Category: Treatment Options

3 Surprising Hysterectomy Side Effects

Many women with fibroids think they need a hysterectomy—a surgical removal of the uterus. Some are told it’s the only way to relieve fibroid symptoms. But there are less invasive treatments available, like uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This is a problem because, no matter what the reason, women who undergo hysterectomies face major surgery complications. And now, studies show that hysterectomies may also lead to mental health struggles.

How a Hysterectomy can Hurt Your Mental Health

Women’s risk for anxiety and depression increase after  hysterectomy, according to a study in the journal Menopause.

To reach this conclusion, researchers reviewed the medical records of 2,094 hysterectomy patients. For this study, none of those women had cancer. Next, they compared the records to those of same-aged women who hadn’t had a hysterectomy. And then they followed both groups for 22 years.

As it turns out, woman’s risk for depression relatively increased by 26 percent with hysterectomy. And the risk for anxiety increased by 22 percent after hysterectomy. Researchers discovered that age matters, too. In young women, who had a hysterectomy before 35, there was a 47 percent increased risk for depression. Also, the anxiety risk increased by 45 percent. Outside of cancer, the reason for the hysterectomy didn’t seem to impact the increased risk of mental health issues.

Female with Fibroids

According to lead study author, Dr. Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic, “Hysterectomy is right for some women. But there is this 4 to 6 percent of women who will be affected by depression or anxiety. We’re hoping women will talk with their doctors and see if there’s any alternative they could use instead.”

Uterine Surgery May Interfere with Memory

Depression isn’t the only way hysterectomy may affect your brain function. According to a new, prehuman trial from Arizona State University, a hysterectomy could impact your memory. Now, if that sounds strange, it is. But here’s what we know: your ovaries and brain are connected.  So your estrogen and progesterone levels impact your memory. But we now know that your uterus is tied to your autonomic nervous system. Which means that losing your uterus could affect your cognitive ability.

In order to illustrate this fact, Dr. Heather Bimonte-Nelson studied rats before and after a hysterectomy. Allowing for 6 weeks of recovery time, the study tested their post-hysterectomy working memory. And here’s the bad news: after hysterectomy, rats couldn’t navigate a maze they used to complete. In comparison, rats who kept their uterus had no problem finishing the maze. In other words, losing their uterus directly impacted rat memory. Clearly, this study has troubling implications for human females.

 

UFE: The non-surgical fibroid treatment option

Thankfully, many women with fibroids can find a non-surgical alternative to hysterectomy in our Houston-area practice. Using imagine, catheters and an injection, we are able to cut off blood flow to your fibroids, which makes them shrink and, eventually, disappear. It’s a minimally invasive procedure, usually not involving a hospital stay.

If you have fibroids and are concerned about having a hysterectomy, reach out to our doctors. We can help you determine if UFE is the right treatment option for you.

Sources: Menopause, The New York Times, Journal of Endocrinology

3 Ways to Avoid Fibroid Surgery

We need to provide more alternatives to fibroid surgery in this country. Too many women with fibroids—non-cancerous tumors of the uterus—get hysterectomies (complete uterus removal). In fact, fibroids are the top reason women in the U.S. get hysterectomies. Because it’s such a serious surgery, many women opt for less invasive fibroid treatments. In our office, we offer Uterine Fibroid Embolization, a non-surgical treatment that shrinks your fibroids.

Oral and Minimally Invasive Alternatives to Fibroid oral alternatives to fibroid surgerySurgery

Recently, the FDA approved a new oral medication for women with fibroids, that’s expected to be available later this month. Called Oriahnn, the pill combines estrogen, progestin, and elagolix (a gonadotropin-releasing hormone). It’s important to note that this pill doesn’t shrink your fibroids. Instead, it decreases fibroid symptoms like heavy bleeding.

Also, this pill won’t prevent pregnancy, even though it’s hormonal. And, studies note that taking the medication can cause long-term bone loss. Which means that you can’t take the pill for more than two years. That leads us to the question: what next? Unfortunately, once you stop taking this pill, your fibroid symptoms would return, sending you back to the start of your treatment journey. And, since they don’t want that journey to end in a hysterectomy, researchers at Michigan State University are trying to figure out why fibroids form in the first place. Because, in doing so, they hope to keep every woman from being pushed towards hysterectomy because of fibroid tumors.

