Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is an option for treatment that would be appropriate for any woman who is diagnosed and experiencing the painful life-interrupting symptoms of uterine fibroids.
Ideal candidates for the UFE procedure are:
- Women who do not wish to undergo surgery and prefer a less invasive method to deal with their heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic discomfort, and other debilitating issues that can result from these uterine growths;
- Women who wish to preserve their fertility and desire a procedure that can eliminate their fibroids without requiring them to lose their uterus or be out of commission for an extended period of time;
- Women who may not be suitable candidates for surgery due to their health.
When Do Fibroids Typically Begin To Form?
These non-cancerous tumors that develop in and on the uterus most often develop during a woman’s childbearing years (normally in their 30’s and 40’s), but they can show up at any time. Some women are unaware of their presence because they do not have any of the typical symptoms, and some may seek medical treatment because fibroids make their menstrual cycles so horrible.
Sometimes, fibroids manifest during early pregnancy because they are known to be sensitive to estrogen exposure. During the first trimester of pregnancy, women experience a normal surge of estrogen, which causes their fibroids to become larger and they can begin to create pain or other problems. Depending on their location and size, they can be quite dangerous during pregnancy and to a growing fetus.
What Signs Indicate That You Might Have Fibroids?
Many women who have uterine myomas have very long menstrual cycles that include heavy bleeding. They may also experience chronic pain in their pelvic region and a feeling of constant pressure. This pressure may also be accompanied by a feeling of “fullness” and the abdomen visibly protruding, similar to that of a pregnant woman.
Depending on where the growths are located, they can cause all sorts of issues; they can put pressure on your bladder and cause you to frequently run to the toilet, interrupting your sleep. They can put pressure on certain nerves, causing back and leg pain, and are often mistaken for sciatica. They can cause pain during sexual intercourse and take a toll on intimate relationships. Fibroids can cause fertility issues by disrupting the lining of the uterus so that implantation is not possible, and a larger fibroid has the ability to put a kink in the fallopian tube and block the egg and sperm from ever meeting.
Not all women may notice recognizable symptoms of fibroids, but it is important to pay attention to any unusual changes to your cycle and to also understand that it is not normal to experience periods that last longer than 7 or 8 days, are super heavy, or are accompanied by chronic pain.
When Do Women Typically Require Treatment For Uterine Tumors?
When your schedule is held hostage by these benign tumors, it is time to get some help. If you cannot perform your job duties or carry out your normal routine because of heavy bleeding, pain, or another fibroid-related reason, you should contact your doctor and have them check for the presence of fibroids.
How Can You Be 100% Sure That You Have Fibroids?
Because no one knows the exact cause of these growths or why some women experience them and others do not, it is a good idea to have a pelvic exam every year to watch for any sign of their appearance.
Most OB/GYN offices can perform an ultrasound that may be able to confirm that you have fibroids; however, the grainy images rendered by the ultrasound often do not provide enough detail. The most accurate imaging tool to clearly identify these growths is an MRI. The high-quality, clear images returned by an MRI can show the exact size and location of each growth, as well as the number present. This can provide an expert with the information necessary to determine the source of your symptoms or perhaps identify tumors that may be contributing to infertility.
What Should You Do If Diagnosed With Fibroids?
Receiving a fibroid diagnosis can cause anxiety because many women do not know exactly what that means. Depending on your situation, you may not require any treatment at all. If you have a few small fibroids and they are not causing any symptoms, your doctor may take a “watch and wait” stance and just monitor them until they begin to create issues (if ever).
If symptoms related to the growths are what prompted your trip to the doctor, then they will recommend treatment. Most OB/gyns will offer medications as a first-line treatment or surgery, and that is it. Medications only help alleviate some symptoms but do not get rid of the fibroids. Also, medications are only good for a limited time, as most are only recommended for short-term use. Surgery is invasive, carries risks, and involves having your uterus compromised or completely removed.
UFE Is The Best Treatment Option For Uterine Myomas
Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to eliminate non-cancerous tumors that grow in and on a woman’s uterus. It is an outpatient procedure and does not require a stay in the hospital or involve the risks or recovery time as surgery. The procedure is done under conscious sedation, so it eliminates the risks associated with general anesthesia and is suitable for those whose health may not qualify them for a surgical procedure.
Almost every woman with fibroids is a candidate for the UFE procedure, and it is over 90% effective in eliminating all fibroids regardless of location, size, or number. The best thing is that you retain your uterus, which studies have shown plays an important role in other women’s health issues besides reproduction.
How Can I Find Out If I Am A Good Candidate For Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Get in touch with the Atlanta Fibroid Center and set up an appointment to meet with one of our experts. We have been helping women become free of the pain and symptoms of these unwanted growths for over 25 years. We will discuss your circumstances in detail, and the doctor will recommend a treatment plan. We begin with an MRI so we can clearly see where the growths are located, their size, and how many are present and it also gives us a clue as to the source of your symptoms. Give us a call today or book your appointment online and get help from one of the world’s leading fibroid experts. Your journey to a better quality of life starts here.