If you’ve got heavy menstrual bleeding and periods that last more than usual, you might choose to think about uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). A remedy for uterine fibroid tumors, UFE can help block the flow so that you can come back to your regular life. Here is what you need to understand about UFE so you may begin to determine if the process is ideal for you.
What are Uterine Fibroid Tumors?
Uterine fibroid tumors, also called fibroids, are non-cancerous growths in the walls of the uterus that affect between 20 per cent and 40 percent of women over the age of 35.
From time to time, women don’t understand they have fibroids because they aren’t causing any symptoms, although other girls will experience heavy menstrual bleeding and intervals that last longer than usual.
Symptoms which fibroids may cause include:
- Pain or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the pelvic area, back, or legs
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Constant feeling of a need to urinate
- Feeling of pressure in the bowels
The Way UFE Works
Fibroid tumors increase since they have a large blood supply. If you halt the blood source, through UFE, fibroids will shrink or go away completely. Although uterine fibroid embolization is completed in the hospital, it isn’t surgery. Before the process starts, patients have been given sedatives to help them unwind, and the process doesn’t cause pain.
A specially trained doctor called an interventional radiologist will perform the process, starting with a very small incision in the groin region.
A very small tube called a catheter is passed through the incision into an artery to the uterus. Then, the doctor injects tiny particles, about the size of a grain of sand, in the catheter. The particles move through the catheter into the arteries that supply blood to the fibroid to stop the circulation of blood, which causes the fibroid to shrink or disappear completely over time.
The process has an 85 percent success rate and most women can return to regular activities after one week.
Side Effects of UFE
UFE is considered an extremely safe procedure. But as with any procedure, there’s a certain quantity of risk involved. The majority of women can expect moderate to severe cramps for the first couple of hours following the procedure, and also a few women may experience fever and nausea. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to assist with these frequent side effects.
Though rare, ailments, curable with antibiotics, can occur after the procedure. Infection occurs, antibiotics have been prescribed. Even though uncommon, injury to the uterus occurs in roughly 1 percent of procedures and can earn a hysterectomy required. Some women report immediate menopause following the procedure, and studies about getting pregnant after uterine artery embolization are faulty.
Is UFE Appropriate for You?
If your fibroid tumor symptoms are interfering with your day-to-day activities, you might want to seek advice from your doctor to find out if UFE is the ideal treatment alternative. Together, you create a plan and are able to rule out other choices. The good news, on top of the process being very secure and effective, is that most insurance businesses cover UFE.
Be sure to consult your insurance provider before scheduling a consultation.