Thanks to Uterine Fibroid Embolization, or UFE, women with fibroids, which is roughly 35% of women within reproductive age, have a much better chance at remaining fertile after treating their fibroids.
In the past, the only way to treat fibroids in women was through surgery, where they would simply go in and remove the tumors physically. Now with UFE, women can eliminate fibroids without having to undergo surgery, dramatically increasing their chances of remaining fertile. Essentially, UFE is a treatment that stops blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to stop growing and eventually die.
The treatment is not ideal, however. Since UFE blocks blood flow, there is a chance that there could be less blood flow to the uterus overall, resulting in decreased chances of getting pregnant. In order to solve this problem, Dr. JM Pisco performed a study examining the results of both traditional and “partial” UFE. During partial UFE, only the small arterial branches of the fibroids are blocked, resulting in more blood flow to the uterus compared to traditional UFE.
After the follow-up from the study, Pisco concluded, “Our findings show that UFE is a fertility-restoring procedure in women with uterine fibroids who wish to conceive, and pregnancy following UFE appears to be safe with low morbidity. Women who had been unable to conceive had normal pregnancies after UFE and similar complication rates as the general population in spite of being in a high-risk group.”