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Prevalence and Treatment Patterns of Pelvic Health Disorders Among U.S. Women

June 19, 2007

The National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC) has released a new report by The Lewin Group. The report, Prevalence and Treatment Patterns of Pelvic Health Disorders Among U.S. Women, examines four pelvic health conditions—menorrhagia, uterine fibroids, Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), and pelvic organ prolapse—that commonly affect women and, in particular, baby boomer women born between 1946 and 1964. The report addresses five key issues regarding each of the respective disorders:

  • What is the prevalence among women in the United States, and how does prevalence differ by age and other demographic variables?
  • How do these disorders affect women—in particular baby boomers—in the United States?
  • To what extent is the magnitude and severity of these disorders properly recognized and understood by public health practitioners, researchers, and policymakers?
  • Does a treatment gap exist?
  • Do current treatment patterns reflect the most effective and appropriate standards of practice?

Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • At least one-third of all women in the United States will be treated for one or more pelvic health disorders by the age of 60.
  • The Baby Boom Generation is currently in the phase of life with the highest rate of onset for pelvic health disorders.
  • Pelvic health disorders have a substantial impact on women’s health and quality of life.
  • Women’s reluctance to consult their physicians about symptoms associated with pelvic health disorders results in underdiagnosis and/or misdiagnosis, further complicating the treatment and overall understanding of the impact of these disorders.
  • Current patterns of care indicate that clinically recommended and effective treatments generally are employed for each disorder. However, some clinicians and researchers are concerned about the common use of hysterectomies for menorrhagia and uterine fibroids, as well as the rate of anterior repairs used to treat SUI.

The press release and the full report are available on the National Women’s Health Resource Center website. For more information regarding this study, contact Rick Harwood.

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