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Study of the Environment, Lifestyle & Fibroids

SELF Results: Here's What We've Learned

Stay updated on our findings from SELF!

Depo-Provera Contraceptive Shots and Fibroid Development

The contraceptive shot, widely known as Depo-Provera or Depo is a very effective method of birth control. We used information provided by SELF participants through telephone interviews to ask: Does Depo use impact fibroid development? We found that current or recent users were less likely to develop fibroids. Depo users were also more likely to have fibroids disappear! We concluded that this contraceptive method appears to have the beneficial side-effect of reducing fibroid development and these effects last for months to a few years after stopping Depo.

Reproductive Tract Infections and Fibroid Development

Dr. Kristen Moore
Dr. Kristen Moore at the NIEHS has been investigating Reproductive Tract Infections in SELF

In the 1930s, researchers suggested that reproductive tract infections might increase fibroid development. We investigated reproductive tract infections in SELF by first asking whether any of the reproductive tract infections reported at the first study visit were associated with having fibroids detected at the participants’ first visit. We found no evidence of a link. We then examined biomarker information derived from the blood and vaginal swabs collected at the first visit to provide more detailed data on the most common infections (chlamydia, genital herpes, and bacterial vaginosis). We found no evidence of increased fibroid development in women with these infections, even when we used all of the detailed ultrasound data collected during five years of follow-up.

Phthalates in SELF

Phthalates are chemicals commonly found in personal care products and plastics. Among SELF participants, we found that women who reported a lot of personal care product use, particularly nail polish or solvents, had higher levels of phthalates. Additionally, current users of the contraceptive vaginal ring had higher levels of certain phthalates.

PCBs in SELF

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are chemicals that were used in industry from the 1930s-1977. They have been banned, but are still present in the environment and human bodies. In SELF, we found that participants who were older, who had lived in an urban area for longer, who smoked cigarettes or were heavy alcohol drinkers, or who were breastfed as infants had higher levels of PCBs in their blood. Participants with higher body mass index and those who breastfed their babies had lower levels.

 

SELF Publications

General Fibroid Information

Baird D. D., Patchel S. A., Saldana T. M., Umbach D. M., Cooper T., Wegienka G., Harmon Q. E. (2020). Uterine fibroid incidence and growth in an ultrasound-based, prospective study of young African-Americans. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 223(3), 402.e1-402.e18.

Baird D. D., Harmon Q. E., Upson K., Moore K. R., Barker-Cummings C., Baker S., Cooper T., Wegienka G. (2015). A Prospective, Ultrasound-Based Study to Evaluate Risk Factors for Uterine Fibroid Incidence and Growth: Methods and Results of Recruitment. J Womens Health (Larchmt), 24(11), 907-15.

Moshesh M., Peddada S. D., Cooper T., Baird D. (2014). Intraobserver variability in fibroid size measurements: estimated effects on assessing fibroid growth. J Ultrasound Med, 33(7), 1217-24.

Harmon Q. E., Laughlin S. K., Baird D. D. (2013). Keloids and ultrasound detected fibroids in young African American women. PLoS ONE, 8(12)

Wegienka G., Baird D. D., Cooper T., Woodcroft K. J., Havstad S. (2013). Cytokine patterns differ seasonally between women with and without uterine leiomyomata. Am J Reprod Immunol, 70(4), 327-35.

Environmental Chemicals

Schildroth S., Wise L. A., Wesselink A. K., Bethea T. N., Fruh V., Taylor K. W., Calafat A. M., Baird D. D., Claus Henn B. (2022). Correlates of non-persistent endocrine disrupting chemical mixtures among reproductive-aged Black women in Detroit, Michigan. Chemosphere. Online ahead of print.

Wesselink A. K., Weuve J., Fruh V., Bethea T. N., Claus Henn B., Harmon Q. E., Hauser R., Williams P. L., Calafat A. M., McClean M., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2021). Urinary Concentrations of Phenols, Parabens, and Triclocarban in Relation to Uterine Leiomyomata Incidence and Growth. Fertil Steril, 116(6), 1590-1600.

Orta O. R., Wesselink A. K., Bethea T. N., Clause Henn B., Weuve J., Fruh V., McClean M. D., Sjodin A., Baird D. D., Wise L.A. (2021). Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pesticides and incidence of uterine leiomyomata: A prospective ultrasound study. Environ Epidemiol, 5(1), e127.

Schildroth S., Wise L. A., Wesselink A. K., De La Cruz P., Bethea T. N., Weuve J., Fruh V., Botelho J. C., Sjodin A., Calafat A. M., Baird D. D., Claus Henn, B. (2021). Correlates of Persistent Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical Mixtures among Reproductive-Aged Black Women. Environ Sci Technol, 55(20), 14000-14014.

Wesselink A. K., Claus Henn B., Fruh V., Orta O. R., Weuve J., Hauser R., Williams P. L., McClean M. D., Sjodin A., Bethea T. N., Brasky T. M., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2021). A Prospective Ultrasound Study of Plasma Polychlorinated Biphenyl Concentrations and Incidence of Uterine Leiomyomata. Epidemiology, 32(2), 259-267.

