fibroid embolization.

While more than 75 percent of women will have uterine fibroids in their lifetime, new survey findings reveal a lack of awareness about minimally invasive treatment options and that hysterectomy was presented as a treatment for over half of women diagnosed with uterine fibroids.

Over 50 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 44 were not familiar or had not heard of uterine fibroids, according to the online survey of 1,122 women conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR).1

Of the 167 survey respondents who had been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, less than 20 percent received information about less invasive treatment options ranging from over-the-counter NSAIDs and oral contraceptives to uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a procedure commonly performed by interventional radiologists.1

Survey Shows Lack of Awareness for Uterine Fibroid Embolization Procedure Commonly Performed by Interventional Radiologists

While 53 percent of women diagnosed with uterine fibroids were presented with hysterectomy as a treatment for the condition, only 17 percent were told about uterine fibroid embolization, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR).

“The survey findings, coupled with the low number of women who were offered a minimally invasive treatment like UFE, indicate that women are not being given all of the information they need to make their own health-care decisions,” noted John C. Lipman, M.D., FSIR, the founder and medical director of the Atlanta Fibroid Center in Georgia. “Not offering minimally invasive treatments like UFE in addition to the surgical treatment options is a significant oversight.”

Noting that several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of UFE, SIR emphasized that 90 percent of those who undergo UFE have significant relief from uterine fibroids or complete resolution. For women who are familiar with UFE, only 40 percent learned about the treatment option from physicians, according to the survey.1

While research has shown a threefold higher risk of uterine fibroids among Black women and double the risk for Hispanic women, the survey findings revealed that 36 percent of Black respondents and 22 percent of Hispanic respondents don’t believe they are at risk for the condition.1,2 Survey findings also showed that half of Hispanic respondents and 37 percent of Black respondents were not aware of uterine fibroids.1

“The survey noted deep disparities in awareness and access regarding fibroids and fibroid treatments among Black and Hispanic women, who have a higher risk factor for developing uterine fibroids,” pointed out Robert J. Lewandowski, M.D., the president of SIR, and professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “The data serve as a guiding light for improving physician and patient educational efforts on various treatments to ensure all women, regardless of background, are informed about their risks and the full range of treatment options available.”


1. Society of Interventional Radiology. Survey finds most women with uterine fibroids are offered hysterectomies over minimally invasive treatments. Available at: https://www.sirweb.org/media-and-pubs/media/news-release-archive/fibroid-fix-report-07092024/ . Published July 9, 2024. Accessed July 9, 2024.

2. Catherino WH, Eltoukhi HM, Al-Hendy A. Racial and ethnic differences in the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of uterine leiomyoma. Semin Reprod Med. 2013;31(5):370-379.

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