What Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization Darin L. Weyhrich OB/GYN in Boise, Idaho

Uterine fibroids are growths in the walls of the uterus. Although these growths tend to be benign—not cancerous—they may cause some annoying symptoms, such as pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, or problems getting pregnant.

When fibroids lead to symptoms, they may require treatment. A common form of fibroid treatment is a procedure known as uterine fibroid embolization.

Darin L. Weyhrich, a board-certified OB/GYN in Boise, Idaho, would like to share information with you about this this procedure.

When symptoms strike

Although fibroids can occur at any age, they most often develop in women between the ages of 30 and 40.

Uterine fibroids often cause no symptoms. In fact, a woman can have uterine fibroids and never know it. However, in some women, uterine fibroids, which are also referred to as myomas or leiomyomas, can lead to one or more of the following symptoms:

Sometimes, health care providers discover fibroids during a routine pelvic exam, or they look for them when symptoms suggest their presence. You may have one fibroid or several. If Dr. Weyhrich suspects fibroids, he orders imaging tests to learn more.

Treatment options

Fibroids usually require treatment only if they cause symptoms. If you’re postmenopausal, your fibroids may shrink on their own.

Treating uterine fibroids can help reduce or eliminate symptoms. In some cases, Dr. Weyhrich can prescribe hormonal medications that slow or stop the growth of fibroids. If pain is your only symptom, over-the-counter pain medications may offer enough relief.

Sometimes, fibroids require surgical removal.

Another treatment option, uterine fibroid embolization, offers patients a nonsurgical, non-hormonal treatment for fibroids. This minimally invasive procedure requires only a tiny incision and can be performed on an outpatient basis.

What to expect

Uterine fibroid embolization requires no anesthesia, although you do receive a medication that relaxes you.

During your procedure, Dr. Weyhrich makes a small incision in the skin of your groin and passes a thin tube, called a catheter, into an artery. He then guides the catheter to your uterus.

Once he has positioned the catheter correctly, Dr. Weyhrich injects tiny particles known as embolic agents into the blood vessels that lead to your uterus. These tiny particles stop blood flow to the fibroid, which causes it to shrink and wither away.

Studies show that uterine fibroid embolization is at least 85% effective in reducing bleeding and alleviating pain.

Learn more about uterine fibroid treatment

If uterine fibroid symptoms are causing you discomfort or interfering with your fertility, schedule an appointment with Dr. Weyhrich. He can determine whether you have fibroids and work with you to decide whether you would benefit from treatment with medication, uterine fibroid embolization, or another procedure. Call the office, or make an appointment using our online scheduling tool.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a UTI

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common. While you may be tempted to ignore it and hope it goes away on its own, that could have serious consequences. Here’s why you should never ignore a UTI.

Managing Incontinence Over the Holidays

Living with incontinence can be a hassle under normal circumstances, but it can become a real challenge during certain times, such as the holidays. Learn how to manage incontinence if you’re traveling or spending long hours away from home.

5 Tips for Preventing UTIs

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, can be annoying and painful. If left untreated, they can even spread to your kidneys and become more serious. Read on to learn how you can help prevent UTIs.