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Uterine fibroids and your quality of life. Don’t let them get in the way.

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths or benign tumors in the uterus. They can cause intense pain and excessive bleeding in most women. Most importantly, they can impact on a woman’s quality of life. 

Unfortunately, many women with uterine fibroids will suffer in silence. They have learned to “live” with the unwanted side effects of uterine fibroids and have come to accept these as part of their day to day living. As a matter of fact, some will make changes in their lives and stop doing things they enjoy in order to accommodate their uterine fibroid associated symptoms.

Women with uterine fibroids can experience:

  • Significant blood loss that can last for weeks. Some women have experienced such heavy blood loss that they have had to undergo a blood transfusion.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding resulting in a patient becoming anemic.
  • Extremely painful cramps for a longer time than normal cramps.
  • Many women who experience very heavy bleeding have to be in a constant state of alert that they have not bled through their clothes.
  • For some women, uterine fibroids can result in painful intercourse. As a result, they may become fearful of intercourse or detach themselves romantically to avoid sex with their partner altogether.
  • In some cases, uterine fibroids can impact a woman’s ability to become or stay pregnant

What are the treatment options for uterine fibroids?

While there are multiple procedures available to treat the symptoms of uterine fibroids or the fibroids themselves, a study by American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that many of the women surveyed were too worried about the possibility of needing a hysterectomy. 

As a result, some women will delay treatment or medical care due to these concerns and fear of what comes with a hysterectomy. They are under the false beliefs that this is the only treatment option for uterine fibroids.

The Ugly Truth of A Hysterectomy

Nearly half of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed nationwide each year are to treat uterine fibroids. Because of this, many women have come to believe that this is the go-to procedure for the removal of uterine fibroids. 

When a hysterectomy is performed, the uterus is removed. The procedure indeed does prevent fibroids from reoccurring. However, the removal of the uterus also means that a woman will not be able to get pregnant.

Other side effects of a hysterectomy include early onset menopause, urination disorders, and defecation disorders. Each one of these individually come with additional life-altering symptoms that can truly change the way a woman lives her life post-hysterectomy.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization. A Less Invasive Treatment Option.

A hysterectomy is not the only option for the treatment of uterine fibroids. Other procedures performed to remove uterine fibroids include a myomectomy, endometrial ablation and the least invasive option, uterine fibroid embolization.

During uterine fibroid embolization, a catheter is inserted through a small puncture made in the femoral artery located in the upper thigh. The catheter is then guided under x-ray to the arteries that supply blood to the fibroids.

Once these arteries are located, a solution that blocks and seals the arteries is injected through the catheter. This results in the fibroids being starved of blood, causing them to shrink.

The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting and the patient can recover in the comfort of their own home rather than an overnight stay in the hospital. 

Uterine Fibroid Embolization. A Less Invasive Treatment Option.

The good news is that women are becoming more informed about their options. However, a lot still needs to be done in order to increase awareness and access to education and information to women about their treatment options. 

Understanding that a hysterectomy is not the only option and that you CAN keep your uterus will encourage more women to seek treatment and medical care for this common and treatable condition.

Additionally, the early diagnosis of uterine fibroids is important as this makes less-invasive procedures, like uterine fibroid embolization, viable options for a patient. 

The truth is that uterine fibroids do not have to dictate your quality of life. The sooner you are diagnosed the sooner you can seek treatment and find complete relief.

To learn more about uterine fibroids and your treatment options, talk with your physician immediately if you are experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned here. 

If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and want to learn more about uterine fibroid embolization contact us today to schedule a consultation

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