Author: Houston Fibroids

Can I Still Have a Baby with Fibroids?

We hear this question all the time: Can I have a baby with fibroids? We understand: if you have fibroids—non-cancerous tumors that grow in your uterus—you may be worried about your fertility. Will you be able to get pregnant? Or, if you get pregnant, will the fibroids affect your baby’s growth and birth? Unfortunately, fibroids can impact your ability to become pregnant or deliver a healthy baby. But that doesn’t mean your dreams of having a family will never come true. Let’s take a closer look.

Will fibroids affect my fertility? UAE treatment for Adenomyosis

Depending on the size and location of your fibroids, the tumors can block sperm from reaching and fertilizing one of your eggs. Fibroids can also make it more difficult for a fertilized embryo to implant in your uterus. And, if you do become pregnant, fibroids may impact fetal development if they are located in a spot where your baby should be growing. For these reasons, you may want to treat fibroids before becoming pregnant. But your doctor can better advise you regarding fibroids and your fertility options.

Can I Have a Baby with Fibroids?

If you get pregnant while you have fibroids, your fetus could be affected, as we already mentioned. Luckily, a new study suggests a way to carry your baby without impact. In fact, 90% of participants carried their babies to full term!

The study followed 120 women with large fibroids in their first trimester. Then, those fibroids kept growing during the second trimester. And that’s a problem, since about 46% of pregnant women with large fibroids miscarry.

To help these women, researchers divided them into four groups. One group received a cervical procedure and targeted progesterone therapy. Another group received both treatments and a myomectomy. (That’s a surgery to remove individual fibroids.) Then, a third group only received progesterone therapy. And the fourth group of women only received traditional maternal medical care.

At the end of the study, results were promising. The women who had cervical procedures and progesterone treatment reduced their miscarriage rate more than two times over compared to just progesterone treatment. And, compared to no-intervention, miscarriage rates dropped by 11.2%.

Of course, this news is promising for pregnant women with fibroids. But some women may prefer to treat fibroids before getting pregnant. Or, you may need to treat your fibroids in order to successfully conceive. So, if that’s the case for you, keep reading to learn more about the best fibroid treatments for family planning.

What fibroid treatments should I choose to help my fertility?

Thankfully, you have many treatment options when it comes to fibroid tumors. It’s important to talk to a fibroid specialist about your family goals so you can choose the one that’s best for you.

In our Houston fibroid practice, we offer a treatment known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). It is a minimally-invasive, non-surgical option that shrinks and kills fibroids by cutting off their blood supply. The procedure is performed through a catheter inserted through your arm. Particles are injected to the catheter to block the artery feeding your fibroids. Many women who undergo UFE go on to have healthy pregnancies.

Some women who still want to get pregnant may prefer a myomectomy—the surgical removal of your fibroid. If that’s the treatment option you select, you’ll need to give your uterus three to six months of healing time before trying to get pregnant.

One final word of warning, to help you manage your expectations: if you’ve had six or more fibroids removed surgically, research shows that you have a lower chance of getting pregnant than women with fewer fibroids. It’s also important to note that myomectomy may weaken your uterus, so it may be safer to deliver your baby via C-section following this fibroid treatment option.

While this information may seem frightening, it’s important to remember: pregnancy is possible, with and after fibroids. Stay positive, and be sure to schedule a consultation with our fibroid experts to discuss all your treatment options.

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine

Dr. Eric Hardee Featured in BuzzFeed Article on Uterine Fibroids

Houston Fibroids’s Dr. Eric Hardee was featured in BuzzFeed’s article discussing uterine fibroids and the various treatment options. He stresses, “the majority of my patients are told that a hysterectomy is their only option, but there are other options available.”

Click here to read the full article.

screenshot of buzzfeed article

If you have any further questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Houston Fibroids, please call (713) 575-3686 or request an appointment online today.

7 Ways to Relieve Fibroid Pain

If you have fibroid symptoms, we know you’re looking for ways to relieve fibroid pain. After all, once you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids, it can take time for you to decide on the best course of treatment. But, during that time, you may still be experiencing symptoms like pelvic pain, heavy periods, constipation, frequent urination or painful sex.  So, if you need to find some fibroid pain relief while determining the next steps in your treatment plan, try any or all of these tips to help find some medical or natural forms of relief from fibroid symptoms.

