Recent research and patient experiences across the globe who had undergone uterine embolization procedures establish the safety, effectiveness, and appropriateness of Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) treatment for women of childbearing age. Studies also suggest that UFE can have distinct advantages over surgical procedures such as myomectomy for fibroid patients planning for pregnancy.
Does Embolization negatively impact pregnancy?
In earlier days, UFE was generally considered not suitable for women who wish to get pregnant. Studies which were conducted nearly 20 years ago had suggested decrease in ‘ovarian reserve’ in females who had undergone fibroid embolization. Ovarian reserve is a medical term suggesting how many good quality eggs a female has. The patients studied were in the average age group of 45, an age when there is a natural decline in the ovarian reserve. It means the chances of pregnancy was already negatively impacted.
Hence, findings that UFE negatively impacts fertility and pregnancy based on data of women who already had fertility issues due to their age and related factors must be considered as fiction and are not fact- based.
Later years witnessed several women in their child bearing age choosing UFE as a treatment option. Many of them with fibroid related fertility issues conceived, and had successful pregnancies.
It was time to rethink about this treatment procedure and henceforth, several studies investigated the ovarian reserves in fibroid patients after embolization. Many studies concluded that UFE neither diminished ovarian reserve nor did it impaired fertility.
Interesting facts to know about UFE
- Today, several studies, patient experiences and success rates have proved that UFE neither impacts the ability of the uterus to conceive nor does it further reduce the ovarian reserve in older women when it naturally declines with age.
- Procedure avoids the side effects of various hormone therapies.
- This alternative to surgery is found appropriate for technically challenging cases. It is suitable if you are diagnosed with too many fibroids, or when the fibroid location makes surgical approach difficult.
Which conditions can make you not suitable for the procedure?
Your healthcare provider can guide you in your decision to proceed with UFE. If you are diagnosed with endometrial cancer, extremely large fibroids, pelvic infections, or if you suffer from unmanageable bleeding problems, you may be a poor candidate for the procedure.
Fibroids are a type of tumor growing on the inside of the uterus. Hormones and a steady blood supply fuel their growth. UFE blocks the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink. Though it can take up to 6 months for the fibroids to shrink fully, associated symptoms show improvement much earlier.
This minimally invasive procedure does not require hospital stay. Performed as an outpatient procedure, it can treat multiple fibroids in one sitting. Unlike surgical procedures which come with a heavy price tag, this procedure takes less time and resources, resulting in a reduced treatment cost.
Talk to your doctor at Avis Vascular Centre to find out more about the procedure.
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