Almost Half Of Americans Are Incorrect Or Don’t Know What A Hysterectomy Is(*), The Second Most Common Surgery For Women Ages 18 – 60(**)
Trusted women’s health advocates join forces for the first Hysterectomy Awareness Month in May 2015, helping women of all ages get answers, learn their alternatives and choices
DALLAS, April 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The creators of Hysterectomy.org, a new online resource for women that’s dedicated to a familiar but often misunderstood surgical procedure, today announced it will present the first Hysterectomy Awareness Month in May 2015. This month-long event will unite ob-gyn health leaders and women’s GYN health advocates and patient communities in North America and the United Kingdom to create new online activities, chats, interactive quizzes and more to elevate conversations through social media and community discussions.
The goal of Hysterectomy Awareness Month is to help women of all ages get “hysterectomy smart” about the surgical procedure that affects 1 in 3 women by age 60**. In a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll for Hysterectomy.org among over 2,000 U.S. adults, more than half (51 percent) of American adults know someone who has had a hysterectomy, but 44 percent of Americans are incorrect or don’t know what happens during the surgical procedure that removes a woman’s uterus.
Women may choose hysterectomy or alternatives for a range of conditions including fibroids, endometriosis and cancers. Other women may consider hysterectomy, oophorectomy and/or mastectomy because of a family history of gynecologic cancers or after testing positive for BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes.
“Together we are shining a light on the choices facing women who are living with gynecologic health issues or who have a family history of ovarian or other GYN cancers,” says Kathy Kelley, who led the creation of Hysterectomy.org with Pass the Pearls and Hysterectomy Association UK. “Hysterectomy should not be the first solution for women who are living with symptoms such as heavy periods, pelvic pain, fibroids, and endometriosis. We want to encourage women to share their symptoms, understand alternatives and options, and feel confident in their decisions.”
More than half of American women (53 percent) say they only discuss their health conditions with their doctors. Yet more than two in five U.S. women (41 percent) say there are some conditions they are unlikely to discuss with their doctors, including pelvic pain during intercourse (22 percent) and painful menstruation or heavy menstrual bleeding (both 9 percent). As a result, they may not be getting the information they need to make confident decisions about hysterectomy options and alternatives.
“Women come to our practice and are sometimes ashamed of their symptoms, such as pelvic pain during intercourse, and they suffer in silence for too long,” says Dr. Lori Warren, FACOG, founder of Pass the Pearls. “We created Hysterectomy Awareness Month to give more women courage to ask questions, share their symptoms and make confident decisions about their gynecologic health.”
Women also are comfortable sharing health conditions with their friends in person (77 percent), although more than two in five (42 percent) American women are embarrassed talking about their gynecologic health with their friends.
The May 2015 Hysterectomy Awareness Month events and activities will include #HysterectomySmart quizzes and support from women’s GYN health communities; a multi-city broadcast media tour with Dr. Warren; a social media event about #GYNsymptoms women should not ignore during ACOG 2015 with Dr. Arnold Advincula; and Facebook chats about hysterectomy, helping women ask questions about the practical and emotional aspects of this procedure. All events are moderated to ensure women are comfortable asking questions about their symptoms and experiences.
About Hysterectomy Awareness Month
Launching in May 2015, Hysterectomy Awareness Month is a patient-education program hosted by Hysterectomy.org and co-presented with trusted women’s health organizations including HysterSisters, Pass the Pearls and Hysterectomy-Association UK. The Hysterectomy Awareness Month program will combine online and offline educational opportunities to increase women’s knowledge of this common procedure. Its goals are to increase the frequency of second opinions and increase women’s familiarity with alternative treatments and minimally invasive options for GYN diagnoses including fibroids, endometriosis, excessive bleeding and pelvic pain.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Hysterectomy.org from February 11-13, 2015among 2,026 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Laura Bond Williams, 512.497.8035.
**ACOG 2011 Women’s Health Stats and Facts, http://www.acog.org/~/media/NewsRoom/MediaKit.pdf