My Fibroid Story: Why I Couldn’t Wait Any Longer
Disclaimer: For privacy purposes, all information including names of patients and dates have been changed or summarized. Direct quotes were shared with us specifically for awareness purposes. Every woman’s experience is unique; therefore, symptoms and recovery times may slightly vary.
Jordan had been struggling for over three years with fibroids without even knowing they were the cause. “I had everything from heavy bleeding, clots, pain, fatigue, anemia…all at different times.” Jordan thought her symptoms were normal or just because she was aging; she didn’t think that something else could be wrong. “I guess I just wasn’t paying attention. I thought it would get better on its own in time,” stated Jordan. Unfortunately, this is all too familiar when it comes to fibroid symptoms. Many women wait years before getting diagnosed because they either don’t know what fibroids are or they don’t think that their periods are abnormal.
My Symptoms Got Worse
Like many women, Jordan’s symptoms began to worsen and she became more concerned. “I spoke to one of my close friends about what I was going through and she suggested I tell my doctor,” stated Jordan. “After visiting with him, I told him what my symptoms had been for the last few years and he had me get an MRI. He said an MRI would help know for sure what the issue was, but he thought it could be fibroids,” Jordan said. Uterine fibroids are often diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam. Usually a primary physician or gynecologist will then recommend seeing a fibroid specialist to conduct further tests. Both ultrasounds and MRIs can be used to first diagnose uterine fibroids. “The results came in and I was told that I had a large fibroid in my uterus. I didn’t know what it was, so I went home to do my own research,” said Jordan.
I Wanted to Do My Research
Being told that you have fibroids can be overwhelming, especially when you are first diagnosed. “I went online, did some research and found that USA Fibroid Centers was close to my home. I went in and the doctor was nice and very to the point. He explained everything and gave me my options,” said Jordan. “When I heard about fibroid embolization, I initially thought I wasn’t going to be able to have children, so I was very scared and decided to go home and do more searching online.” In a recent study, the majority of women said they waited between two to five years before going through with treatment, even though they were experiencing debilitating symptoms. Over 300,000 hysterectomies are performed each year to uterine fibroids; therefore, many women think that this is their only treatment option. In fact, according to the Society of Interventional Radiology around 52 percent of women polled believe that hysterectomy is the only solution to get relief from fibroid symptoms.
“After I did my research and went back to talk to the doctor, I decided to go through with it. I wanted it to be over already and wanted to get back to normal life,” said Jordan. “I knew this would help me and fit what I wanted in life. The main thing was that I wanted to not bleed as much and I wanted to have kids,” Jordan explained. Jordan was relieved to find that Uterine Fibroid Embolization offered many benefits such as shorter recovery than surgery, no hospitalization or anesthesia, didn’t interfere with her hormones, didn’t cause any visible scarring, and would preserve her uterus and fertility. After doing extensive research about UFE, learning about these benefits finally put Jordan’s worries to rest.
Going Through Treatment
“I liked that the doctor explained everything to me throughout the entire process. He made me feel confident and comfortable which made me feel less nervous,” said Jordan. Jordan was given a light sedation, similar to one given at the dentist’s office, and the procedure commenced. The interventional radiologist uses a real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy to help guide the catheter into the uterine artery that supplies blood to fibroids. Then, they inject small embolic material into the artery. These particles block the blood flow and keep blood from getting to your fibroids, causing them to shrink. Without a steady supply of oxygenated blood, the fibroids begin to starve and die. Once the procedure is over, the patients are able to relax for a bit until the light sedative wears off. Then, they are able to return home to recover. Jordan recounts, “I was happy I didn’t have to stay in a hospital, I just wanted to be back at my own home, in my own bed.”
Due to the fact that UFE is an outpatient procedure, recovery is much shorter than an invasive surgery. “It was a bit rough for four days, I felt like I had the flu and had cramps that were bad during the morning especially for me, but I knew it was worth it. And after four days I started feeling so much better. It was hard, but in the long-run it was extremely worth those four days of feeling not so good,” explained Jordan.
Throughout the next few weeks, Jordan’s doctor checked in with her and scheduled a few follow-up appointments to monitor her progress. “They always stayed in touch and I could tell they are very connected with their patients. The doctor genuinely cared about my pain and symptoms. He wanted me to feel better and get back to normal life again,” Jordan said. After a few short weeks, Jordan was shocked by the results. “It got better and better, each week I could actually feel the differences,” Jordan excitedly shared, “I haven’t had any pain and my periods are back to what I use to before I started getting heavy, long ones. I was able to get my iron levels up and now don’t have the tiredness I usually did at work.”
Feeling Better Than Ever
Uterine Fibroid Embolization has a high-success rate of over 90 percent symptom relief within the first few months following treatment. Because the embolic agents stay within the artery leading to the fibroid, it is unlikely that a new fibroid would grow in its place. “I was so tired of feeling stuck in this rut of not feeling good. I felt so controlled by my periods and constantly on the edge of my seat if I was going to bleed or have to cancel on my friends. It was an awful feeling,” Jordan expresses, “I’m so happy I took the plunge and went through with the embolization. I have more energy and now look forward to more manageable periods, unlike before.”
You Can Find Treatment
If you want to learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization, as well as our clinics, locations, and physicians, feel free to explore our website or give us a call at 855-667-4247. We look forward to helping even more women live a life free of fibroid symptoms.