Women are focusing on health issues that are important to them. Here are some examples:
- 64 Percent of women ages 15 to 44 use some form of contraception, up from 56 percent in 1982. (For more, read the Birth Control article.)
- It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of American women of childbearing age have endometriosis, which can cause chronic pain and infertility. (For more, read the Endometriosis article.)
- Between 10 and 20 percent of women have uterine fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterus). The vast majority of fibroids occur in women of reproductive age, and according to some estimates, they are diagnosed in black women two to three time more frequently than in white women.
- Together, endometriosis and fibroids are associated with half of the more than 580,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States each year. (For more, read the Hysterectomy article.)
- Infertility affected 6.1 million women in 1997 (about 10 percent of the reproductive age population), up from 4.6 million in 1988-an increase due in part to delayed childbearing and the aging of the baby boom generation. The causes of infertility are equally distributed among conditions affecting both partners.
Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of The National Women's Health Information Center.