Author: Houston Fibroids

WCW: Shay Johnson and UFE vs Hysterectomy for Fibroid Symptoms

As interventional radiologists, we always want patients to consider every fibroid treatment option. And, we want women to find the least-invasive treatment that will provide them with symptom relief. That’s why we’re honoring our Woman Crush pick, Love + Hip Hop Miami Star Shay Johnson for sharing her fibroid story. And it’s why we are so excited about the results of a new, 10 year EMMY study. Its findings reveal that Uterine Fibroid Embolization provides similar symptom relief to hysterectomy! Shay Johnson helps women choose UFE vs hysteretcomy for fibroid treatment

Women with Fibroid Symptoms Find Relief

When Shay Johnson got her fibroids diagnosis, tumors were growing on her ovaries. She has said that her fibroids gave her blood clots that were “larger than the palm of her hand.” She also developed anemia, and fainted several times. Eventually, Johnson chose myomectomy: surgery to remove her fibroids.

But she wants every woman to find her best treatment option. Because, she told USA Fibroid Centers, “Experiencing fibroids was the most painful, depressing experience ever. “I went through it for a reason. It’s time we have more conversations around fibroid disease.”

Naturally, we think that conversation should involve real facts about the effects of UFE vs Hysterectomy. Luckily, we have that kind of evidence thanks to the EMMY study we mentioned earlier.

The study followed women who treated fibroids that caused heavy menstrual bleeding. Researchers compared two groups: those who’d had UFE and those who’d had hysterectomy. Women in both groups reported on their clinical results and on improvements in their overall quality of life.

Here’s the great news: after 10 years, two thirds of UFE patients didn’t need hysterectomies. That’s because their symptoms had resolved.  Around 35% of the  women did go on to have a hysterectomy, but the rest found relief without radical surgery. And, even within the hysterectomy group, 17% of women required follow-up surgical procedures.

Jim Reekers, lead researcher, says: “After 10-years of follow-up, about two thirds of patients with symptomatic uterine fibroids, who undergo treatment with embolization can avoid a hysterectomy.”

He went on to state that after 10 years, women in both the UFE and hysterectomy groups had similar quality of life results. In conclusion, he said, “Uterine artery embolization is a well-documented and good alternative to hysterectomy for symptomatic uterine fibroids, on which all eligible patients should be counselled.”

History of Uterine Artery Embolization

Uterine artery embolization, or uterine fibroid embolization, has been a viable fibroid treatment option since 1995. So why aren’t more women opting for this less invasive procedure? The sad answer is: many women don’t even know it’s an option.

As Reekers told Interventional News: “Not informing patients about uterine fibroid embolization, when these 10-year data are available, is unethical. Uterine fibroid embolization is an interventional radiology procedure that has level one evidence to back its use. In this trial, we treated the worst end-stage scenario without any reintervention, so real world outcomes for embolization will be even better.”

UFE vs. Hysterectomy: Equal Results, Traumatic Differences

In conclusion, study authors found that UFE is a very effective fibroid treatment option. In fact, it was just as effective as hysterectomy. As the study authors reported, ““After 10 years, generic health-related quality of life remained stable, without differences between both groups. The urogenital distress inventory and the defecation distress inventory showed a decrease in both groups, without significant differences between study arms, but with a trend towards better outcome for uterine artery embolization.”

But, there is one big difference between the two treatment options. UFE’s recovery time is, typically, a few days. The aftermath of a hysterectomy can be felt for months, and even years, following the procedure. Given that fact, doctors owe it to their patients to share UFE information. And if your doctor isn’t telling you about this treatment option, come into our Houston area offices to learn more.

 

Sources: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Interventional News

Know Your 6 Fibroid Treatment Options

If you have uterine fibroids, it’s important to know your fibroid treatment options. Until recently, most women didn’t hear about choices. Instead, they were given hysterectomy or other surgeries to treat fibroids and other causes of pelvic pain. But now we know there are better alternatives to a hysterectomy. Which is why we want women  to know all their fibroid treatment options.