New Medication to Relieve Fibroid Pain

The US FDA is currently investigating a new combination pill that drastically reduces heavy periods caused by fibroids. Called relugolix, the drug combines estrogen and progestin. And, in studies conducted by manufacturer Myovant Sciences, the combo pill effectively reduced heavy menstrual bleeding.

For the study, researches recruited 770 women with fibroids and heavy periods. Each woman was randomly assigned to take the drug or a placebo. Every day, for six months. Then, at the end of the trial, over 70% of the women taking relugolix saw dramatic bleeding reductions. And, unlike other fibroid drugs, relugolix didn’t lower women’s bone density.

Of course, that’s a big plus for women who worry about osteoperosis. Still, if approved, the pill would be very expensive. And, because it blocks hormonal production, women would have to go off their medications in order to get pregnant. Also, because these fibroid drugs can impact other areas of women’s health, they aren’t meant to be long-term treatments. Which is why women may prefer non-pharmacologic ways to relieve fibroid pain.

Relieve Fibroid Pain Without Drugs

1.       Put aside the processed foods. We know how much you love your oreos, twinkies and other packaged  goodies, but here’s the deal: these processed foods are full of chemicals that can increase inflammation in the body. And inflammation can trigger more pain and a worsening of your existing symptoms.

2.       Same goes for refined sugar. Refined sugars—the ones like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup that are added to food items like cookies, cakes and cereals—promote inflammation and weight gain. We’ve already touched on the dangers of inflammation, but weight gain may actually be a bigger problem when it comes to fibroids, as extra pounds can lead to hormonal imbalances, and both of those conditions increase your fibroid risk.

3.       Ditch the alcohol. Like our previous two offenders, alcohol can lead to inflammation and weight gain. Putting down the spirits may help prevent your existing fibroids from expanding, and may help protect you from the development of new tumors.

4.       Grab those leafy greens. When you have fibroids, spinach and lettuce should be your new best friends. Their anti-inflammatory powers can really help keep the growth and symptoms of these non-cancerous tumors in check.

5.       Add some crunchy veggies, too. Foods like broccoli and cauliflower have been shown to help prevent fibroids from developing.

6.       Break a sweat. Exercise can help tamp down inflammation in the body. It can also help with weight control and hormonal balance. Plus, it releases feel-good endorphins that can make it easier to cope with painful fibroid symptoms.

Remember, none of these options will treat your fibroids. Because all they can do is target your fibroid symptoms. So, if you want to say goodbye to fibroids, you’ll need to seek treatment that targets the actual growths. And, here at Houston Fibroids, we invite you to book a consultation with our experts. Together, we can review all your treatment options, and help decide if Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is right for you!

Sources: New England Journal of Medicine

How UFE Transforms Fibroid Care Here and Around the World!                

Here in Houston, our team of interventional radiologists have been providing UFE for years. Short for Uterine Fibroid Embolization, this is minimally-invasive fibroid treatment that’s been around for quite some time. But in other parts of the world, that isn’t the case. Internationally, women have spent years dealing with fibroid symptoms or opting for invasive treatments like hysterectomies.

A hysterectomy is a serious surgery that immediately puts a woman into menopause. It can also leave her dealing with years of complications. That’s why we are happy to reveal that Uterine Fibroid Embolization, an effective outpatient fibroid procedure, has a rich history in this country. Plus, now, it’s available to the women of Nepal and other international locations.

History of UFE Alternative to Hysterectomy

The first Uterine Fibroid Embolization procedure was in Paris in 1974. The procedure helped a woman whose fibroids caused heavy bleeding and anemia. Then, after years of development, the doctors launched the first clinical trial in 1995.

At that time, the results were great. Of the participants, 75% saw great results. Then, in turn, five and 10-year studies proved this minimally-invasive treatment was a great alternative to hysterectomy.

UFE Today

Today’s fibroid patients have so many treatment options. And, luckily, we’ve got solid evidence that UFE provides outcomes that are equal to (or better than) myomectomy. (For those who don’t know, that’s a procedure that surgically removes individual fibroids. On the treatment scale of invasiveness, it’s below hysterectomy. But it’s still a surgery that involves sedation.)

Because of good outcomes and less down time, more and more women are choosing UFE for fibroid treatment. This is helping so many patients avoid unnecessary hysterectomies. And it’s helped spread the word about this fibroid treatment option all across the world.

