Women’s Health: Preeclampsia, Infertility and Fibroids

Every woman deserves high-quality, affordable care. However, every year 500,000 women between ages 15 to 49 die from pregnancy-related complications. Worse still, two-thirds of these deaths are preventable. According to the CDC, pregnancy-related death occurs 3.3 times more often for African American women than white women. Studies have shown that a significant driver of this crisis is implicit bias. Racial disparity in healthcare costs us money, unnecessary suffering, and ultimately, lives lost. Far too often, women’s early symptoms and warning signs are dismissed, leading to unnecessary, costly, and potentially deadly complications that should have been easily preventable. These problems are wide-ranging, affecting far too many patients and costing us money and precious lives. Untreated chronic conditions drastically increase the risks of pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, premature birth, and even death. As just one example among many, unmanaged diabetes increases the risk for premature birth, congenital disabilities, and even pregnancy loss. It’s the same story for nearly every untreated chronic condition, whether it is diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, or even just premature birth. The costs associated add up quickly. According to a study published by HHS, in 2009 the average medical expenses for a full-term baby’s first-year amount to only $3,325. That figure balloons up to a whopping $190,467 if the baby’s born preterm, before 28 weeks. These costs continue to rise throughout the baby’s early life. Again, just the annual societal, economic burden of pre-term delivery alone was estimated in 2005 to be a whopping 26 billion dollars. And that was back in 2005. Even that is only the monetary cost. The human cost is immeasurable.