Continue reading “Know Your 6 Fibroid Treatment Options”

#WCW: Period Poverty and Period Symptoms You Can’t Ignore

Every woman will experience unwanted period symptoms at some point. Because, let’s face it: sometimes having your period is a pain. Literally. You may get cramps. You may feel bloated or tired. But, as it turns out, some period symptoms should always be cause for concern. And the number one symptom to never ignore? Periods that keep getting longer! Or ones that put you in a position of financial hardship. The latter of which is an issue being tackled by Anisha Abraham, a teen in Tampa Bay, making her our Woman Crush Wednesday honoree!

What is Period Poverty?

Period poverty describes a situation in which women can’t afford to buy feminine hygiene products. According to the University of Pennsylvania Nursing School, about two-thirds of low income women spend years unable to purchase their period products. And, in any given month, one fifth of all women can’t afford to buy pads or tampons.

Many people think of period poverty as an international problem. After all, girls in Uganda regularly miss school since they don’t have access to feminine hygiene products. But it’s a problem here in the U.S., too. In fact, according to a Thinx survey, 80% of American teens know a girl who’s had to miss school because of period poverty.

In fact, seeing that survey is what moved Anisha to launch the Pink Power Project. It’s a non-profit that allows her to donate thousands of feminine hygiene products to non-profits in her native Tampa Bay, FL. And it’s also allowed her to blog about menstruation. Because she wants to remove period stigma, but also raise awareness of painful period symptoms. So that women don’t consider period changes normal. And, instead, talk to their doctor about new or worse period symptoms. Including periods that suddenly become longer.

What is Considered a Longer Period?

tampons

On average, your menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days. (That count runs from the first day of one period and ends on the last day before your next one.) Still, cycles vary, so having a cycle anywhere between 21 to 40 days is normal.

When your periods are normal, bleeding lasts between two and seven days. You typically lose just three to five tablespoons of blood over those days. But sometimes, you bleed for longer. And, when that is the case, you often end up losing a lot more blood as well.

Of course, a longer or heavier period doesn’t always mean you have a health problem. But, since periods that last over a week could be a sign of an underlying condition, you need to be seen by your doctor if long periods are becoming your new normal.

What Causes Long, Heavy Periods?

In some cases, a longer period means you’ve got an iron deficiency, especially when you’re also dizzy or have chest pain or difficulties breathing.

One long, heavy period could mean you have a ‘missed miscarriage,’ meaning you lost your baby before you knew you were pregnant.

If your periods used to be shorter, then suddenly become long and heavy, you could have cervical cancer or even kidney disease. A more common cause of heavy periods, however, are fibroid tumors, non-cancerous growths that develop in or around your uterus. They could also be a sign of adenomyosis, a condition in which the inner lining of your uterus breaks through its muscle wall.

Basically, a long, heavy period could mean something really serious is going on with your body. Or it could mean nothing at all. But, given the possibilities, it’s always worth discussing this, or any sudden change in your cycle, with your doctor.

 

Sources: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials, Tampa Bay Times

5 Ways to Get Rid of Painful Period Cramps

One of the worst parts of your monthly cycle is painful period cramps. For many women, the arrival of your period means the start of painful cramping. Sometimes, those cramps are so intrusive, they keep you from going through your daily activities. In fact, according to an Australian survey, 3 out of 10 girls skip at least one class a month because of period pain.

(If that’s your situation, and your period is also very heavy, you may have uterine fibroids. Be sure and talk to your healthcare provider.) And, we also want you to remember this fact. No matter what’s causing your menstrual cramps, relief may be available sooner (and easier) than you’d think. Try our top five tips for getting rid of period cramps!

Medical and Lifestyle Interventions That Can Help Manage Period Cramps

Depending on how bad your period pain is, one or more of these tips can help you feel better:

1.       Heat therapy. Try putting a heating pad on your lower abdomen. If that’s not an option, relax into a warm bath. Both these options should help relax your uterine muscles, easing those cramps and alleviating much of your discomfort.

