What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus, or womb. Fibroids develop from the smooth muscular tissue of the womb. They may grow slowly or quickly, or they may simply stay the same size. However, if they get too large, they may start causing painful and life-altering symptoms.
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MD Minute with Dr. Suzanne Slonim
Patients’ Questions Answered
Who Can Get Fibroids?
Fibroids are very common. As many as 3 out of 4 women will develop fibroids during their lifetimes. Most are unaware they have fibroids. Sometimes, doctors will accidentally discover fibroids during a routine pelvic or pregnancy exam, and then refer their patients to a specialist to have the fibroids treated.
Risk Factors for Fibroids
If any of the following apply to you, that means you could be at risk
Being a Woman Aged 30-50
Fibroids tend to appear most commonly in women in this age range.
Having a Mother with Fibroids
If your mother had fibroids, it increases the chance of having fibroids.
Being an African-American Woman
African American women are at a higher risk for fibroids.
Eating a lot of red meat and ham but not many vegetables
How Are Fibroids Treated?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat fibroids
This entire procedure is done while the patient is sedated, through a tiny nick the size of a grain of rice.
1 Week Recovery
Even better: recovery time is just one week, so you can get back to your life quickly and with less pain.
Since there is no incision, it heals with almost no scarring.
Common Questions About Fibroids
Do all cases of fibroids require treatment?
No. In fact, treatment is only required in 10-20 percent of fibroids cases. Most fibroids don't cause any symptoms.
Can this prevent a hysterectomy?
Yes. The Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) procedure may reduce the need for hysterectomy substantially. 1/3 of all hysterectomies in the U.S. are linked to fibroids.
Will the procedure hurt?
Before the procedure, local anesthetic is applied to the area where the catheter will be inserted. Plus, you will be given a sedative to help you relax before the procedure.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
We will carefully explain instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. We will also provide you with written instructions.
Can I have uterine fibroid embolization if I still want to get pregnant?
UFE is not recommended if you are planning to get pregnant. There is a small amount of evidence that suggests a slightly higher miscarriage rate if you have a UFE. It is certainly possible to have a normal pregnancy, normal delivery, and normal baby after having the procedure, but if you have the option to have another treatment for your fibroids, that would be safest until further data is available about pregnancy after UFE. If a woman has been told that hysterectomy is her only treatment option, we would be happy to discuss the possibility of UFE with her.
Schedule a Phone Consultation
Request a phone consult for UFE if you're experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Heavier-than-usual menstrual bleeding
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Need to urinate more often
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Back or leg pain
Not recommended for women planning to get pregnant
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