Fibroids FAQ

How are fibroids diagnosed?

Unless you have symptoms, you probably won’t know that you have uterine fibroids. If your primary care physician suspects fibroids, they'll usually carry out a pelvic examination to look for any obvious signs. Sometimes fibroids are only discovered during routine gynecological (vaginal) examinations or tests for other problems, because they often don't cause any symptoms.

One of the main tests carried out to diagnose fibroids is an ultrasound scan. This is a painless scan that uses a probe to produce high frequency sound waves to create an image of the inside of your body.

How large can fibroids grow?

A uterus is approximately 3 inches long and fibroids/muscular tumors can range from one tiny growth, to a dominant fibroid, or as a mass of many small fibroids. A large fibroid can cause the uterus to expand to the size of a basketball.

Does size and number of fibroids matter?

There is no correlation between the number of fibroids and size of fibroids in order to effectively treat them.

Will you coordinate care with my OB/GYN?

Yes, we are always available to work in collaboration with your OB/GYN to resolve your uterine fibroids.

Are there complications associated with a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

There are some post UFE after-effects, which include not having a period for 6 months or more, a short-term rash, increased vaginal discharge or early menopause. Having a UFE does not affect your ability to become pregnant.

How long should I expect to be off work after having a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) procedure?

A UFE procedure is performed as an outpatient treatment. There is very little blood loss and your procedure may last up to an hour. You are encouraged to rest for a day after your procedure, and may resume work and regular activities a week thereafter, or sooner depending on your personal recovery time.

Will my fibroids or symptoms come back after having a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

After a UFE procedure, bloody supply to the fibroid is cut-off, which results in the fibroid shrinking and dying. Once the fibroid is treated it does not return, and the previous symptoms such as heavy bleeding, pressure on the bladder or back are remedied.

Will I still get my period after having a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

Yes, 90% of women do notice a difference with their period flow during the first menstrual cycle following a UFE procedure. Your heavy bleeding is resolved and you should have a regular menstrual cycle. The remaining 10% should see a return to their regular period within two or three menstruation cycles.

Will my insurance cover a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

Most insurances cover UFE procedures. Please check with your insurance provider to determine if they do so, or call our office for guidance.

How can fibroids affect sexual intercourse?

Women suffering from fibroids may experience a loss of libido resulting from severe pelvic pain during intercourse, a frequency to urinate, heavy bleeding and abdominal bloating.

Is it always necessary to treat fibroids?

If you are not experiencing any adverse symptoms from your fibroids, such as pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, a swollen abdomen, your OB/GYN may advise you to be watchful and vigilant. However, if you are within the 10-20% of women who are suffering from severe symptoms, you should evaluate your treatment options, including UFE.

Will my fibroids still be a problem after menopause?

Every woman’s body is different, however, in most women menopause will not cause fibroids to shrink and they continue to experience painful symptoms such as abdominal bloating, pelvic pressure and urinary urgency.

Can I still get pregnant after having a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

There have not been enough studies to show the exact percentage or direct correlation of UFE procedures and their affect on fertility. The results are varied and depend on the age of the woman, the extent of fibroids that were treated, and whether the woman is of an advanced age and closer to menopause.

What Is Adenomyosis? Can Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) treat it?

Adenomyosis is a condition where the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (myometrium) causing severe menstrual cramps, bloating and heavy periods. Through a UFE procedure, the vessel that provides blood to the adenomyosis is blocked, which cuts off its bloody supply and shrinks it.

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