2.       Get your sweat on. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins—hormones that naturally make you feel good and can help battle pain. If you’re able to get to the gym for a few 45 min- 1 hour sessions in the initial days of your periods, your cramping discomfort will likely calm down. But remember, if you have fibroids, you may need to change your workout a bit. Here are the best ways to exercise with fibroids. So you can get period relief and fibroid relief while you explore your treatment options!

3.       Self-care. Though not helpful for everyone, many women find relief from menstrual pain through massage and acupuncture. And, while we can’t attest to scientific evidence that these treatments help, if they work for you then there’s no harm in trying!

4.       OTC (over-the-counter) meds. If your period pain is strong (but not debilitating) you may find relief from drugs like:
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Naproxen (Aleve)
Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

5.       Treat your fibroids. If non-cancerous uterine tumors are causing your painful periods, treatment should give you a permanent solution to your cramps. At our office, we offer a minimally-invasive option known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE.) Talk to your healthcare provider, or schedule a consult with our Houston fibroid specialists, to see if UFE is right for you!

Sources: The Conversation

What is Adenomyosis and Why is it so Hard to Diagnose?

Are you wondering, what is adenomyosis? So many women know that they can develop fibroids and endometriosis. They also know that both those conditions can be extremely painful. But what they don’t know is that adenomyosis can be equally painful. And it can be hard to diagnose, even though it affects up to 30% of women around the world. Let’s take a closer look at this uterine condition.

What is Adenomyosis? question mark

When you have adenomyosis, the tissue that lines your uterus accumulates inside its muscular wall. Adenomyosis is a benign condition (that means it’s not cancer). But you still have to worry about troubling side effects. And the number one offender with this condition? Debilitating pain.

Adenomyosis is pretty common. An estimated 10% of women live with this condition. And women over the age of 40, especially ones who’ve had uterine surgery or multiple pregnancies, are more at risk. At least, that’s what research suggests. It’s tough to determine the exact prevalence of adenomyosis. That’s because there’s no standard diagnostic criteria (doctors don’t have a clear set of signs, symptoms, and tests to guide adenomyosis care.) Which is the reason this condition is hard to diagnose. And the reason you need to learn more about adenomyosis.

Identifying Symptoms

When you have adenomyosis, you may experience symptoms such as severe cramps, irregular bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, pain in your legs and back, a swollen abdomen, long periods, painful sex and infertility.

Houston Fibroids Bellaire
Discussing your full reproductive history with your healthcare providers can help you receive a diagnosis of adenomyosis.

But many uterine conditions—including endometriosis and fibroids—present with the same symptoms. In fact, studies show lots of disagreement on the prevalence of this problem. Because literature suggests that anywhere from 20% to 88% of symptomatic women ultimately get diagnosed.  But with that broad range, we often confuse this condition for others. Also, many women with adenomyosis also have endometriosis. And this makes it much harder for you to seek appropriate treatment and find relief.

But that’s not the only reason it can be tough to diagnose adenomyosis: you can’t always detect trouble with an ultrasound. Even an MRI might not reveal abnormal tissue in your uterine muscle, especially if you also have fibroids, since they may block the imaging view.

For that reason, if you are dealing with adenomyosis symptoms and you haven’t received an accurate diagnosis, it is important to see an expert who can help.

Getting a Diagnosis

Sometimes, diagnosing adenomyosis is a process of elimination. But there are many clues to point your doctor in the right direction. First, consider your age: this condition is more common with women in their 30s and 40s. You are also more likely to develop adenomyosis if you’ve delivered a child via cesarean section, or if you have endometriosis and/or fibroids.

Given those connections, it’s important to discuss your complete reproductive history with your health care provider if you’re trying to receive an accurate diagnosis. After taking your medical history, your doctor may need to perform a transvaginal ultrasound and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) in order to deliver an accurate diagnosis. Also, taking a myometrial biopsy can speed up diagnosis. (That’s when your doctor takes a tissue sample from the middle layer of your uterus.)

