All You Need to Know About Pregnancy Post-Embolization
If you suffer from symptomatic uterine fibroids, you may have questions about getting pregnant. Because every woman’s situation is unique, we encourage you to consult with an expert. This consultation is the best way to find answers to questions about fibroids, fertility, and potentially beneficial treatments.
Even if you are not yet ready to start a family, it is never too early to develop a plan. Visiting a fibroid specialist now can help you understand your future options. The decision on whether to have fibroid treatment before expecting, after pregnancy, or not at all is an individual one and should be thoroughly discussed with a medical professional.
Our specialists at USA Fibroid Centers offer a minimally-invasive fibroid treatment called Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), also known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). This leading-edge treatment can help alleviate painful and uncomfortable fibroid symptoms while leaving your uterus intact. Ask your doctor whether UFE is an option for you.
Here’s what you should know about fertility after Uterine Artery Embolization.
Uterine Artery Embolization and Fertility: Can You Get Pregnant After Embolization?
If you are considering fibroid treatment and want to get pregnant in the future, we recommend discussing the issue with one of our medical experts. We can help you understand all available fibroid treatments, both surgical and non-surgical.
Some women choose to wait until after having children to pursue fibroid treatment. Others require treatment before pregnancy. Although it may be possible to wait for treatment until after carrying a child, this may not be the best option for everyone.
The presence of fibroids can sometimes cause fertility issues and even complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Additionally, fibroids tend to grow during pregnancy and can cause increased pain and other symptoms.
If you require fibroid treatment before pregnancy, you may want to consider Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Fertility and the ability to successfully conceive depends on many different factors. Although there is no guarantee that UFE will positively or negatively affect getting pregnant, some research has shown women are able to conceive after Uterine Artery Embolization or UFE. After conception, your doctor will monitor your progress and any other symptoms you may be experiencing. Keep in mind that this is also true for women who are expecting with fibroids so they can ensure a successful and healthy delivery.
What Is Uterine Artery Embolization?
At USA Fibroid Centers, we perform Uterine Fibroid Embolization, also known as Uterine Artery Embolization. UAE is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that shrinks uterine fibroids. After treatment, your painful, and uncomfortable fibroid symptoms should resolve over time.
During Uterine Artery Embolization:
- We will offer local anesthesia and a sedative so that you remain comfortable the entire time, similar to that in a dentist’s office.
- Using advanced ultrasound technology known as fibroid mapping, your specialist will locate your fibroid(s).
- After one of our specialized interventional radiologists numbs your upper thigh, they will make a small incision and insert a tiny catheter.
- This catheter will then be guided into the uterine artery that supplies blood to fibroids with the help of a real-time X-ray called a fluoroscopy.
- Once the catheter is in place, we inject embolic material intended to block the blood flow to your fibroids, causing them to shrink.
- After being cut off from their supply of oxygenated blood, the fibroids begin to shrink and die.
- The injected material remains at the fibroid site, making the likelihood of the same fibroid regrowing rare.
Unfortunately, some women avoid fibroid treatment out of fear that it will impact their ability to get pregnant. We suggest that you talk about your concerns with one of our experts.
Uterine Artery Embolization Pregnancy Risks and Concerns
If you decide to go forward with Uterine Artery Embolization before conception, we recommend discussing potential risks with your doctor.
Keep in mind that there are also risks involved if you decide to wait and have fibroid treatment after birth instead. You should be aware that your fibroid’s size, number, and location of your can impact both fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
Embolization vs. Hysterectomy
We believe that Uterine Artery Embolization offers several benefits over a hysterectomy.
First of all, a hysterectomy surgery removes the entire uterus, resulting in infertility. It is considered major surgery, involves a hospital stay, and has a 6 to 8-week recovery time. During your recovery, you will not be allowed to lift heavy objects or drive while taking prescription pain medications. Surgical risks include infection, blood clots, excessive bleeding, and adverse reaction to general anesthesia.
Uterine Artery Embolization is a non-surgical procedure. It is performed in an outpatient setting, allows you to return home the same day, and offers a short recovery period of only one to two weeks compared to other surgical procedures. UAE does not require general anesthesia or stitches and involves less risk than fibroid surgery.
If you require treatment now and don’t want to endure a long, painful recovery from surgery, ask your doctor about minimally-invasive Uterine Fibroid Embolization.
Embolization Compared to Other Hysterectomy Alternatives
UAE and hysterectomies are not the only available fibroid treatments.
Another type of fibroid surgery is called myomectomy. During a myomectomy, doctors go into the uterus via cesarean section (c-section) where they surgically remove the fibroids from the uterus. Several variations of myomectomy are available, and the length of your recovery is determined by which type is performed.
Radiofrequency ablation is another treatment that is an alternative to myomectomy. Fibroid ablation uses heat to destroy your fibroids and is performed at a hospital under anesthesia. More research is needed to determine its impact on future fertility.
At the end of the day, we want our patients to feel comfortable and confident with their fibroid treatment decision. Even if you’re considering another treatment or surgery, we welcome you to schedule a consultation to learn if UFE could be the right choice for you. Often, our patients are surprised at how well Uterine Artery Embolization fits with their individual needs and lifestyle.
Schedule Your UFE Consultation Today
If you are currently living with uterine fibroids, we understand that you may have concerns about fertility and pregnancy. We encourage you to contact one of our top-rated fibroid specialists and discover the best treatment course for you. Our experts are readily available to discuss Uterine Artery Embolization, fertility, and pregnancy after fibroid treatment.