Bethea T. N., Wesselink A. K., Weuve J., McClean M. D., Hauser R., Williams P. L., Ye X., Calafat A. M., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2020). Correlates of exposure to phenols, parabens, and triclocarban in the Study of Environment, Lifestyle and Fibroids. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol, 30(1), 117-136.

Orta O. R., Wesselink A. K., Bethea T. N., Claus Henn B., McClean M. D., Sjödin A., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2020). Correlates of plasma concentrations of brominated flame retardants in a cohort of U.S. Black women residing in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. Sci Total Environ, 714, 136777.

Orta O. R., Wesselink A. K., Bethea T. N., Henn B. C., Sjödin A., Wegienka G., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2020). Correlates of organochlorine pesticide plasma concentrations among reproductive-aged black women. Environ Res, 184, 109352.

Wesselink A. K., Fruh V., Hauser R., Weuve J., Taylor K. W., Orta O. R., Claus Henn B., Bethea T. N., McClean M. D., Williams P. L., Calafat A. M., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2020). Correlates of urinary concentrations of phthalate and phthalate alternative metabolites among reproductive-aged Black women from Detroit, Michigan. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol,

Fruh V., Claus Henn B., Weuve J., Wesselink A. K., Orta O. R., Heeren T., Hauser R., Calafat A. M., Williams P. L., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2020). Incidence of uterine leiomyoma in relation to urinary concentrations of phthalate and phthalate alternative biomarkers: A prospective ultrasound study. Environ Int, 147, 106218.

Wesselink A. K., Bethea T. N., McClean M., Weuve J., Williams P. L., Hauser R., Sjodin A., Brasky T. M., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2019). Predictors of plasma polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations among reproductive-aged black women. Int J Hyg Environ Health, 222(7), 1001-1010.

Wise, L. A., Wesselink, A. K., Schildroth, S., Calafat, A. M., Bethea, T. N., Geller, R. J., Coleman, C. M., Fruh, V., Claus Henn, B., Botelho, J. C., Harmon, Q. E., Thirkill, M., Wegienka, G. R., Baird, D. D. (2021). Correlates of plasma concentrations of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances among reproductive aged Black women. Environ Res. Online ahead of print.

Dietary Impacts

Wise L. A.;Wesselink A. K.;Bethea T. N.;Brasky T. M.;Wegienka G.;Harmon Q.;Block T.;Baird D. D. (2021). Intake of Lycopene and other Carotenoids and Incidence of Uterine Leiomyomata: A Prospective Ultrasound Study. J Acad Nutr Diet, 121(1), 92-104.

Brasky T. M., Bethea T. N., Wesselink A. K., Wegienka G. R., Baird D. D., Wise L. A. (2020). Dietary Fat Intake and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata: A Prospective Ultrasound Study. Am J Epidemiol,

Upson K., Adgent M. A., Wegienka G., Baird D. D. (2019). Soy-based infant formula feeding and menstrual pain in a cohort of women aged 23-35 years. Hum Reprod, 34(1), 148-154.

Hawkins Bressler L., Bernardi L. A., De Chavez P. J., Baird D. D., Carnethon M. R., Marsh E. E. (2016). Alcohol, cigarette smoking, and ovarian reserve in reproductive-age African-American women. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 215(6), 758.e1-758.e9.

Personal Product Use

Gaston S. A., James-Todd T., Riley N. M., Gladney M. N., Harmon Q. E., Baird D. D., Jackson C. L. (2020). Hair Maintenance and Chemical Hair Product Usage as Barriers to Physical Activity in Childhood and Adulthood among African American Women. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 17(24).

Gaston S. A., James-Todd T., Harmon Q., Taylor K. W., Baird D., Jackson C. L. (2020). Chemical/straightening and other hair product usage during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood among African-American women: potential implications for health. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol, 30(1), 86-96.

Myers S. L., Yang C. Z., Bittner G. D., Witt K. L., Tice R. R., Baird D. D. (2015). Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity of off-the-shelf hair and skin care products. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol, 25(3), 271-7.

Wright M. A., Moore K. R., Upson K., Baird D. D., Chin H. B. (2021). Douching or Perineal Talc Use and Prevalent Fibroids in Young African American Women J Womens Health (Larchmt)

Contraception

Bernardi L. A., Weiss M. S., Waldo A., Harmon Q., Carnethon M. R., Baird D. D., Wise L. A., Marsh E. E. (2021). Duration, recency, and type of hormonal contraceptive use and antimüllerian hormone levels. Fertil Steril. 116(1), 208-217

Upson K., Harmon Q. E., Heffron R., Hall J. E., Wise L. A, Wegienka G., Tokar E. J., Baird D. D. (2020). Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Use and Blood Lead Levels in a Cohort of Young Women. Environ Health Perspect, 128(11), 117004.

