Prevalence and knowledge of heavy menstrual bleeding among African American women

Erica E. Marsh*, Maureen E. Brocks, Marissa S. Ghant, Hannah S. Recht, Melissa Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective To assess self-reported prevalence, knowledge, and health literacy regarding heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) among African American women. Methods A quantitative cross-sectional survey study was conducted. An original survey was developed and distributed to a convenience sample of African American women aged 18-60 years at a community fair in a large city in the Midwestern region of the USA. Results Of the 274 surveys distributed, 247 were returned, 193 of which met the inclusion criteria. Overall, 163 (84.5%) participants demonstrated adequate health literacy; however, 168 (87.0%) answered fewer than 8 of 15 knowledge questions correctly. Although 75 (38.9%) women reported seeing a clinician for HMB, 89 (46.1%) believed that there was nothing that they could do to prevent it from occurring. Conclusion The present study found that the proportion of HMB among participants was higher than the nationwide prevalence. However, a gap existed in knowledge of HMB among the women surveyed. The study findings indicate an opportunity for community-based education to raise awareness of HMB, its associated clinical presentations, and available treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • African American
  • Fibroids
  • Health literacy
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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