How does Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) affect future pregnancy and fertility?

Apr 13, 2024
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Fibroids and adenomyosis can interfere with fertility .UAE is effective in treating adenomyosis (80%) and eliminating fibroids (90%) by cutting off their blood supply. Successful pregnancies have been documented after UFE.

Uterine artery embolization is gaining recognition for its efficacy in treating uterine fibroid symptoms without resorting to surgery. However, misconceptions persist, largely due to insufficient research and public education on fibroids, their development, and the long-term effects of available treatments.

Impact of Uterine Fibroids and Adenomyosis on Fertility

Fibroids, also known as myomas, can significantly disrupt a woman's life, affecting her career, social interactions, and ability to conceive. Adenomyosis presents similar challenges, often without visible symptoms, complicating its diagnosis regarding infertility. To grasp how pregnancy can occur after uterine artery embolization, it's crucial to comprehend how fibroids and adenomyosis can interfere with fertility.

Fibroids can vary in size and location within or on the uterus, from tiny to massive growths. Some can obstruct the passage of sperm and eggs or distort the uterine lining, hindering embryo implantation. Additionally, they may occupy space required for proper fetal development, potentially leading to issues with carrying the baby to term including miscarriages, premature labor, or delivery complications.

Adenomyosis alters the uterine shape and thickens its middle layer, making implantation difficult and sustaining pregnancy challenging. Studies show that women with adenomyosis undergoing IVF often face lower embryo transfer rates, reduced conception success, and higher miscarriage rates.

How Does Uterine Artery Embolization affect Pregnancy Prospects?

Uterine artery embolization boasts approximately 80% effectiveness in treating adenomyosis and 90% effectiveness in eliminating fibroids. Both conditions rely on a blood supply to thrive. During embolization, a trained interventional radiologist inserts a tiny catheter through the thigh artery to the vessels feeding these conditions. Small particles injected via the catheter block the blood supply, causing the growths to shrink and eventually perish. As a result, blockages are resolved, the uterus returns to a more normal state, and growths disturbing the uterine lining diminish.

Can Women Conceive After Uterine Artery Embolization?

Historically, concerns existed about the impact of uterine artery embolization on fertility. However, recent research challenges these notions. A 2017 study from the University of California debunked earlier claims, indicating no adverse fertility effects in women of reproductive age undergoing UAE. Numerous case reports and studies document successful pregnancies post-embolization. For instance, a study reported 34 successful pregnancies out of 108 attempts, including cases where women were advised hysterectomy was their sole option after failed myomectomy. This highlights the importance of exploring alternative treatments and dispelling misinformation.

If you're seeking a fertility-preserving, non-surgical solution for adenomyosis or uterine fibroids, reach out to us for a consultation.