UFE Comes to Kathmandu

Recently, the doctors at Nepal Mediciti Hospital performed a UFE procedure on a 37-yeauterine fibroid embolization procedurer-old Kathmandu resident.

With UFE, doctors insert a catheter into your arm in order to access the arteries that supply blood to your uterus—and your fibroids. They inject particles into the catheter (a small, flexible tube) blocking the surrounding blood vessels and cutting off the fibroid’s nourishment.  This blockage causes your fibroids to shrink and then die.

The procedure can often be performed on an out-patient basis. You do not typically need to stay in the hospital when you have UFE. And, usually, your recovery period is brief: many women return to work or regular activity levels within days of treatment.

Any time we see women gaining more healthcare options, our fibroid specialists start to celebrate. There is nothing we care about more than helping women avoid invasive surgeries that can impact their fertility—and the rest of their lives.

Sources: The Himalayan Times, Horner, Peder E. “Uterine Fibroid Treatment Without the Incision.”

 

These 2 Factors Delay Fibroids Diagnosis

Sometimes, it’s hard to get your fibroids diagnosis. Often, women with uterine fibroids develop symptoms. These include long, heavy periods; weight gain; bloating; constipation and pelvic pain. But what if you already experienced many of those symptoms, because you were carrying extra weight? Or because of other conditions? It would certainly make it harder to recognize an abnormal (but non-cancerous) growth in your uterus! UAE treatment for Adenomyosis

Missed Fibroid Symptoms

For one woman from Wales, that was exactly what happened. Tina Mathias, at her heaviest, weighed almost 340 pounds. She suffered from chronic back pain and constipation, but when she shared these symptoms with her doctor, they were considered a byproduct of her poor diet and excess weight.

At the time, Tina assumed her doctors were correct. “My periods were normal which is why I didn’t think it was a problem with my reproductive system,”  she says.

In the hopes of improving her health and alleviating her worst symptoms, Tina set out on a weight loss journey. She was extremely successful, dropping 182 pounds, but her problems didn’t resolve.

“I’d lost so much weight and I thought I’d be healthier, but the pain in my lower back, sides and abdomen carried on,” she says. “Then it got so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed and I would wince if my husband touched me.”

Still, Tina didn’t think her problems could be caused by fibroids. She simply continued eating healthfully, trying to lose more weight and hoping to feel better.

Brush Offs from Doctors Delay Fibroids Diagnosis

LaToya Dwight also spent years living with fibroid symptoms. Every day, she faced fatigue or bloating. Some days brought painful sex, others saw cramping and constipation. But, despite seeing the same OB-GYN for 12 years, fibroids never entered the conversation. Until she went to get her IUD removed. And her doctor couldn’t locate the device inside her uterus!

After the Fibroids Diagnosis: Finding Answers

For Tina, answers came when Tina got thin, and she had a moment that put everything into perspective.

“When I really slimmed down, my belly was still so large. I looked six months pregnant,” she says. “Someone in work asked me when the baby was due and that’s when I knew something really wasn’t right.”

Still, doctors didn’t immediately figure out what was ailing Tina. They attributed her constipation to a low calorie diet, and didn’t think to examine her for fibroids until sex with her husband became extremely painful. Finally, she was sent for a scan, and doctors discovered a nine-pound fibroid, made of muscle and fibrous tissue, that had likely been growing in her uterus for a decade or more!

It was now dangerously close to perforating her bowel, and doctors told her she needed a life-saving hysterectomy. Just 36 at the time, Tina was devastated but, since the tumor was so large and in such a dangerous location, she had no choice. Now 43, Tina has had to give up on her dreams of having a family, but she is living a happy, healthy and pain-free life.

For LaToya, answers came in a different way. When her OB ordered an ultrasound to find the missing IUD, the technician asked her about her fibroids and symptoms. But the problem was, that was the first time anyone told her that she had these growths!

Once LaToya got back to her OB’s office, the only guidance she received was to get a hysterectomy. But, unlike Tina, LaToya still had fibroid treatment options. At first, she tried lifestyle changes and eating to help her fibroids. Then, through research, she found out about UFE, and found her minimally-invasive solution.