Treating Adenomyosis

Once you have a diagnosis, treating your condition is a personal choice. If your symptoms are minimal, you may opt to manage pain with non-prescription drugs like Advil or Motrin. Many women can find relief by increasing their exercise levels, or even by choosing to get fitted for a hormonal IUD (intrauterine device.)

But some women need more permanent treatment. And that is where our Houston fibroid specialists can help. Some women can find relief from adenomyosis with uterine artery embolization (UAE), a minimally invasive procedure that uses a catheter to deliver small particles that block the blood supply to your uterine. To learn more about UAE and your adenomyosis treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fox or Dr. Hardee today.

 

Sources: Seminars in Interventional Radiology, Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology

Helping Women Get the Best Fibroid Treatment Outcome

This International Women’s Day, we want to help you get the best fibroid treatment outcome! After all, if you have fibroid tumors, lessening the gap between your gynecologist and an interventional radiologist can mean a world of difference to your health. When you don’t know all your treatment options, you may not get the results you want, even if you treat your fibroids.

Of course, before we talk about fibroid treatment outcome, we need people to know about fibroids. To that end, The Fibroid Foundation is launching the new #askHER initiative. What’s the idea behind this campaign? Well, it goes like this. About 70% of all women will develop fibroids in her lifetime. But too many women (and men) have never heard about uterine fibroids! And that’s something the foundation hopes to change.

For that reason, we’re encouraging everyone to #askHER (a woman with fibroids) about her experience. By asking about fibroids, you can give that woman a safe space to talk about her story and feelings. In turn, this conversation can help her get support from family and her entire healthcare team. Which we also hope will help all women get the best fibroid treatment outcomes. But first, she needs to know that there are options when it comes to treating fibroids.

Uterine Fibroid Treatment Options in Houston

Gynecologist and Interventional RadiologistIf you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, your gynecologist may present some treatment (less invasive) options. But, interventional radiologists may suggest even more treatment options .

In the past, gynecologists made hysterectomies into the standard fibroid treatment. Now, uterine fibroid embolization  is a more common option. So, if you want to avoid surgery, you need a gynecologist who understands the value of UFE. That way, you can make an informed decision about your treatment options.

Interventional Radiologist and Gynecologist Collaboration

Today, we know that collaborative care gives patients access to all the minimally invasive options available. Studies by the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology show that gynecologists refer just 61% of fibroid patients to Interventional Radiologists. And that means that only 38% percent had UFE when many more were candidates. The women who didn’t have UFE treatment needed follow up care. What does this teach you? That you have to ask about UFE! Your doctor may not volunteer the information!

Getting the Best Fibroid Treatment Outcome

You do need your gynecologist first to perform a pelvic exam. However, you also need to see specialists like the interventional radiologists at Houston Fibroids to learn about UFE.

That’s because Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done at the Houston Fibroids offices in Katy and Bellaire. During UFE treatment, an interventional radiologist will block the blood vessels around the fibroids resulting in the fibroid shrinking.

Now that you know your options, contact us at (713) 575-3686 to schedule a consultation to learn more about uterine fibroid embolization.

Sources: Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology 

5 Reasons Why Sex Hurts (And How to Talk about It)

Too many women ask why sex hurts? Did you know that one out of every five women experiences pain during intercourse? And three out of four women will experience pain during sex at least once in her life? But did you also know that this common problem is on you shouldn’t have to live with?

If you are experiencing painful sex (dyspareunia) it’s important to see your healthcare professional and seek treatment. Before you can seek treatment, however, you need to know what’s causing your pain. So, let’s take a look: what are some common triggers of painful sex?

5 Reasons Why Sex Hurts

1. Hormones

Certain hormonal changes, like the ones that come when you breastfeed or enter menopause, can leave you with vaginal dryness. If this is the case for you, adding lubricant can help make intercourse comfortable again.