Genes and Fibroids: The Newly Discovered Connection

In the course of this study, researchers at MSU’s College of Human Medicine discovered that HOXA13, a gene associated with fibroids, was connected to a process, known as homeotic transformation, that causes uterine muscle cells to turn into cells more typically found inside your cervix.

“It’s a cell type in a position where it doesn’t belong,” explained lead researcher Dr. Jose Teixeira said. “This was a surprise.”

Katy Fibroid Clinic
New research on fibroids could drastically reduce the number of women who are treated with hysterectomies.

But this discovery isn’t just informative: it could change the way we treat fibroids. Specifically, new treatments could target the chain of events that causes your cells to change. That way, you could treat existing tumors with less invasive treatments, such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Then, you could use molecular therapy to prevent any  new tumors from forming.

As Teixeira explains, “The discovery that fibroid tumors have characteristics of cervical cells could be a key to better treatments. For example, among pregnant women, the cervix typically softens just before delivery. Figuring out what causes the cervix to soften could suggest new therapies that soften the fibroid tumors and prevent or inhibit their growth.” And, if that works out, you could eliminate any hysterectomy discussions!

What’s Next for Fibroid Research?

While new therapies are still going to take a while, this research is already changing the way scientists study fibroids. Now, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding a follow-up fibroid study.  It’s focus? Texeira says he wants to discover: “Is there a place where we can intervene? That’s the follow-up. If we can find out what’s causing the cervical softening, then we might be able to investigate treatment.” And that could stop fibroid growth before a tumor ever forms.

Sources: FDA.Gov, Cell Reports Journal

Important Fact on UAE and other Adenomyosis Treatments

Adenomyosis is a benign, non-life threatening condition.  But its very painful, and patients need relief. Unfortunately, doctors often confuse adenomyosis with uterine fibroids and other conditions, so it can be difficult to diagnose without proper medical attention.

One of the newer treatments for Adenomyosis is UAE, or Uterine Artery Embolization. How does its effectiveness stack up against other treatments?

Continue reading “Important Fact on UAE and other Adenomyosis Treatments”

Check out how Vitamin D Can Help Fibroids

We’re fibroid specialists in Houston, and it’s our job to help women. Now, we do that job by providing a minimally invasive fibroid treatment called UFE (uterine fibroid embolization.) But we also know that choosing your best treatment option takes time. And, during that time, we want to help you alleviate some of your painful symptoms, like pressure, bloating or long and heavy periods.

As a result, we always follow fibroid research to learn about effect symptom management tools. And, recently, we’ve been excited about findings connecting Vitamin D and fibroids. Here’s what you need to know.

Does Vitamin D Limit Fibroid Growth?

vitamin d and fibroids
Vitamin D could stop your fibroids from getting bigger!

While we wait for a clinical trial, we’ve got some exciting news to share. Early evidence suggests that, in the short term, Vitamin D therapy helped keep fibroids at their current size, preventing further growth for both Caucasian and African American women. (While we don’t know why, African American women are disproportionately impacted by uterine fibroids.) And, with long term Vitamin D treatment, many women experienced fibroid shrinkage.

Obviously, this is exciting news. We know that many women with fibroids end up choosing hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus). Often, they do so when less invasive options were available. So why does that happen? Too many women just don’t know of other options. And too many doctors don’t tell women about less invasive choices like UFE.

To help fill this void, we share news about every kind of less-invasive fibroid treatment. Because we want women to find their personal best option. And accurate information is the best way to make that decision. Now, Vitamin D might not provide enough relief from fibroid symptoms (we’ll need a true clinical trial to really explore this fibroid treatment option.) But, in the meantime, Vitamin D supplementation could offer some fibroid symptom relief while you explore more permanent treatment options. Plus, you could enjoy additional Vitamin D benefits. Let’s take a closer look.

Additional Benefits of Vitamin D

Research suggests that Vitamin D can help boost your immune system, and may even prevent certain diseases. Vitamin D also helps manage depression, and may help with weight loss. (This could be another reason why Vitamin D affects your fibroids: maintaining a healthy weight can also limit fibroid growth.)

So, how can you get more Vitamin D in your diet? Our primary source is sun exposure, but you have to be careful about sun damage, especially in our hot Houston summer. Therefore, you may need to add a Vitamin D supplement. But before you do, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. And be sure to explore all your fibroid treatment options, either with your primary care provider, or with a fibroid specialist.

 

Sources: Fertility and Sterility Journal

#WCW: How Olivia Beat Painful Sex with Fibroids

As Houston based fibroid specialists, we know living with fibroids can be challenging. That’s why we started our Woman Crush Wednesday series. We want to celebrate women who are pushing past fibroids, and share their stories. In doing so, we hope to give hope and strength to all of you who are still on a fibroid journey. 

Now, fibroids can cause many painful symptoms, including heavy periods and severe cramps. But one symptom can be especially uncomfortable, and even more difficult to discuss: painful sex. When you have fibroids, the location of your non-cancerous tumors can make sexual penetration very uncomfortable. And this can take a toll on your intimate relationships. 

With treatment, you can address your fibroids and resolve this pain. But even before seeking treatment, there are ways to connect with your partner without causing you to experience pain. Recently, we came across a letter from one woman, Olivia, describing exactly how she dealt with her fibroid-related sexual pain. And to help all of you out, we’re sharing her story, and making her our Woman Crush of the Week!

Rediscovering Sex after Fibroids Results after UFE

In her letter to Sex Talk, a column in The Observer, Olivia writes “Somewhere along the way, I developed fibroids…The sex just stopped being good.” But rather than giving up on her intimate relationship with her husband, Olivia decided to make some changes. 

She says, “In the process of trying to regain my strength and deal with anaemia brought on by fibroids, I had to check my diet. I tried to balance what I ate and my doctor recommended some supplements. That seemed to help, but it was still not that good.” 

Still, Olivia wasn’t ready to give up on this important part of her marriage. Next, she writes, came the COVID-19 lock down. Using this time to her advantage, Olivia says,  “I decided to take a walk in the evenings. The walks gradually turned into regular exercise and eventually culminated into proper workouts…But that is where the switch was. I felt better with each day of exercise, lost weight and became less grumpy.

In a few days, my energy levels had gone up… I did household chores without complaining. My back stopped hurting – I was feeling much better!”

Soon, her personal health improvements shifted to her intimate relationship. She writes, “Around that time, my husband’s language changed..[He] then initiated the lovemaking, although he seldom did. We both could not believe the outcome. The referee in my brain ticked off against all standards on his checklist. If it were a contest, he would have earned 99.9 per cent. We were shocked!” 

Fibroid Treatment for Improved Intimacy

Olivia is very lucky: like many women, her fibroid symptoms improved with exercise and weight loss. but, even though her lifestyle changes gave her symptom relief, she is still living with fibroids. Which means she could experience new or worsening symptoms at any point. 

For lasting fibroid relief, the best option is fibroid treatment. In our practice, we offer a minimally invasive option, Uterine Fibroid Embolization, which shrinks your fibroid tumors without surgery. Many women choose UFE because it is effective, and you typically don’t need to stay overnight in a hospital or deal with a long procedure recovery period. Hashtag fibroid fix

Other women may prefer options such as myomectomy, a surgery to remove individual fibroid treatments. And some may require a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of your uterus, although we always consider this the treatment of last resort. You should never get a hysterectomy unless it is medically necessary, as this procedure will impact your overall health in so many ways. 

We know that fibroid symptoms are challenging, and that it can be equally challenging to choose the right treatment plan. That’s why we’re here to help, even during the COVID-19 outbreak. Reach out and schedule a fibroid consultation with our specialists. If you prefer, we can being the process remotely, using our secure Telemedicine platform to begin your fibroid consultation

Just remember: help is available. Like Olivia, you can take control of your intimate life, even with fibroids. And you can begin your recovery journey with us, right now, and put those symptoms in your past. 

Should I Use an IUD or Oral Birth Control with Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors. Many women will be affected by fibroids in their life.  Fibroids can develop in several different places in or on the uterus. Depending on where they develop, they will be classified  as subserosal, intramural, or submucosal.

While no one knows exactly why these tumors develop, most doctors agree that their growth can be affected by the presence of estrogen. This may be why many women’s fibroids grow and develop during pregnancy. Because of the connection between estrogen and fibroid development, you may be wondering how  birth control will impact your fibroids. Here’s what you need to know about birth control and fibroids. 

How Will Oral Birth Control Affect my Fibroid Symptoms?

  1. Your Periods Will Probably get Lighter

A common side effect of fibroids is long, heavy periods; using birth control pills may help manage this symptom. Birth control typically gives women lighter, shorter periods because the estrogen in the medications can help improve blood clotting and reduce your menstrual flow.

     2. You May Have Fewer Cramps

Pelvic pain and cramps are another typical fibroid side effect—and these cramps can be quite severe for women dealing with these tumors. Many women on birth control pills experience cramping relief because the medications can decrease a woman’s prostaglandin count (prostaglandins make the uterus contract, leading to cramps.)

     3. Your Fibroids Could Get Bigger

While taking birth control may help you manage certain side effects of fibroids, there’s a caveat: fibroids are very responsive to estrogen, which means that taking birth control can actually make your tumors grow larger. For this reason, you’ll need to discuss your options with your doctors carefully. A larger fibroid tumor may cause you to experience a worsening of symptoms, canceling out the temporary relief delivered by the estrogen in your birth control pills.

    4. Birth Control Can Help Prevent Fibroids

If you already have uterine fibroids, taking birth control could make your tumors increase in size. But if you haven’t yet been diagnosed, certain birth controls (especially those with lower doses of estrogen) may reduce your fibroid risk!

Can I Implant an IUD with Fibroids?

If oral contraceptives aren’t your best choice, you may be interested in an IUD (intrauterine device). This is a small device which gets implanted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs come in two forms: hormonal and non-hormonal, and the type you choose will make a difference in your fibroid experience. Let’s explore the differences between the two types of IUDs. 

Hormonal vs. Non-Hormonal IUD

Hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by release synthetic hormones to thins your uterine lining, thicken your cervical mucus. They also partially prevent you from ovulating. In contrast, non-hormonal IUDs release copper into your uterus. And that coppers creates an inflammatory reaction within your uterus, which results in an environment in which sperm can’t survive. 

Now that you understand how IUDs work, let’s explore if they work for women with fibroids. And here’s the story: sometimes they do. But sometimes, if your fibroids have changed the shape of your uterus, you won’t be able to use and IUD. In those cases, then, you’ll want to explore alternative methods of birth control. If, however, you’re a good candidate for an IUD, you’ll need to choose between a hormonal or non-hormonal device. 

Should I get a Hormonal IUD with Fibroids? 

For many women with fibroids, using a hormonal IUD will relieve your symptoms. That’s especially true for heavy periods, since this kind of IUD gives you a thinner uterine lining. Also, since you’ll lose less blood each month with a hormonal IUD, you’re anemia risk will be lower. If you were already anemic, your symptoms should improve. 

Hormonal IUDs may also reduce painful cramping, since your uterine lining cells release the chemicals which cause this symptom. Basically, a thinner lining means less blood loss and less materials to cause cramps. Which means if you’re suffering from these fibroid symptoms, you may benefit from a hormonal IUD. Except, of course, in one instance. Keep reading to find out when you shouldn’t use a hormonal IUD.  

 

Could Hormonal IUDs Make my Fibroids Worse?

Let’s be clear: we don’t know what causes fibroids to develop or grow larger. But we do suspect that there’s a link between hormones and fibroid growth. In other words, there’s a chance that implanting a hormonal IUD could cause your fibroids to grow larger. 

If that possibility makes you nervous, we completely understand. Just know that you can still use an IUD for birth control. In this case, you’d just opt for a non-hormonal IUD. But, keep in mind, while this IUD effectively prevents pregnancy, it won’t do anything to improve your fibroid symptoms. In fact, some women using non-hormonal IUDs report heavier bleeding and cramps. Obviously, you’ll need to think carefully about your options before selecting a non-hormonal IUD. 

And, before choosing either type of IUD, keep in mind that your fibroids will increase your risk for IUD expulsion, which occurs when your device falls fully or partially out of your uterus. If you partially expel your IUD, you’ll need to consult your doctor about safe removal, and likely move on to another form of birth control once your situation is resolved. 

Choosing the right birth control when you have fibroids can be complicated, so it’s crucial to review all your options with your fibroid specialist. But please remember, while birth control may alleviate fibroid symptoms, it can’t “cure” or eliminate your actual fibroids. That will only be possible with fibroid treatment. So, feel free to reach out to Dr. Fox or Dr. Hardee to schedule a consultation on all your fibroid treatment options. And, in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, rest assured you can choose to schedule a remote, Telemedicine fibroid consultation

Sources: fibroids.com, USA Fibroid Centers

#WCW: Kelly McCreary Overcomes her Fibroid Pain

Here at Houston Fibroids, we help women overcome fibroid pain. Even now, during a pandemic, we’re here to provide relief, whether in our office or via Telemedicine appointments (learn more here.) And we’re also here to provide hope, by sharing the stories of fibroid warriors. So, today, we’re highlighting Kelly McCreary, for her bravery in opening up about fibroids .

Kelly McCreary—aka Maggie Pierce on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy—may play a doctor on TV, but when it came to her own health challenges, she couldn’t tidily wrap up her own diagnosis in a 60-minute time frame. In fact, figuring out the cause of her long, painful periods was a major process. And it’s one that she opened up about recently in Glamour magazine. Which is one (of many) reasons why Kelly is our Woman Crush Wednesday this week.

Facing Facts: Painful Periods aren’t Normal Periods

To start her revealing interview, Kelly admitted: “I just celebrated my first year of living without menstrual pain since I was 13 years old.” As a teenager, she has very painful periods. But then, in her 20s, things got better. Next came her 30s, and each year meant more period pain. Finally, about five years ago, it all became too much, so she went to her doctor. That’s where she discovered her fibroids.

Kelly explained, ““[My] doctor in New York diagnosed them. She said, ‘These are not a big deal. They’re very small. They’re in a place that’s easy to remove.” But Kelly didn’t schedule a myomectomy (surgical fibroid removal). And soon, she moved to Los Angeles—and a new doctor.

This doctor had entirely different advice. Her new doctor said, “Surgery’s a big deal. You don’t want to have any surgery, even if it’s a minor surgery, unless you absolutely have to. Instead, go on an IUD. The hormones and the IUD will treat the symptoms of your fibroids and maybe it’ll prevent them from growing.”

As interventional radiologists who provide minimally invasive fibroid treatments, we love much of this advice. But it’s unfortunate no one talked about Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) with Kelly. Because the IUD approach didn’t work for her. And, instead of exploring other options, Kelly switched up her thinking. She explained to her summit audience:  “The fundamental belief that I absorbed was that periods are painful and uncomfortable and that’s normal. So, I was willing to endure, frankly, a lot of discomfort.”

Pelvic Pain isn’t Normal: A Fibroid Intervention

Things only got worse for Kelly once she got an IUD. “[It] was a huge fiasco,” she said. “I hated it. It was incredibly painful… My fibroids were located in the exact same place where the IUD was placed… The pain was just unbearable.”

Finally, Pete Chatmon (Kelly’s husband) encouraged her to find , who urged her to find more permanent relief. She found a doctor who, she said, “literally lifted her fists and said, ‘Painful periods are not normal.’ She had surgery two years ago. And she’s been pain-free ever since.

Exploring Fibroid Treatment Options Hashtag fibroid fix

Kelly’s story is anything but unique. Fibroid are very common. Especially for African American women like Kelly, who are three times more likely than white women to develop fibroids. Unfortunately, many of these women also get insufficient medical advice. Like Kelly, few are told about all of their treatment options.

And Kelly acknowledges that her path won’t work for everyone. “I’m not…necessarily just advocating surgery. I’m advocating treatment that actually is meant to address giving your body and your mind relief; that is not a course of Ibuprofen every month…For me, that meant surgery.”

But, she wants every woman to find their best course of action. And she’s offering this advice:  “I think a lot of doctors are quick to end the appointment and you have to be persistent…If you’re walking around and your wrist hurts, your doctor wouldn’t just be like, ‘Yes, sometimes your wrist hurts.’ You don’t have to deal with that. So, address it, take it seriously and make your doctor take it seriously with you.”

We believe those are #WCW words to live by. So, if you have fibroids and you’re looking for more treatment options, ask your doctor about UFE. And if you aren’t getting answers, come schedule a consultation with our Houston area fibroid specialists.   

Sources: Glamour.com, Hollywoodlife.com, Houstonfibroids.com

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

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 Adenomyosis 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. And that is why adenomyosis is often confused for other conditions. 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.

How Can We Diagnose Adenomyosis?

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.

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, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center

4 Simple Reasons to Avoid a Hysterectomy

If you are As many as 70% of women will develop uterine fibroids in their lifetime. And they’ll likely experience symptoms such as heavy bleeding and pelvic pain or pressure. When fibroid symptoms are painful and disruptive, you want relief. Just be sure to choose a treatment that won’t cause you more problems down the road. 

Why is Hysterectomy a Challenging Fibroid Treatment? 

Hysterectomy alternativesMany women with fibroids consider hysterectomy. In fact, about 600,000 American women get hysterectomies each year. But, many times, a less drastic procedure could have worked instead. Check out these reasons why you shouldn’t have a hysterectomy. 

 

  • You want a baby in the future. A hysterectomy is not an option for women if they would like to have a baby. If you are young and have fibroids,consider alternatives. Even if you don’t want kids now,  really think about your options. After all, a hysterectomy is forever. 
  • You can’t afford to take time off. Traditional hysterectomies take approximately six weeks to recover, while minimally invasive procedures can take about two weeks. For women who are busy with school, work, or raising a family, this time off may severely impact their lives. Even after recovery, it may be even longer before the patient can return to a completely active lifestyle.
  • You have not yet reached menopause. When you lose your ovaries as part of a hysterectomy, your hormonal balance gets disrupted. This makes your estrogen and progesterone production decline. These two hormones play an important part in heart, bone, breast, and brain health. Even when an ovary-sparing hysterectomy is performed, the patient is more likely to develop premature ovarian function failure.
  • You wish to avoid the risks of surgery. Infections affect approximately 9 to 13 percent of those who undergo a hysterectomy. There is also a risk of damaging surrounding organs, nerve damage, hemorrhage, and anesthetic complications.

Consider Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroid embolization is completed through local anesthesia and is significantly less invasive than a surgery and patients can return to their daily lives much faster than those who have undergone a hysterectomy. In addition, studies show that approximately 90 percent of women who underwent UFE had significant or complete relief from the symptoms of uterine fibroids.

If you would like to see if UFE is right for you, contact Houston Fibroids.

Sources: National Women’s Health Network

Warning: Fibroid Meds Linked to Liver Damage

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop in and on your uterus. They often give you symptoms such as heavy periods, pelvic pain and more. In order to alleviate those symptoms, you’ll need to treat your fibroids. But, for some women, choosing the wrong treatment could mean even more medical problems!

The Danger of Fibroid Medications

 

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has advised that women taking Esmya, a fibroid medication, may experience liver injury from the drug. In order to prevent this complication, the EMA has implemented a series of precautions for doctors to review before prescribing Esmya as a fibroid treatment. 

When working properly, Esmya is supposed to reduce the bleeding and anemia associated with uterine fibroids. Unfortunately, some women taking Esmya have suffered liver injuries. In response, the EMA now recommends that all patients should have liver screenings before and after taking the drug. You should never take Esmya if you’ve had liver problems. Even for healthy women, Esmya isn’t a great choice: in fact,  according to the EMA, you should only take this drug if you don’t have other options.  

Embolization: A Less Complex Fibroid Treatment

Sadly, many women are not aware of UFE, a minimally invasive fibroid treatment with many fewer potential complications. Women who are eligible for UFE can expect a one hour, outpatient procedure that’s minimally invasive.  In fact, most women stand up and walk around right after UFE, because we conduct the procedure through an artery in your arm. Best of all, UFE is a permanent fibroid solution, but it doesn’t affect any other body part. And that’s because we deliver treatment directly to your uterine growths.

If you have been prescribed medications to help manage your uterine fibroid growths, you must explore all of your potential treatment options. Contact our Houston Fibroids practice to see if UFE can help you avoid the potential complications of fibroid medications. 

Houston Fibroids is now OPEN for business!

Our offices have stringent safety protocols in place to keep you safe and provide the care you need.  We are accepting appointments now. Do not delay necessary medical care and follow-up. Call our office today at 713-575-3686  to schedule your appointment with Dr. Fox, Dr. Hardee, or Dr. Valenson.

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