Who Is a Good Candidate for Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
If you have uterine fibroids, it’s important to explore all fibroid treatment options to find the right one for you. Uterine fibroid embolization, also known as UFE and fibroid embolization, is a minimally invasive, non-surgical fibroid treatment that can shrink fibroids and improve fibroid symptoms while preserving the uterus.
Who is a good candidate for uterine fibroid embolization? Most women with uterine fibroids can benefit from UFE treatment, but there are various factors to consider. We’ll discuss conditions that can help determine whether uterine fibroid embolization is the most appropriate treatment option.
Who Should Consider Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Most women with fibroids are good candidates for uterine fibroid embolization, but it may not be recommended if you are currently experiencing specific medical conditions such as an active pelvic infection, certain bleeding issues, or endometrial cancer. If you are pregnant, your doctor may recommend UFE after the birth of the baby. Therefore, it is essential to have a thorough evaluation with a specialist to discuss your medical history as well as current conditions and symptoms.
UFE may prove particularly beneficial when facing the circumstances described below.
Experiencing Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
If you suffer from fibroid symptoms, fibroid embolization can provide lasting relief. As your fibroids shrink in the weeks and months following UFE, your symptoms should improve.
The following are common fibroid symptoms:
- Heavy and prolonged periods
- Spotting between periods
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Pain in your pelvis or lower back
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Stomach swelling
Within three to six months of UFE, most women report reduced symptoms and an improved quality of life. After uterine fibroid embolization, you may have:
- Shorter, lighter periods
- Increased energy
- Normal urination
- Normal bowel movements
- Less pelvic and back pain, if any
- Less painful menstrual cramps, if any
- Reduced stomach bulge, if any
Women With Heavy Periods
Heavy periods are among the most commonly reported fibroid symptoms. A heavy period can be defined as menstrual bleeding that seeps through a pad or tampon within one to two hours or a prolonged period that lasts for more than one week. Women with heavy periods tend to pass menstrual blood clots, which can be larger than the size of a quarter.
Excessive menstrual bleeding might lead to anemia, which can cause symptoms like fatigue, dizziness and lightheadedness. Uterine fibroid embolization can return your periods to normal in a few months, eliminating the stress, discomfort and disruptiveness of heavy periods from your life.
Severe Cramping and Pelvic Pain
Women with fibroids often suffer from severe cramping and pelvic pain. Pain medications and non-medicinal remedies (like a hot water bottle) may provide temporary relief, but only fibroid treatment addresses the underlying cause.
Women who have fibroids in the lower portion of the uterus, near the cervix, can often experience pain during sex. The pressure exerted on the fibroid during sex can cause pain ranging from mild to severe.
Those Looking for an Alternative to Surgery
Like any invasive medical procedure, fibroid surgery such as a myomectomy or hysterectomy entails potential risks, including infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, an adverse reaction to general anesthesia, and even damage to surrounding organs and tissues. Surgery can also cause significant pain and require a long recovery.
Compared to fibroid surgery, some of the benefits of uterine fibroid embolization include:
- No surgical incisions, stitches or scarring
- No required hospital stay
- Less pain than surgery
- Fewer risks than surgery
- No need for general anesthesia
- A short recovery period
- An intact uterus and preserved fertility
If you want to avoid surgery and opt for UFE for treating your fibroids, contact one of our fibroid specialists.
UFE offers an effective and reliable alternative to surgery, with a 99 percent success rate when performed at USA Fibroid Centers.
Frequent urination is a common symptom of women with fibroids. Large and multiple fibroids can place extra pressure on the bladder, making you feel the need to go more often than usual. Fibroids can also exert pressure on the bowels and cause constipation.
UFE can provide relief from frequent urination and constipation. As your fibroids shrink, pressure is relieved from the bladder and bowel. You may no longer need to plan your days to ensure you’re always near a bathroom.
Women Who Want to Get Pregnant in the Future
Some women with fibroids avoid treatment because they are told a hysterectomy is their only option. Since this surgery removes the entire uterus (also known as the womb), it always leads to infertility. A myomectomy, which removes individual fibroids from the uterus, may cause scarring and adhesions in the uterus that might impact a woman’s ability to conceive.
You can receive fibroid treatment while retaining your uterus and preserving your fertility. Many women go on to have successful pregnancies and childbirths after UFE. If you desire to get pregnant after fibroid treatment, discuss your plans with a fibroid specialist.
Women Who Want a Shorter Recovery Time
Taking time off for medical procedures can be challenging. As an outpatient, office-based treatment, fibroid embolization does not require a hospital stay. You’ll return home the same day to begin a recovery period of only one to two weeks. For comparison, hysterectomy surgery requires a hospital stay of up to three days, followed by six to eight weeks of recovery.
Managing pain is a significant aspect of surgical recovery. Post-surgical prescription pain medications can make driving unsafe and even illegal. However, after UFE, many women can manage post-procedural pain with only over-the-counter pain relievers. You should continue to feel better each day during your recovery from UFE.
Schedule Consultation With Uterine Fibroid Experts
If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits of uterine fibroid embolization, call the compassionate experts at USA Fibroid Centers today. UFE can shrink fibroids, alleviate symptoms, and improve your quality of life while preserving the uterus. UFE treatment involves less pain, fewer risks and a shorter recovery time than fibroid surgery, with no hospital stay.
If you’re wondering who is a good candidate for uterine fibroid embolization, we encourage you to contact us. You may benefit from UFE if you have symptomatic fibroids resulting in heavy periods, severe cramping, pelvic pain or frequent urination. UFE can also benefit women who wish to avoid fibroid surgery and retain their uterus to become pregnant in the future.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our skilled fibroid specialists perform UFE at dozens of state-of-the-art treatment centers across the country. To discover whether you are a good candidate for fibroid embolization, call us at 855.615.2555 or schedule an initial consultation online.