We commonly hear from patients that saw their Gynecologist with symptoms from uterine fibroids that they were only told about the surgical options: myomectomy (surgically removing some of the fibroids) or hysterectomy (surgically removing the uterus).
Surgery just does not appeal to most women in this situation. They often have never had surgery, don’t like the idea of being cut open surgically if they don’t have to, and they don’t have the lengthy time off required to recover from the surgery.
In fact in 2013, a landmark paper in the Journal of Women’s Health demonstrated that most of the roughly 1,000 women surveyed with symptomatic fibroids did not want any surgical option. Instead, they chose to just suffer with the symptoms. Many women had planned to live with the miserable symptoms and opt to wait for menopause, not knowing about Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE).
There are over one million women in the US we refer to as the “silent sufferers”. They don’t want surgery, but are unaware of the nonsurgical, outpatient option Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE).
Video: Why It’s Important to Understand All Fibroid Treatment Options
Fibroids rely on estrogen to grow. That is why fibroids often grow rapidly in pregnancy, and also why they typically are not a clinical concern any longer once a woman enters menopause. Menopause is defined by the complete lack of menstruation for 12 consecutive months. It can be said that in most cases, fibroids after menopause are no longer a problem for a woman.
However, while menopause will typically end the patient’s symptoms from fibroids, there are four facts very important to remember about this:
- First, there are some women who will take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) when they enter menopause. HRT typically contains estrogen and progesterone which will continue to stimulate fibroid growth.
- Second, there is no way to tell when a woman will enter menopause. The average age is typically around age 50, but can be years later.
- Third, there are some women who are in menopause but still have bulk-related symptoms due to their fibroids (for example, pelvic pain, increased urinary frequency).
- Finally, any post-menopausal bleeding that occurs must be reported to and discussed with the woman’s gynecologist to make sure that the bleeding is not due to an underlying cancer.
For most women, fibroids will not be an issue after menopause. However, if you’re post-menopausal and have bulk-related symptoms, UFE is an outstanding treatment option.
To learn more about UAE/UFE from one of the world’s leading providers of this procedure, call the Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-953-2600 or make an appointment online.