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UFE: Pregnancy After Fibroid Treatment Embolization

When it comes to treating uterine fibroids, women can feel limited by treatment options that are invasive and have a lasting impact on their ability to have children. At IVC, we make it our priority to provide women with nonsurgical fibroid treatment that preserves their ability to become pregnant and live their lives the way they envisioned.

Don’t let fibroids make the decisions for you when it comes to starting or growing your family. With minimally invasive uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), the doctors at IVC can shrink your fibroids and eliminate painful symptoms, no surgery necessary.

How Surgical Fibroid Treatments Affect Fertility

If you have been diagnosed with fibroids but wish to have children, your options used to be limited to surgical treatment. Hysterectomy, an invasive procedure that surgically removes the uterus, is commonly recommended for patients as it completely eliminates the fibroids. Unfortunately, while hysterectomy is a viable and effective treatment for most women with fibroids, it strips women of their ability to have children. With fibroids most common among reproductive-aged women, hysterectomy can be an undesirable procedure with side effects that outweigh the benefits.

Myomectomy is the second surgical treatment option for eliminating uterine fibroids. Rather than remove the uterus entirely to eliminate fibroids and prevent recurrence down the line, myomectomy instead surgically removes the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. Myomectomy typically results in successful fibroid treatment but can impact patients’ fertility and ability to deliver children vaginally without complications. Myomectomy patients are also encouraged to become pregnant in the six months following surgery while recurrence rates are at their lowest, a tight window of time that does not always coincide with their plans for growing their family.

Fertility-Preserving Fibroid Treatment

UFE is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive treatment option for women who are interested in having children after being diagnosed with fibroids. Rather than remove the uterus or fibroids surgically, UFE opts to shrink and manage fibroids by cutting off their blood supply. Tiny embolic particles are injected into the fibroids’ arteries, preventing them from receiving vital nutrients. By leaving the uterus intact and avoiding overly-invasive treatment methods, many patients can still have children and deliver naturally following UFE.

According to a 2016 study posted in the International Journal of Biomedicine that assessed 161 pregnant women who previously underwent UFE, “The frequency of pregnancy and delivery complications among women who have had UFE for fibroid treatment isn’t significantly different from healthy women without fibroids.” By utilizing a more conservative treatment, patients retain their ability to bear children and can avoid the risks, side effects and extended downtime associated with other procedures.

While UFE is not without its own risks, it has been found to produce fertility rates comparable to myomectomy but without the high rates of fibroid recurrence. Risks following UFE are also most common among older patients, making pregnancy safe and healthy for younger patients. If you are interested in pregnancy following UFE, be sure to discuss the potential risks with your doctor during an in-person consultation.

Who Is a Good Candidate for UFE?

Women who have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and are interested in a nonsurgical, minimally invasive treatment option tend to be good candidates for UFE. By avoiding surgical means for treating fibroids, many women can benefit from UFE who may not be good candidates for myomectomy or hysterectomy. Not every patient is a candidate for UFE, and surgical methods may still be the medically preferred treatment for some women. To determine if you are a good candidate for UFE, consult with a board-certified doctor specializing in uterine fibroid treatment.

Advanced Fibroid Treatment and More at IVC

At IVC, we want to effectively treat your symptoms and help you get back to enjoying your life as soon as possible. To learn more about how UFE can manage your fibroids without stripping you of your ability to have children, schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate and caring physicians. Call us today at 503-612-0498 to book your appointment.

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