Over time, doctors have learned that it is possible for many women to maintain fertility after Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Several studies have documented this occurrence, but there are possible complications, including a potential increased risk of undergoing a Caesarean section during birth. We are aware of a number of UFE patients who have gone on to have successful pregnancies after the procedure.
Many consider myomectomy the standard of care for women who wish to maintain fertility, but in most cases, it is not the best option. It is a complex surgery, and many patients awake from the procedure and learn that a hysterectomy has been performed due to bleeding complications. Many UFE patients are those who have already tried myomectomy, sometimes more than once, with resulting scarring and adhesions, after which their fibroids have regrown. Many times UFE is the only uterus-preserving option left. Additionally, women with a large number of fibroids are not considered good candidates for myomectomy.
The technical success rate for UFE at The Fibroid Center is 100%. Overall success rates with UFE are nearly 90%, only about 10% of patients do not improve after the procedure. Most of the unsuccessful treatments tend to be in women with larger ovarian arteries that contribute blood flow to the fibroid. Although it’s possible to embolize these arteries, that approach is more likely to push patients into early menopause.
We find women over the age of 45 are more likely to proceed to menopause after Uterine Fibroid Embolization. We typically do not treat women who are postmenopausal when fibroid regression is more likely.