Successfully Treating Uterine Fibroids With UFE
Uterine fibroids are common in women, with 20 to 80% of women developing them by the time they reach 50. Some women are lucky and develop uterine fibroids but experience no symptoms; however, for others, the symptoms can be debilitating. For women in the latter situation, uterine fibroid embolization is a less invasive treatment option that can help relieve them of the unpleasant symptoms caused by uterine fibroids.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the walls of the uterus. While tumors often bring someone’s mind to cancer, the good news is that fibroids are almost always non-cancerous.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Not all women with uterine fibroids have symptoms. However, those with symptoms often find them debilitating and hard to live with.
The potential symptoms of fibroids include:
- heavy bleeding
- frequent urination
- a feeling of fullness in the lower stomach
- painful periods
- enlargement of the lower abdomen
- lower back pain
- pain during sex
- complications during pregnancy and labor
- infertility, although a very rare symptom
Risk Factors for Fibroids
Many factors can increase your chance of developing fibroids, including:
- increasing age: fibroids are most common during a woman’s 30s and 40s and through menopause.
- family history
- being African American
- eating a lot of red meat and ham
Most fibroids grow in the uterine wall, but they are placed into three groups based on their specific location. Submucosal fibroids grow into the uterine cavity. Fibroids growing within the wall of the uterus are called intramural fibroids, and those growing on the outside of the uterus are called subserosal fibroids.
UFE as a Treatment
One method of treating uterine fibroids is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). For this procedure, a thin tube is threaded into the blood vessels that supply blood to the fibroid. Once in place, small gel or plastic particles are inserted into the blood vessel, preventing blood from reaching the fibroid. When the fibroid no longer has a blood supply, it begins to shrink.
As with all procedures, there are certain patients who will see the best results. For UFE, those who are the best candidates include women who:
- have fibroids that cause pressure or pain on the bladder or rectum
- have fibroids that cause heavy bleeding
- do not want to have a hysterectomy
Compared to other procedures for uterine fibroids, such as hysterectomy, UFE offers many advantages. One of its biggest advantages is that it is a minimally invasive procedure with a much shorter recovery time, with many women resuming normal activities within seven to ten days.
UFE for Uterine Fibroids
Not all women with uterine fibroids experience symptoms, but they can be debilitating for those who do. UFE offers a safe and effective procedure that can shrink fibroids without the need for a highly invasive procedure, allowing you to get back to normal sooner.
If you have any of the symptoms of uterine fibroids, visit your local physician. For those who have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, talk to your physician about Uterine Fibroid Embolization with MTV IR; it’s time to take action against your uterine fibroids.
Uterine fibroids | Office on Women’s Health. (2022). Retrieved 3 June 2022, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids