Now 45, Kim was diagnosed with fibroids at 40 and says the process to identify and treat her condition was an arduous one.
“I went to about four different gynecologists and all of them said, ‘the only real option … was a hysterectomy, or to just live with it,” she recalled. “They talked about myomectomy, but they said I probably wasn't a candidate because I had multiple fibroids.”
Kim said that because her uterine fibroids caused pain during intercourse, even her love life suffered.
"I got to the point where I couldn't go anywhere because if I didn't know exactly where the bathroom was, it would be a disaster," she said.
Once she learned about uterine fibroid embolization and the difference between it and the major surgical risk of a hysterectomy she was very interested.
After several days of rest following the treatment, Kim felt well enough to have dinner out with her family and was back to work shortly thereafter. Kim experienced some mild cramping during the next phase when the fibroids began to shrink. These subsided after the first month. Kim now experiences what she calls normal period cramping and said, "even that pain is much less than it ever used to be."
Kim is exuberant now saying, “At one month I was totally back to normal … like I never even had fibroids!”
Tanya was 45 when her fibroids were first diagnosed. Now 48, she said she is, “Thankful that my doctor gave me the option … It made me feel empowered, knowledgeable … and I was taking ownership and responsibility for my well-being.”
Before her UFE treatment, Tanya said that her periods were so bad she could barely get out of bed, “Like all my energy was drained,” she said.
During her research, Tanya learned that hysterectomy would be more invasive and would have required her to miss more work.
Tanya said she spoke with women who had had a hysterectomy, and who also didn't know any other options existed.
"I’m so glad I elected to do UFE, and I’m thankful that my OB-GYN didn’t push me to get a hysterectomy," she said. "She encouraged me to look into other forms of treatment."
Tanya said her experience taught her that women need to know the risks of surgery and other treatments and determine which is the best option.
“After doing the research, checking online, talking with my doctors—both of my doctors—this was the best decision for me.”
Women deserve to know all their options, so SIR has developed a helpful checklist for you to download and share with your doctor and your friends and family!
Women suffering from uterine fibroids are not only looking for relief from their symptoms. They have multiple factors to consider.
Whatever the reason, UFE provides women many benefits not found with more invasive treatments. Clinicians need to take these factors into account so that, when possible, patients can avoid surgery.Share your story
When Darice Sanchez was diagnosed by her urogynecologist with a sizable cervical prolapsed fibroid, Sanchez stated that she wanted to avoid hysterectomy if possible. Her religious beliefs prevented her from accepting a blood transfusion. Her doctor collaborated with interventional radiologist Mary Costantino, MD, in private practice in Beaverton, Ore., on the solution.Learn more
What is UFE?
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also known as uterine artery embolization, is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed by an interventional radiologist (IR), a doctor who uses advanced imaging technology to see inside the body without surgery. Watch a video of how UFE is performed.
What is interventional radiology?
Interventional radiology (also known as IR) is the minimally invasive, image-guided treatment of medical conditions that once required open surgery.Learn more
Find a UFE specialist
To treat uterine fibroids, board-certified interventional radiologists can deliver minimally invasive treatments with less risk, less pain and less recovery time than traditional surgery. With SIR's Doctor Finder, the most comprehensive database of interventional radiologists practicing in the United States and internationally, you can search based on expertise (uterine fibroid treatments), geographic location or by state or country. If you already know the name of an IR in your area, you can enter their last name.Search now