Hoffman S. R., Nicholson W. K., Smith J. S., Jonsson Funk M., Hudgens M. G., Poole C., Baird D. D., Harmon Q. E. (2020). Reasons for hormonal contraceptive use in a cohort of African-American women living in the Detroit area. Contraception, S0010-7824(20), 30297-3.

Moshesh M., Saldana T., Deans E., Cooper T., Baird D. (2018). Factors associated with low-lying intrauterine devices: a cross-sectional ultrasound study in a cohort of African-American women. Contraception, 98(1), 25-29.

Harmon Q. E., Umbach D. M., Baird D. D. (2016). Use of Estrogen-Containing Contraception Is Associated With Increased Concentrations of 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 101(9), 3370-7.

Harmon Q. E., Baird D. D. (2015). Use of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate and prevalent leiomyoma in young African American women. Hum Reprod, 30(6), 1499-504.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Moore K. R., Harmon Q. E., Zhao S., Taylor B. D., Baird D. D. (2022). Bacterial Vaginosis and Prospective Ultrasound Measures of Uterine Fibroid Incidence and Growth. Epidemiology, 33(3) 415-421.

Moore K. R., Harmon Q. E., Baird D. D. (2021). Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Seroprevalence and Incidence and Growth of Ultrasound-Diagnosed Uterine Fibroids in a Large Population of Young African-American Women. Am J Epidemiol, kwab160. Online ahead of print.

Moore K. R., Tomar M., Umbach D. M., Gygax S. E., Hilbert D. W., Baird D. D. (2021). Bacterial Vaginosis-Associated Bacteria and Uterine Fibroids: A Nested Case-Control Study. Sex Transm Dis. Online ahead of print.

Moore K. R., Tomar M., Taylor B. D., Gygax S. E., Hilbert D. W., Baird D. D. (2020). Mycoplasma genitalium and Bacterial Vaginosis-Associated Bacteria in a Non-Clinic-Based Sample of African-American Women. Sex Transm Dis.

Moore K. R., Harmon Q. E., Baird D. D. (2018). Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Self-Reported Bacterial Vaginosis in a Prospective Cohort Study of Young African American Women. J Womens Health (Larchmt), 27(10), 1278-1284.

Moore K. R., Smith J. S., Cole S. R., Dittmer D. P., Schoenbach V. J., Baird D. D. (2018). Chlamydia trachomatis Seroprevalence and Ultrasound-Diagnosed Uterine Fibroids in a Large Population of Young African-American Women. Am J Epidemiol, 187(2), 278-286.

Moore K. R., Smith J. S., Cole S. R., Schoenbach V. J., Schlusser K., Gaydos C. A., Baird D. D. (2016). Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Seroprevalence and Ultrasound-Diagnosed Uterine Fibroids in a Large Population of Young African-American Women. Am J Epidemiol, 183(11), 961-8.

Cervical Dysplasia

Moore K. R., Baird D. D. (2019). Accuracy of Self-reported Abnormal Pap Smears Among Reproductive-age African-American Women. Epidemiology, 30(2), 274-277.

Moore K. R., Smith J. S., Laughlin-Tommaso S. K., Baird D. D. (2014). Cervical neoplasia-related factors and decreased prevalence of uterine fibroids among a cohort of African American women. Fertil Steril, 101(1), 208-14.

Infant and Childhood Factors

Upson K., Chin H. B., Marsh E. E., Baird D. D. (2019). Intrauterine, Infant, and Childhood Factors and Ovarian Reserve in Young African American Women. J Womens Health (Larchmt), 28(12), 1711-1720.

Menstrual Cycle and Hormones

Chin H. B., Marsh E. E., Hall J. E., Baird D.D. (2021). Prevalence of Hirsutism Among Reproductive-Aged African American Women. J Womens Health (Larchmt), Online ahead of print.

Bernardi L. A., Carnethon M. R., de Chavez P. J., Ikhena D. E., Neff L. M., Baird D. D., Marsh E. E. (2017). Relationship between obesity and anti-Mullerian hormone in reproductive-aged African American women. Obesity (Silver Spring), 25(1), 229-235.

Jukic A. M., Upson K., Harmon Q. E., Baird D. D. (2016). Increasing serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with reduced odds of long menstrual cycles in a cross-sectional study of African American women. Fertil Steril, 106(1), 172-179.e2.

Marsh E. E., Bernardi L. A., Steinberg M. L., de Chavez P. J., Visser J. A., Carnethon M. R., Baird D. D. (2016). Novel correlates between antimullerian hormone and menstrual cycle characteristics in African-American women (23-35 years-old). Fertil Steril, 106(2), 443-450.e2.

Health Disparities

Quist A. J. L., Han X., Baird D. D., Wise L. A., Wegienka G., Woods-Giscombe C. L., Vines A. I. (2022). Life Course Racism and Depressive Symptoms among Young Black Women. J Urban Health, 99(1), 55-66.

Moore K. R., Williams D. R., Baird D. D. (2021). Disparities by Skin Color Among Young African-American Women. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities, 8(4), 1002-1011.

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