Recognizing Fibroid Symptoms

Luckily, LaToya got a happy ending. But the saddest part of this story is that, had someone diagnosed Tina’s fibroid earlier on, she could have preserved her fertility. That’s why its important for women to know all of the symptoms of fibroids. Its crucial to recognize that, even if your periods are normal, you may still have a problem. You also need to be your own advocate: if your pain persists and your doctor insists its because of your weight, it’s not time to give up hope: it’s time to get a second opinion.

Or, if your doctor tells you to get a hysterectomy, get a second opinion and do your research! Because the earlier you treat fibroids, the more options that will be available for your treatment. And please remember: we welcome all women to our Houston fibroid treatment practice for second opinion treatment consultations. So schedule your appointment today!

Sources: DailymailHealthline

 

Why You Can’t Ignore Pink Vaginal Discharge

For women, vaginal discharge is part of a normal monthly cycle. It changes in amount, color and texture at different times in the month. But when that color changes to pink, it could be a sign of a bigger problem brewing. Keep reading to learn more.

Mid-Cycle Spotting or Menstruation?

If you notice mid-cycle vaginal discharge, it’s hard to tell what’s going on. Is it your period coming early? Or is it discharge? Here’s where paying attention to color can help you get a better picture of your health.

You see, period blood is usually dark-red. In contrast, spotting shows up more like pink vaginal discharge. If you’re spotting, the discharge will also be less heavy. And it should come and go, instead of lasting for a few days.

When does spotting usually occur? There are several times in your cycle when you could expect to spot. Typically, spotting will occur when you release an egg, because your estrogen levels drop at that moment. You also may spot just before ovulation, or right after ovulation. If spotting develops after your ovulation, it could also mean you’re pregnant (this is called implant bleeding.)

Now, these are all times when spotting is a normal part of your menstrual cycle. But, sometimes, pink discharge is a sign of an underlying health condition. And if that’s the case, it’s best to see your doctor right away.

Pink Vaginal Discharge and Your Health

Pink vaginal discharge usually contains trace amounts of blood. And bleeding outside of your period could be a sign of a problem.

If you are experiencing pink discharge, you should see your doctor right away. The color and spotting could mean that you have:

  1. Uterine Fibroids. Pink discharge could indicate that you are spotting (bleeding outside of your period), and fibroids (non-cancerous tumors) are known to cause abnormal bleeding. So if you are regularly seeing pink outside of your period, it is worth discussing a fibroid screening with your OBGYN.
  2. Uterine Polyps. Like fibroids, polyps are non-cancerous growths. But while fibroids develop in or on your uterus, polyps develop in endometrial tissue before extending into the uterus. If pink discharge comes after sex, it could be a sign you have polyps, since intercourse can bump these growths, causing some blood to mingle with your discharge.
  3.  Ovarian cysts. These are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries. When they resolve on their own, cysts don’t typically cause symptoms. But when they keep growing and become large, they may cause abnormal bleeding–and pink discharge!
  4. Infections. Pink discharge could also be a sign of an infection in your vagina. Potential causes could be an STI (sexually transmitted infection) or vaginitis.
  5.  Pregnancy, including ectopic. When a fertilized egg implants itself in your uterine wall, you may bleed a little, causing pink discharge. (See above, where we discuss implant bleeding.) But when that egg implants outside your uterus, in your fallopian tubes, pink discharge will also likely appear, along with other symptoms like sharp pain, dizziness, weakness and even fainting.
  6. Cervical Cancer. With this issue, the color of your discharge matters less than the change in its nature. Abnormal discharge is a warning sign of cervical cancer. Especially if it’s watery or smells like fish. Or accompanied by other cancer warning signs like edema (leg swelling), abdominal bloating, painful urination and overall fatigue.

Because pink discharge could indicate so many different conditions, it’s important to bring up this change with your doctor. The only way to know the cause is to investigate with your medical care provider.

What about Pink Menstrual Blood? pink period flow isn't always typical

Sometimes, pink discharge isn’t a between-periods problem. At certain points during your period, your flow may become thin, light and pale pink instead of red in color. Often, this is a normal development. Your flow tends to be lighter at the end of your period. And many women experience a light, pale flow in the first day of their periods, too.

Other times, however, this change in color could mean you have a health problem. If you have low estrogen levels, your period flow may appear more pink than red. Or, if it’s just a lighter red, almost diluted, it could be a sign of anemia. And, since anemia is a common side effect of fibroids, this should be a sign it’s time to see your gynecologist.

