Fibroid Basics

WHAT IS A UTERINE FIBROID?
  • Benign tumor of uterine smooth muscle
  • Fibroids are not pre-cancerous
  • Also referred to as myomas or leiomyomas

HOW COMMON ARE UTERINE FIBROIDS?

  • Estimated that 25 to 50% of women eventually develop fibroids
  • Fibroids most frequent ages 30s and 40s
  • Most common tumor of the pelvis in females
  • 10% to 30% of women with fibroids are symptomatic

WHAT CAUSES FIBROIDS?

  • Exact cause currently unknown
  • Fibroid development and growth is linked to estrogen and progesterone
  • Evidence that progesterone may stimulate fibroid growth
  • Genetic predisposition is probable

WHAT SYMPTOMS OCCUR WITH UTERINE FIBROIDS?

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding, sometimes with passage of blood clots. Anemia can occur if bleeding is severe
  • Pain, pressure or feeling of fullness in the pelvis, abdomen or lower back
  • Frequent urination or constipation
  • Pain during or bleeding after intercourse
  • Infertility or miscarriage
  • Distended abdomen

HOW FIBROIDS ARE DIAGNOSED?

  • Clinical history and physical exam
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Laparoscopy or hysteroscopy

HOW DID UTERINE FIBROID EMBOLIZATION (UFE) EVOLVE?

  • Embolization of uterine arteries for severe post-partum or post-traumatic hemorrhage performed for over 20 years
  • Jacques Ravina, French Gynecologist, in 1990 performed UFE two weeks prior to myomectomy in order to decrease blood loss
  • Women cancelled myomectomy procedure because they noticed bleeding, pain and bulk symptoms improved after Uterine Fibroid Embolization
  • This discovery has lead to a promising new alternative treatment-UTERINE FIBROID EMBOLIZATION!

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