For some women, abnormally heavy and uncomfortable periods are part of life, but there’s nothing normal about painful periods. If constipation, back pain, and uncomfortable periods have become routine, we want to help you experience true normalcy. At Zenith Health & Aesthetics in Memphis, TN, we can use a technique called uterine fibroid embolization to help reduce the fibroids that may the blame for your symptoms.
Can Fibroids Grow Back After Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Uterine fibroid embolization is also known as UFE. It works by blocking the blood supply to the fibroids. The fibroids then shrink and eventually disappear. Results can vary after UFE based on the number and condition of fibroids in your uterus at the time of treatment and your health. Only a very small percentage of those treated with this method experience a regrowth of their fibroid after undergoing treatment.
UFE: An Effective Way To Treat Fibroids
UFE has helped many women find relief from the pain and unpleasant symptoms associated with uterine fibroids. This technique is effective and safe. It can address many fibroids within the uterus, even the smallest fibroids that may not show up on a diagnostic test. Studies have shown that once a woman undergoes treatment, the fibroids treated with this method do not typically return once they shrink down.
A Long-Lasting Treatment
While fibroid regrowth only affects a very small percentage of women, they will grow very slowly when they or if they do return. The unlikely return of fibroids can happen, but they most likely will not cause pain, negative symptoms, and other side effects if they do grow back.
This treatment is the most effective and minimally invasive way to treat fibroids. Unlike medication, which causes fibroids to grow back upon ending that medication, this treatment will improve your symptoms by shrinking fibroids. You will get long-lasting results that help you experience healthy and symptom-free periods for years.
What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that form in the uterus during the reproductive years. Fibroids are made of smooth muscle-like tissues. Many women will develop fibroids in their lifetime, but only some will experience the pain and symptoms that forced them to seek treatment in the first place.
One important fact about fibroids is that they are typically always benign growths that do not cause cancer. They can be smaller than a bead; they can grow to the size of a watermelon or fall anywhere in between.
What Causes Fibroids?
There is still much research to be done on what actually causes some women to develop fibroids over others. Until scientists can find more conclusive results about why women develop uterine fibroids, some risk factors provide more information about what causes fibroids.
A poor diet can lead to many negative health conditions, so it’s no surprise that diet plays a role in influencing the development of fibroids. Foods that are high in sugars and a diet filled with red meats can lead to fibroids. Alcohol consumption can also promote fibroid growth in the uterus. Overhauling your diet and replacing sugary foods with natural ones and meats with fish, vegetables, and fruits can help reduce the risk of developing these growths.
Stress and activity level also play a role in the development of fibroids. If you live an unhealthy lifestyle void of regular exercise and full of stress, you may be unknowingly putting your body at risk for fibroids. Maintaining a consistent exercise routine and taking time for self-care activities to reduce stress levels will go a long way in helping prevent these growths.
Scientific studies have shown that women with high estrogen levels have a higher chance of experiencing fibroids. Studies have also shown that once a woman experiences menopause and estrogen levels drop, those fibroids begin to shrink.
If you have imbalanced hormones defined by high estrogen levels, your symptoms may affect your life to the point that you simply cannot wait until menopause hits you to find relief from the pain that comes with fibroids. That’s where uterine fibroid embolization can help.
What Are the Symptoms Associated With Uterine Fibroids?
Some very telling symptoms can help alert you to the fact that you may have fibroids in your uterus. From menstrual cycle disturbances to painful intercourse, many symptoms result from fibroids in the uterus. Yet, once you know what’s causing the symptoms, you can take the necessary steps to seek out treatment through uterine fibroid embolization.
Menstrual Cycle Disturbances
Periods are not meant to cause pain. PMS is not a normal thing, but many women have come to accept that periods equal pain. Women with uterine fibroids typically have very heavy periods. Not only are their periods heavy, but they may experience blood clotting and which can cause temporary anemia. Women with uterine fibroids often experience periods that last far longer than the average five to seven days. Fibroids can also cause spotting between periods.
Painful intercourse is abnormal. If you experience pain during sex, your body is trying to tell you that something is off. One of the symptoms of fibroid growth in the uterus is pain during sexual intercourse. Some women also may experience post-intercourse bleeding as a result of fibroid growth.