Now, we know that some of these changes in your discharge or flow may be subtle. So we don’t want you to spend your time analyzing your personal rainbow of colors. Instead, try this advice as a guideline. Pay attention to your body’s personal ‘normal.’ Then, if you notice a change that seems out of the ordinary, bring it up with your doctor at your next check up, just to rule out problems. Just remember: if any of these changes cause you severe pain, or interfere with your daily life, don’t wait around for your next annual visit. Instead, schedule an appointment with your Houston fibroid specialists right away: you should never wait around for help!

 

Sources: Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology, Medical News Today, yourtango.com, Baby Gaga

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Fibroid Treatments (by level of invasiveness)

When you need a guide to fibroid treatments, things get confusion. After all, at one point, removing the entire uterus (hysterectomy) was women’s only fibroid treatment option.  But today, that’s far from the case. While we don’t know why you develop fibroids, we do know that some things (such as delaying childbirth or your race or genetics) can increase your risk. And, we know these growths may leave you dealing with disruptive symptoms, they aren’t cancerous. And that means you don’t need to rush sorting through your treatment options.

We

Instead,  take your time and consider a range of options. These may depend on the size of your fibroids and the severity of your symptoms. And, may we suggest starting with the less invasive options and working your way up to more permanent solutions if needed.

Option One: Leave Your Fibroids Alone

Not experiencing fibroid symptoms? Relax and leave them alone (at least for now!)

If your fibroids are small, you may want to leave them be. Or if your fibroids aren’t causing problems, treatment may  be avoidable.  Or, if you’re not getting pregnant any time soon, delaying treatment be best. But, the important thing to remember is: even if you decide not to treat your fibroids, that’s a decision that should be made after a lengthy discussion with your doctor and your fibroid specialist.

Option Two: Live a Fibroid-Friendly Lifestyle

While you may not actively treat your fibroids, you can still take steps to help keep existing tumors from growing larger. And, while we can’t know for sure, some of these changes may also stop new fibroids from ever developing.

ThHysterectomy alternativese biggest lifestyle changes you make to fight fibroids involve your diet and exercise. Again, while we don’t know exactly why fibroids form, we also know that estrogen can impact fibroid development. Which means that women with fibroids should balance out their estrogen levels, and one key way to do so is by maintaining a healthy body weight.

This means following a balanced, healthy diet, full of fruits and veggies, and void of fatty foods—especially red meats. Regular exercise can also help you lose a few pounds. Plus, some studies suggest that exercise can help minimize your fibroid symptoms, even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss, or even if you’re already at your ideal weight.

Option Three: Medications that Fight Fibroids

Some hormone-based drugs can help manage your fibroids symptoms. They may even shrink existing tumors.

Certain drugs work by blocking your body’s natural hormone production, causing your fibroids to shrink, and stopping many of the worst fibroid symptoms, like long, heavy periods, pain in your pelvis, and the frequent need to pee. Unfortunately, these meds may replace fibroid symptoms with side effects that mimic menopause, which can be equally unpleasant, and force you to start taking more drugs to manage the new symptoms. Yet these new drugs may make the hormone blockers less effective, allowing your fibroids to flourish…basically, hormone blocking puts you on a not-so-thrilling roller coaster ride. Which is why it’s typically a short-term treatment option for women birth control pillswho’ve opted for surgery, but first hope to shrink their fibroids a bit.

In contrast, medications with hormones may also be used to treat fibroid symptoms. Drugs with ‘male’ hormones (androgen) can shrink your fibroids and stop your periods. But they may result in unwanted side effects, like unwanted hair growth, weight gain and a lowering of your voice.

Hormonal birth control can also manage fibroid symptoms, by helping control the length of your periods. They may give you relief from heavy periods, but they won’t do anything to shrink your fibroids, and your symptoms will likely return if you stop taking the contraceptives.

And don’t forget over-the-counter options like Ibuprofen—they can help you cope with mild to moderate pain, without impacting your fibroid size or development in any way.

Option Four: Uterine artery embolization (UAE)

This procedure, also known as uterine fibroid embolization, is what we provide in our Houston fibroid clinic. With UFE, we shrink and kill your fibroids by cutting off their blood supply. We insert a catheter through your arm, and UFE graphicinject it with tiny particles that block any blood from reaching the fibroids in or on your uterus. The procedure comes with an easy recovery period, and is typically performed on an outpatient basis.

