Very few women look forward to ‘that time of the month,’ but you also shouldn’t dread it. Unfortunately, many women who suffer from uterine fibroids experience painful periods. One of the most common reasons, a hysterectomy is considered is because of the extreme discomfort fibroids can cause some women. However, there are permanent consequences to hysterectomies, primarily the inability to have biological children, that many young women are not ready to accept. If you suffer from severe menstrual cramps, but still want to keep the door open to giving birth, the Vein & Fibroid Treatment Center offers alternative treatment options for uterine fibroids. We can discuss options such as referring you to your gynecologist for a myomectomy versus Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) also known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) procedure. We would review your pelvis MRI and we could help collaborate with your doctors on which treatment would be safest and most effective to get the best results.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. Fibroids range in size from seedlings, undetectable by the human eye, to bulky masses that can distort and enlarge the uterus. Often times, fibroids are discovered during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound, this is because they often cause no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding, painful menstrual periods, pressure and pain in the abdomen and lower back, bloated and swollen abdomen, frequent urination, constipation, and/or pain during intercourse.
An extremely common symptom caused by fibroids is prolonged and heavy bleeding during menstruation. This is caused by fibroid growth bordering the uterine cavity. Heavy bleeding and clots can cause severe cramping and pain during periods. Sometimes this pain extends into the abdomen and lower back areas as well. If you experience these symptoms you should consult a doctor.
Uterine Fibroids & Hysterectomy
Uterine fibroids are the most common reason why women consider a hysterectomy. An elective hysterectomy can relieve pain, discomfort, or heavy bleeding. A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove your uterus and since this is where a baby grows, many women (especially between the ages of 25 and 50) would like to avoid the extreme consequences of hysterectomies. In addition to the physical side effects of a hysterectomy, which can include pain, swelling, burning, itching, numbness, hot flashes, insomnia, and night sweats, women should consider the potential emotional side effects. Many women report experiencing a sense of loss after a hysterectomy. For some, pregnancy and menstruation are crucial aspects of femininity. Losing the capacity for both in a single procedure can be a lot to process for some women. Even if you’re thrilled by the idea of no longer having painful menstrual cycles, conflicting feelings can come up after the procedure.
Alternatives to Hysterectomies
As an alternative to hysterectomies, patients may also get less invasive surgery such as myomectomy where the fibroids are surgically removed. At the Vein & Fibroid Treatment Center, we offer a minimally invasive procedure called uterine artery embolization where we make a small pinhole in the artery either in the groin/hip or the wrist. Using x-ray guidance, a catheter is placed in the uterine artery that is providing blood supply to the fibroids. Once the placement is confirmed with x-ray, we inject tiny particles which cut off blood supply to the fibroids. This causes the fibroids to shrink and no longer be viable. This is typically an out-patient procedure in which patients feel a resolution of their symptoms within a few weeks or months. Though uterine artery embolization has been performed for over 20 years, it is not an option many women or physicians know about. Contact us here for a consultation to see if this is the right procedure for you.
For Uterine Fibroid Treatment Information and FAQ’s click HERE
Dr. Omar Saleh, welcomes women who suffer from uterine fibroids from all over Southern California. With two main office locations in Corona and Colton, Dr. Saleh is able to provide consultations either in-person or through telehealth.
His main office in Corona is located next to two major cities Eastvale and Norco. It is not far from Upland or Rancho Cucamonga with many satisfied patients who travel from all over the Inland Empire, Riverside, Temecula, San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles as well. Every woman deserves the best in care and Dr. Saleh is determined to do just that.