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Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Reproductive and Gynecologic Disorders

Narrative

Reproductive and gynecologic disorders include conditions that affect female external and internal organs along the reproductive tract. Some disorders like dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain) and vulvodynia (vulvar pain) cause discomfort that may interfere with normal activity, while others may also affect reproductive functioning and fertility, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue of the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, often onto the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other abdominal organs.1 Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the uterine wall.2 Both conditions can cause pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Endometriosis in particular can cause fertility problems, while fibroids may complicate pregnancies and increase the likelihood of cesarean delivery. In 2006–2010, 5.6 and 6.1 percent of women aged 15–44 years reported that they had ever been diagnosed with endometriosis and uterine fibroids, respectively. The prevalence of both conditions increase with age and is highest among women aged 35–44 years: 10.1 and 13.0 percent of women in that age group had reported ever being diagnosed with endometriosis and uterine fibroids, respectively (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). There are also racial and ethnic differences, with endometriosis being more common among non-Hispanic White women (6.9 percent) and uterine fibroids being more common for non-Hispanic Black women (12.3 percent). Although most cases of fibroids and endometriosis can be treated with pain or hormonal medication and certain surgeries, these two conditions are the most common reasons for hysterectomy—the removal of the uterus.3

Infertility, defined as not getting pregnant within 12 months of having unprotected sex with the same partner, affected 5.8 percent of married or cohabiting women aged 15–44 years in 2006–2010 (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). This figure is higher among women who have not already had a birth (14.0 percent), and increases with age from 7.3 percent of nulliparous women aged 15–24 years to 29.6 percent of those aged 40–44 years. In addition to age-related reductions in the quality and quantity of eggs, other conditions that affect fertility also increase with age, including endometriosis, obesity, and polycystic ovary syndrome which impairs ovulation.4

1 Office on Women’s Health link leaves hrsa.gov site, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Endometriosis Fact Sheet. Accessed 08/23/13.

2 Office on Women’s Health link leaves hrsa.gov site, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Uterine Fibroids Fact Sheet. Accessed 08/23/13.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health. Women’s Reproductive Health: Hysterectomy. Accessed 08/23/13.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health. Infertility. Accessed 08/23/13.

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Graph

Data

Diagnosed Endometriosis and Uterine Fibroids Among Women Aged 15–44,* by Race/Ethnicity,** 2006–2010
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Women, Endometriosis Percent of Women, Uterine Fibroids
*Reported ever being diagnosed with endometriosis or uterine fibroids; all estimates are age-adjusted.
**The sample of Asians, American Indian/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders was too small to produce reliable results.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Survey of Family Growth, 2006–2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Statistics Program.
Non-Hispanic White 6.9 5.6
Non-Hispanic Black 3.4 12.3
Hispanic 3.9 4.2
Total 5.6 6.1

Infertility* Among Married or Cohabiting Women Aged 15–44 Without a Previous Birth, by Age, 2006–2010

Percent of Women:

  • 15-24 Years 7.3
  • 25-29 Years 8.7
  • 30-34 Years 9.1
  • 35-39 Years 24.7
  • 40-44 Years 29.6
  • Total 14.0

*Infertility is defined as not getting pregnant within 12 months of having unprotected sex with the same partner.

Source: Chandra A, Copen CE, Stephen EH. Infertility and impaired fecundity in the United States, 1982–2010: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth. National health statistics reports; no 67. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013.