As interventional radiologists, we believe in UFE because it is less invasive and more cost effective than surgery. UFE also leaves women dealing with fewer complications, while providing equal or greater relief from fibroid symptoms. While safe for most women, if you still plan on becoming pregnant after UFE, you and your doctor should carefully discuss your eligibility for this treatment option.

Option Five: Fibroid Surgery

In some cases, women may elect to surgically remove their fibroids—myomectomy. And, in extreme cases, they may need a hysterectomy (complete removal of the uterus.) But, many women can avoid invasive surgeries—which come with hospital stays, extended recoveries and, especially with hysterectomy, long-term complications—by starting their treatment journey with one or more of other treatment options we’ve discussed. Want more information, or need help truly understanding your fibroid treatment options? That’s what we’re here for: reach out to our specialists and schedule a consultation, so we can help you make this important decision.

Sources: The Daily Monitor

Stress, Vitamin D Deficiency and Fibroid Risk: What You Need to Know

What do stress, vitamin d deficiency and fibroids have in common? Well, they’re all getting a lot more attention during the pandemic!

After all, even in normal times, life is stressful. But when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic? That stress is multiplied and magnified to entirely new levels. Plus, we’re all spending more time indoors, so our risk goes up for vitamin d deficiency. (Which could also increase your risk for serious COVID-19, according to current research.)

Of course, these are problems for so many reasons. But, for our purposes, we’ll just focus on one: stress and vitamin d deficiency may increase your fibroid risk. In a minute, we’ll explore this idea further. First, however, we’ll give you a quick fibroid overview so we’re all on the same page.

What are fibroids? Female with Fibroids

Fibroid tumors are firm, muscular, uterine growths. We classify (and name them)  based on their location in or on your uterus. If they’re inside your uterus, they’re called submucosal. When they grow on your outer uterine surface, they’re subserosal. Fibroids in the muscles of your uterine wall are intramural, and fibroids that grow like stalks outside your uterus are pedunculated.

Fibroids also vary widely in size. Some are so small they go undetected, or cause no symptoms. But others are much larger, or develop in groups. When this happens, you’re likely to experience troubling symptoms such as pain, heavy periods, anemia, pregnancy complications or even infertility. That’s why we recommend treating your fibroids with a minimally invasive procedure such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization. And it’s also why we’re helping you understand why you get fibroids in the first place.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Other Risks: Why do Fibroids Develop?

Unfortunately, we don’t truly know what causes fibroid development. But we do know they impact black women more than any other group. (By the age of 50, 70% of white women have fibroids. But 80% of black women have them at the same age.)

Lots of things affect your fibroid risk. Current research  suggests that stress may be associated with an increased fibroid risk. Also, research now suggests that vitamin d deficiency could increase your risk for fibroids. When working properly, your body’s vitamin d stores produce an anti-fibroid effect by reducing certain chemicals that seem to trigger fibroid growth. This factor, in addition to other factors we’ve already identified, including family history, and exposure to the chemicals within hair relaxers, could help explain why black women more often get fibroids. Because, vitamin d deficiency is 10 time more prevalent in Black women than in white women!

In combination, these factors can help you understand your fibroid risk. And understanding that stress increases your risk means now is a good moment to check in with your reproductive health. If you notice symptoms such as pelvic pain, frequent urination, or long and/or heavy periods, don’t wait. Seek help right away from a fibroid specialist. Don’t want to leave your house? No problem! Our Houston Fibroids team still offers remote fibroid consultations, via the secure Doxy platform. But we can also see you in our office if you need a procedure. Now, what kind of procedure will depend on your selected treatment preference. So let’s explore your best fibroid treatment plans.

How Should I Treat Fibroids?

All too often, you’ll hear that hysterectomy is the best fibroid treatment. But that’s actually not true for every woman. In fact, many women can find relief from fibroid symptoms with UFE, a minimally invasive procedure which cuts off fibroid blood supply. This effectively kills the tumors. All without surgery, and all while preserving your uterus!

Of course, some women may prefer a myomectomy—the surgical removal of individual fibroids. If this is your choice, just exercise caution. If your doctor wants to perform laparoscopic surgery, just say no to morcellators. They majorly increase your risk for uterine cancer.

