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Uterine Fibroids

Posted by @tnabors in Women's Health, Jul 28, 2011

I have severe pain (like labor pains) every month during my period. I also suffer from heavy bleeding. I have fibroids. I would like to know if any of you ladies have suffered from the same thing, and how did you cope with it. I am seriously thinking about having the Uterine Artery Embolization. Has anyone out there had this procedure, and if so, did it you feel better...are your periods now "pain free??"

Tags: Uterine Fibroids

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Posted by @hdowns, Oct 9, 2011

I'm 52 years old (peri-menopausal) and have had very heavy and painful periods for a few years now. 500mg of Naproxen were my only relief, but it only worked if I took that at the initial onset of the cramps.

The ultrasound and MRI showed four sizeable fibroid tumors and a few smaller ones with the largest one invading up to 1/2 the area of my bladder, compressing it and causing even more issues. I had constant pressure in my abdominal area and visible bloating from the tumors (my stomach was actually lop-sided).

I just had Uterine Fibroid Embolization 4 days ago and so far, I'm very pleased with my recovery! I was put into a twilight state and I don't remember much about the procedure at all, which took about 1 1/2 hours.

The only thing I regret is choosing to go home that same day. Even though I had someone staying with me 24/7 for the first 2 days, I should have stayed overnight following the procedure which would have allowed pain management to be administered intravenously. Instead, once I got home, any time I took my meds orally, I vomitted within 15 - 20 minutes so I basically had zero relief from the pain for the first 8 hours.

Once I got the meds to stay down, everything changed and my recovery has been very easy! I am now taking minimal pain meds and feel great with only occasional and minor cramping. I'll stay down to rest another day and only because I work from home, I'll get back to work tomorrow but will take it easy for the first 3-4 days.

This appears to be an excellent alternative to a hysterectomy which requires a 6-8 week recovery and is much more painful. The doctor is very optomistic with how well the procedure went and I'm confident I'll get a lot of relief from this procedure. I'll repost in a few months with my progress.


Posted by @mindy62, Mar 22, 2012

Hi. Thanks for sharing. I am considering endometrial ablation to deal with uterine fibroids and heavy, painful periods. I did some research and discovered that there are several different types of this procedure (filling the uterus with hot fluid to destroy lining, using a device that freezes and destroys the lining and also some kind of radio freqency approach). Do you recall which type your doctor used? I'm trying to get a sense of what to expect. I would like to avoid hormonal treatment because it does terrible things to my mood, distrupts my sleeping and makes me gain weight. Thanks for any help you can give me.


Posted by @tnabors, Mar 22, 2012

I have suffered from heavy bleeding since the day I started having my period. About 5 years ago, the periods became so painful that I had to plan around my cycle (ugh)! All of a sudden, I found myself calling in sick to work on the first two days of my cycle. I would be in bed both days in total pain. I describe the pains as being equivalent to that of "labor pains" (if not worse).

In January of 2009, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I had surgery, and there was absolutely no a matter of fact, it seems that my pains got worse. It was a couple of years later that I began to do research and found out about a procedure called UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization)...the best thing I could have ever stumbled upon. This is where they enter through an artery in the groin, and inject particles into the arteries that is supplying blood flow to the fibroids.

These particles are injected to block the blood flow to those arteries, and overtime will cause the fibroid tumors to shrink and possibly die all together. I was praying that I wouldn't be going through that procedure in vein, AND I DIDN'T!! The surgery was a success, and I am so glad that I did it!

One should make sure that you do not want children prior to considering having this procedure since there is a 50/50 chance of you becoming pregnant aferwards. My surgeon told me that he has had patients that have become pregnant after the procedure, but there is certainly NO GUARANTEE! I have a 9 year old son, so I am fine with that. If God sees fit for me to have another child, he'll make provisions, if not...well, that's okay too. I'll be 41 this year...

Again, this is one of the best decisions that I've made in life. Now my periods are sooooo light (and short), that I often forget that I'm having one. I have no pain at all's a wonderful life! And by the way, it was noticeable by my very first period after the procedure!

I did have to stay overnight in the hospital...believe me, you will want to do that! The cramping the first 3 days after the procedure is awful...they seem to never go away, but it was well worth it. I'd do it all over again if I had to! I was back to work after a week.

I would reccomend this procedure to anyone who is dealing with uterine fibroids that include heavy bleeding, and unbearable pain. There really is relief for us ladies! Don't continue to suffer in pain...DO IT!!!!

I've also noticed that my stomach is not as large as it used to be. I've gone from a size 14 to a size 12.

Make sure that you do your own research and make your OWN decision about this procedure, because with any procedure there are risks. I had an hour long consultation with the surgeon about a month prior to having the procedure, and after my research and consulting with him, I knew this was the right thing for me to do as I did not want to have a hysterectomy (didn't want to deal with the recovery time, nor the possibility of early onset of MENOPAUSE).

I hope this helped!...


Posted by @mindy62, Mar 30, 2012

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm at a slightly different point in my life -- 50, so the pregnancy issue is not one for me at all. I see my dr. again soon and will discuss with him the possible actions. I really can't imagine having this problem throughout your life -- mine just started a couple of years ago. I'm glad you were able to resolve the problem.


Posted by @josiek, Apr 3, 2012

I'm also 52 years old suffering with fibroids. I'm currently taking a birth control pill so I can reduce the number of periods from monthly to about every 2 1/2 months. I still have heavy, heavy periods, cramping, and end up mildly anemic afterwards. I have had MRI's, ultrasounds, hysterscopes and a D&C over the past 5 years. I have 3 fibroids, 3-6 cm. in size, 2 located within my uterus. I do not want to have a hysterectomy. My doctor referred me to another specialist and they recommended to take LUPRON to shrink the fibroids and then have surgery to try to remove them. Has anyone taken Lupron, or similiar drugs to shrink your fibroids before surgery? Personal stories of taking this drug on the interenet, sound terrible! Has anyone had the Focused Ultrasound Surgery to dissolve fibroids, what was it like? Did your health insurance cover the procedure? Thank you for any input!

Posted by Anonymous-e412b3ab, Mar 21, 2013

Thanks everyone your comments have been really helpful. I was recently diagnosed with fibroids and while the pain is not yet unbearable, my uterus is enlarged and I have begun to have spotting. I have been curious about the emobolization procedure and I will ask my doctor to tell me more about the surgery.

Posted by Anonymous-3f3b8acb, May 18, 2013

just diagnosed at 45 and it is horrible

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