Lower Back, Pelvic, and Leg Pain
Fibroids affect the body by pushing against the nerves in the spine and back muscles. This pressure can lead to back pain that won’t go away, despite numerous chiropractic visits or even physical therapy. Fibroids can also cause cramping during periods that cause intense pelvic pain. Some women even experience leg pain that stems from uterine fibroids.
Urinary and Digestive Tract Issues
Another way that uterine fibroids negatively affect the body is by putting pressure on the bladder, leading to frequent urination. It can also lead to the inability to completely empty the bladder during urination. Fibroids can also put pressure on the rectum and lead to both bloating and constipation.
Fibroids can often be to blame for fertility issues. Women who have large fibroids may have trouble conceiving or experiencing a successful pregnancy. Many women who think they are infertile simply have fibroids that are preventing them from getting pregnant. Uterine fibroid embolization may be the key that helps not only shrink your fibroids but help you finally achieve a successful pregnancy.
How Do I Know if I Have Fibroids?
You may have some of the symptoms of uterine fibroids, but how do you know if you do indeed have them? The best way to confirm that fibroids are the cause of your negative symptoms is to visit your gynecologist. Your gynecologist may be able to detect fibroids simply by feeling your uterus.
An ultrasound of your uterus can confirm that you do have fibroids. Once an ultrasound detects them, you may require an MRI to help determine the size, location, and quantity of the fibroids.
What Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
UFE is a minimally invasive treatment. It helps block the blood supply to fibroids in the uterus, causing them to shrink. It takes place during outpatient treatment. Embolization spheres are inserted into a catheter to block the blood flow to the fibroids in the uterus. These fibroids begin to shrink over time and eventually die off. As a result, you no longer experience the symptoms caused by those fibroids.
How Does It Work?
A typical uterine fibroid embolization treatment takes approximately one to two hours to complete in an outpatient suite. Once your procedure is over, you will be free to return home. Before beginning treatment, we will provide you with a medication that ensures your optimal comfort. Then, we will make a very small incision in your thigh. Using x-ray technology as a guide, we will insert a small tube called a catheter into your femoral artery.
Cutting Off Blood Supply
Once inserted, we will move this tube in the direction of your fibroids and then inject the small spheres directly into the blood vessels that supply your fibroids with the blood that keeps them living and active. These spheres will cut off blood and oxygen flow to the fibroid, which will lead to its shrinking and inevitable dissipation.
Once the tube makes a complete round of your uterus and inserts spheres into all blood vessels feeding the fibroids in your uterus, we will remove the catheter and use a special device to close the incision. Within a few hours, you may return home. You can expect to experience full recovery within one to two weeks.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
Once your UFE is complete, you can expect to spend some time resting. You should avoid strenuous activities, but light exercise like moderate walking each day will help your body recover quicker, and it will increase blood flow and promote circulation. Most people take a few days off of work to rest and recover.
This treatment causes uterine fibroids to shrink slowly. Within the next few months after your initial treatment, you will notice a decrease in your symptoms. Most women experience increased energy once the fibroids shrink and dissipate. Back pain, leg pain, and pelvic pain eventually disappear, and periods will become more regular overtime.
Why Should I Choose UFE?
UFE has become a go-to for women experiencing uterine fibroids because it is minimally invasive. It can be performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing for a quick recovery time. UFE is an alternative to a complete hysterectomy, which removes the entire uterus and leads to infertility. UFE does not affect a woman’s hormones or other nearby organs. It offers reduced recovery time, fewer risks, and has a very high success rate.
Am I a Candidate?
An initial consultation at our office is the best way to determine if you are a candidate for uterine fibroid embolization. Our experts will review your medical history during your consultation, discuss your symptoms, and present you with your treatment options. We can also perform a diagnostic test to help determine the presence and location of your fibroids.
Ideal candidates are over the age of 18, have fibroids that are causing negative symptoms, and want to avoid a hysterectomy to preserve their uterus and overall fertility. Candidates should not be pregnant or have a pelvic infection.
Learn More About UFE Today
If uterine fibroids have been negatively impacting your daily life, know that there is a solution, and we can help. Contact the experts at Zenith Health and Aesthetics in Memphis, TN, today and schedule your initial consultation to determine if uterine fibroid embolization is the right option for you.