What we really want you to understand is this. We’re living in stressful times. And that can hurt your health in so many ways. But don’t feel like you need to delay treating pressing health issues, just to avoid Coronavirus. There are real, concrete ways we can help you manage fibroids, all while preserving social distancing. So, if you’re in pain, reach out for help. Request an appointment with our fibroid specialists and we’ll put you on the path to relief. All while protecting you from unnecessary surgeries!

 

Sources: Seminars in Reproductive Medicine , Journal of Women’s Health Issues. Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.

Sex after Hysterectomy and Other Health Challenges

Are you worried about sex after hysterectomy? Or concerned about how it will impact your overall health? Well you’re not alone. And you’ve got good reasons to be concerned!

After all, getting a hysterectomy means removing your uterus. In some cases, your ovaries or even your cervix may also be removed. Hysterectomies are among the 10 most common operations performed every year in the US. In fact, over 300,000 hysterectomies are performed every year for non-cancerous conditions. And one of those conditions is uterine fibroids.

Continue reading “Sex after Hysterectomy and Other Health Challenges”

70% of Patients could Avoid Hysterectomy!

We’re here to help women avoid hysterectomy surgeries that aren’t needed. And that’s a big deal. Because, according to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,  400,000 women each year get hysterectomies. Sadly, up to 70% of those surgeries were likely avoidable. (Which means other treatments could have been offered.)

What’s worse? Many women with fibroids learn this the hard way. In fact, they’re often told hysterectomies are the only way to relieve fibroid symptoms. But help could come with less invasive treatment options. Now, we want to help make sure women know about those alternatives! So they can avoid hysterectomy, whenever possible.

Hysterectomies Aren’t the Only Option for Fibroid Treatments Hysterectomy alternatives

While some women may need a hysterectomy to treat their fibroids, others can be helped with medication,  myomectomies, or minimally invasive procedures like Uterine Fibroid Embolization.  Also known as UFE, this last is a procedure performed by specialists like Houston’s Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee. Doctors inject embolizing materials into the blood vessels that feed a woman’s tumors. Soon, they ‘starve’ and shrink, all without a surgical procedure, hospital stay or down time.

Spreading the Word about Fibroid Treatment Options

So, if there are other effective fibroid treatments, why are so many women still giving up on their uterus and fertility? Quite simply, they don’t know they have a choice! According to Sir Marcus Setchell, a former British gynaecologist, “There is clearly a failure of communication about the use of these less-invasive treatments.” And, says Dr. Anne Deans, another British gynaecologist who consulted on this project, “Women should be given a choice, but many are not being told about the alternatives to hysterectomies. This is major surgery involving six weeks off work.”

Now, fibroid specialists like our Houston doctors are working to publicize alternatives with the hashtag #FibroidFix. And now, we aren’t alone! Recently, the Fibroid Fighters Foundation launched a new campaign, “Talk about U.” Now, can you guess what the ‘U’ stands for? It’s all about the uterus. And they’re encouraging women to do just that, in order to help get out the word about fibroids.

Women Helping Women

Fibroid Fighters Foundation Founder Dr. Yan Katsnelson says the campaign is critical. Because women don’t talk about fibroids. So they’re “one of the least discussed chronic health challenges that women face.” To change that, her non-profit is helping women record virtual interviews for sharing on social media.

Women can go to their site and answer a series of questions by audio, video or in writing. The topics cover your journey to diagnosis; how fibroids impact your life; and if or how you’ve navigated fibroid treatment options. The goal? To arm women with information, so you can avoid hysterectomy if possible.

Because, as Dearra Williams recently said after sharing her interview, “I didn’t know that other women had experienced fibroids until I started speaking up about my own condition. Experiencing fibroids is tough, and women need to know that they are not alone. We need to support each other because there are thousands of women going through this.”

We love Dearra’s message, and we want to help change the current state of fibroid treatment. Because, now, there too many women who think fibroid diagnoses must lead to hysterectomies. And we know that’s not true. So, will you help us spread the word about alternative treatments? We urge you to visit the Fibroid Fighting Foundation and “Talk About U.” Or just share this article  with the hashtag #FibroidFix. Together, we can help women avoid invasive, life-altering surgeries! And remember: if you’re one of the women still searching for a fibroid solution, come to our office for a consultation. We can help you explore ALL your treatment options!

Sources: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, U.S. News & World Report

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