written by

Annie Collum, BSN, RN

Annie Collum, BSN, RN is the RIA Senior Manager, Physician Liaison in Denver, Colorado

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May 14, 2019

Effective non-surgical treatment for uterine fibroids

Up to 80% of all women are thought to develop uterine fibroids by the time they reach age 50. Odds are, you or someone you know have uterine fibroids.

Noncancerous though a fibroid may be, it is not without its negative impacts on daily (or monthly) life. Just in case the typical, monthly cramps and bleeding during your period weren’t enough for you, uterine fibroids can cause heavy, excessive bleeding, spotting between periods, urinary incontinence and increased frequency, and pelvic pain and pressure. Phew. This is the kind of pain an anti-inflammatory and heating pad might not alleviate.

The Society for Interventional Radiology (SIR) reports that more than 600,000 women in the US are diagnosed with uterine fibroids each year, and 30% of those women undergo hysterectomy for the treatment of fibroids. Hysterectomy. The removal of the entire uterus through a major, in-patient surgical procedure.

The good news is that there are far less invasive options that not only avoid a stay in the hospital, but let you keep your uterus.

One of these, uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), is an FDA approved, non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure that reduces the bleeding, pain and other symptoms of uterine fibroids in 90% of women who have the treatment. Myomectomy is another surgical treatment of uterine fibroids, where an incision is made through the skin on the lower abdomen, and the the fibroids are removed from the wall of the uterus. The uterine muscle is then sewn back together using several layers of stitches. Average recuperation time for these procedures varies, but is typically 6-8 weeks for a hysterectomy and 4-6 weeks for mymectomy.

According to new research, UFE not only is an effective treatment for uterine fibroids, but when compared to surgical treatment there are fewer post-procedure complications and had a lower need for additional treatment.

If you or someone you know experience extreme symptoms of uterine fibroids, Uterine Fibroid Embolization may be a good treatment choice for you.