Black Women's Psychosocial Experiences with Seeking Surgical Treatment for Uterine Fibroids: Implications for Clinical Practice

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Women's Health Issues




© 2021 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health Introduction: Black women are more likely to undergo surgery for uterine fibroids compared with non-Black women. However, few studies have characterized the psychosocial experiences of Black women seeking fibroid treatment. We aimed to identify factors that shape Black women's fibroid management decisions; explore how discrimination based on race, class, and gender feature in treatment-seeking experiences, and compare experiences across age and socioeconomic status. Methods: We conducted semistructured interviews with 37 Black women undergoing surgery for fibroid management. We used a thematic analysis to code transcripts and identify themes. Results: Participants were predominately single, college educated, and insured. Respondents reported that patient–doctor interactions, support from social networks, fertility consequences, and fear of fibroid malignancy influenced their fibroid management decisions. Knowledge and perceptions of fibroids were also influenced by community norms and differed by socioeconomic status; women of higher socioeconomic status had greater fibroid awareness than women of lower socioeconomic status. Discrimination was discussed in the context of historical inequity against Black women, with one participant questioning whether Black women were valued less in clinical settings compared with non-Black women. Although several women discussed positive experiences seeking fibroids care, others expressed medical mistrust or said that alternative management options were not offered by clinicians. Conclusions: Fibroid management decisions were influenced not only by interactions with clinicians and social networks, and concerns about fertility and fibroid malignancy, but also by broader social and historical conditions. These findings suggest that clinicians should deliver intersectional gynecologic care that centers the voices of Black women seeking fibroid treatment.