2. Medical Conditions

There are several health problems that can make sex extremely painful. Some of the most common causes for painful sex include Uterine fibroids , Endometriosis, Pelvic inflammatory disease, IBS and Sexually transmitted infections.

3. Tight Muscles

If you’ve never been able to have sex without pain, you may have primary vaginismus, a condition in which the muscles of your vaginal canal spasm during intercourse, making penetration painful, if not impossible.

4. New Muscle Spasms

If painful sex is new to you, you still may have vaginismus. But your vaginal spasms could be triggered by secondary vaginismus if you’ve previously been able to enjoy sex without pain. This is a condition that impacts between 5 and 17% of women. And, while there’s no clear cause for this condition, it is often triggered by a difficult labor and delivery process, a vaginal infection or endometriosis.

5. Burning issues

Some women experience burning pain in their vaginal openings. If there’s no clear trigger for this pain you will likely be diagnosed with vulvodynia. Many women with this condition are in so much pain, they aren’t even able to use tampons without discomfort.

Discussing Painful Sex with your Partner Results after UFE

When sex hurts, it’s hard for you. But it’s also hard on your partner and your relationship. If you’re dealing with this problem, intimacy is still possible. You and your partner just need to talk openly and honestly. Here are some tips for making that conversation easier.

First off, you should dedicate a specific time to talk. Remove all distractions like phones so you can truly focus on each other. Next, explain as much as you know about what’s causing your painful sex. You could talk about the physical and emotional impact, and emphasize that as a result, you are less interested in sex, not in your partner.

Also, if it’s helpful, bring your partner to your doctor’s appointment, so he or she can bring up questions and concerns. This could also help you feel like a united team.

Telling Your Doctor About Sex That Hurts

Let’s face it: women are tough. Often, you’re willing to put up with discomfort. And you might even get used to that pain. So you stop wondering why sex hurts, and just think that’s your normal life.

Of course, sex should feel good. But how can you tell when painful sex is a temporary issue, or when it’s a problem worth discussing with your doctor? Here are 5 ways you can tell that pain during sex could be a medical problem.

  1. The pain isn’t just mild. It really hurts, and sex hurts almost every time you engage in intercourse.
  2. The pain is worse when penetration is deep. (This is a good clue you’re dealing with fibroids.)
  3. It also hurts when you pee. (That could mean you’ve got an infection that needs immediate attention.)
  4. Lubrication doesn’t make things feel better.
  5. You’re avoiding sex or worrying sex hurting is impacting your relationship.

If any of these issues sounds familiar, it’s time to ask your doctor why sex hurts? And, if you’re lucky, you’ll get some good answers, and reach the stage where sex feels good again.

How Can I Put a Stop to Painful Sex

With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, sex should stop hurting. In order to get that diagnosis, be open with your partner and your healthcare provider. And if you realize that uterine fibroids are to blame for your painful intercourse, seeking treatment should help you enjoy intimacy once again. But, before seeking that treatment, make sure you consider all your treatment options: especially minimally invasive treatments like Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Because, when fibroids impact your sex life, making an appointment with our Houston area fibroid specialists can help you find relief, and rediscover the joy of intimacy.

Sources:  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Australian Study of Health and Relationships, womenshealth.au

Here’s Why it’s Crucial to Stay Active on your Period

During your period, staying active may seem less inviting, especially if you’re dealing with cramps or a heavy flow. In fact, according to a Strava and FitWoman survey, 69% of women change their workout routines during their period. But did you know that getting exercise can help you find some temporary relief?

We get that a heavy flow can be challenging when you exercise. After all, the last thing you want is to spot a leak mid-workout. Still, we’d hate for your period to control your life. So check out our suggestions for staying active: all month long.

