Who Can Benefit from Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

Mar 02, 2024
Who Can Benefit from Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
If you’re bothered by fibroids, you may want to consider uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). Learn about the signs that indicate you might be a good candidate, and find out how this treatment can help.

If you have a uterus, there’s a good chance you’ll develop fibroids at some point. The benign growths form in about 65% of women by age 50. 

While fibroids aren’t life-threatening and only rarely turn into cancer, they can cause a range of symptoms that interfere with your daily life and well-being. If this scenario sounds all too familiar, you may want to consider uterine fibroid embolization (UFE)

At his Midtown Manhattan practice, double board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist Dr. Yosef Golowa offers UFE as a minimally invasive treatment to bring lasting fibroid relief for those who qualify as good candidates.

Let’s take a closer look at uterine fibroids, including signs you could benefit from embolization.

Uterine fibroid basics

You could develop one or two fibroids or quite a few that vary in size. Some fibroids are so tiny that they’re almost undetectable to the naked eye. Others are larger than an avocado.

Whether or not you experience symptoms from fibroids depends on their size and location. When symptoms unfold, they often include:

  • Abdominal bloating or pressure
  • Chronic constipation
  • Difficulty urinating or frequent urination
  • Heavy or exceptionally painful periods
  • More frequent periods
  • Pain in your abdominal area or lower back 
  • Pain during or after sex

The exact cause of fibroids isn’t known, but genetics and hormonal issues seem to play a role. Having your first period before age 10 or eating a diet high in red meat also increases your risk. 

How uterine fibroid embolization helps

During uterine fibroid embolization, tiny spheres of material are injected into blood vessels that fill a fibroid to block blood flow. Deprived of oxygenated blood, the fibroid gradually shrinks and dies.

UFE takes about an hour to complete, after which you may experience pelvic cramps for one to several days. Within three months, as the masses die off, you can expect significantly improved or fully diminished fibroid symptoms. 

Who can benefit from UFE

Most anyone with bothersome fibroids can benefit from uterine fibroid embolization. If you’re experiencing moderate to severe fibroid symptoms that no amount of self-care seems to help, you may be an excellent candidate. Experiencing fibroid complications, such as an iron deficiency due to heavy menstruation, may make you a good candidate, too. 

This minimally invasive fibroid treatment also provides a smart option if you’d like to avoid surgery, such as a hysterectomy. Many people who hope to get pregnant appreciate that, unlike a total hysterectomy, UFE keeps their fertility in place. 

To learn more about uterine fibroid embolization or find out if UFE is right for you, call our office or book an appointment with Dr. Golowa through our website today.