Avoiding Period Mishaps During Exercise exercise during your period

Keep in mind, an extremely heavy flow could be a sign of a problem. In fact, long heavy periods are common when you have fibroids. Now, the only way to stop fibroid symptoms is to actively treat your fibroids. Still, while you’re researching treatment options, exercise can help alleviate some of your monthly discomfort.

In order to avoid embarrassment while staying active, consider the following suggestions:

1.       Wear darker workout clothes, so any leaks will be less obvious. While we’re all about the white dress project, we also support practicality.

2.       You may need to double up on protection: consider a tampon and panty-liner combination.

3.       Think about shorter workouts, or staying close to home, so you can refresh your feminine products right after your exercise is complete.

So, these tips can help you stay active in the short term. And that’s important, as we’re about to reveal the benefits of exercising during your period. But we can’t emphasize enough that, in the long-term, you’ll feel more free to live your life if you find a lasting cure to your fibroid symptoms.

Exercise and Menstrual Symptoms

Have you ever experienced that runners high? Or walked away from a sweaty workout with a huge grin? As it turns out, there’s a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, chemicals that target pain and boost your mood.  For that reason, taking a brisk walk or jog could offer period pain relief that’s superior to over the counter meds.

Want the biggest endorphin rush? Choose cardio-based workouts like swimming, biking, running or even walking. Not your jam? No problem! Other forms of exercise, especially workouts like yoga that help calm your spirit, are also very effective.

Just keep in mind, you should always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new workout routine. This is especially true if you have fibroids and anemia, a common side effect of prolonged heavy periods. And remember, if you have fibroids, high intensity workouts during your period could be painful. That’s because HIIT workouts direct blood flow to your vital organs. But that means your fibroids have a lower supply of blood, at least temporarily. Which could translate to increased pain while you’re getting your sweat on.

Inverted yoga poses could also cause trouble on your period. So during that time of the month, take a pause from your shoulder stands, headstands and plough pose. Because when you stay upside down, your pelvic blood vessels get congested. And that can make your flow heavier than it already is.

Some other exercises may worsen fibroid-related period symptoms like cramps and pelvic pain. If you have these symptoms, steer clear of crunches and squats during your period. They can magnify your pain and make it harder to get through your cycle.

Other than these exercises, we’re all about staying active during your period. And, to help you feel comfortable while you move? Make sure to pick the best protection for women with heavy periods.

What’s the Best Protection for Women with Heavy An IUD or birth control can help with heavy periodsFlows?

We all know that heavy flow tampons and pads can fail. On your heaviest flow days, you may go through a super tampon as quickly as an hour. And that’s a major pain, especially when you want to stick to your regular exercise routines. Ready for something different? You may want to explore the menstrual cup, a relatively new product that come in different sizes, offering customized protection. When your period is average, they last for up to 12 hours (a typical cup holds about 20ml.) Naturally, if your flow if heavier, you’ll need more frequent cup changes.

How Can You Tell if Your Flow is a Problem?

When it comes to menstrual cycles, every woman is different. What’s normal for your sister may seem heavy to you. So, we’ve developed a few guidelines to help women identify problematic period symptoms.

First and foremost, if your period gets in the way of your lifestyle, that’s no good. Especially if your flow prevents you from healthy activities like exercise. So, if your monthly cycles keeps you stuck to your couch or tied to a nearby bathroom, we invite you to schedule a fibroid consultation with one of our Houston-area specialists.

And, even if your period isn’t interfering with your daily life, take note of major changes in your cycle. If your period suddenly becomes longer, heavier or more painful, this could indicate a problem like fibroids. We always recommend addressing fibroids early on. Why? Untreated fibroids can keep growing. Which is a problem, since larger fibroids can be harder to address.

At the end of the day, we want you to live your best life. And that means getting active when you want, without fearing major period problems. So if fibroids are getting in the way of your every day, it’s time to explore your treatment options. Just be sure to do your research, and explore minimally invasive treatments like Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE.) Remember, not every woman with fibroids will need to have surgery!

Sources: Live StrongUSA Fibroid Centers

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.

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