Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that form within the uterus. While they are not normally dangerous, they can in some cases cause pain, discomfort, and abnormal bleeding. As fibroid growth is predominantly stimulated by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, it is understandable to assume that when hormone levels start to drop (around the onset of menopause) that any problematic fibroids will start to shrink or disappear – but is this really the case?
The Menopausal Dilemma
For many years, doctors would tell patients who were close to menopause and suffering from uterine fibroids to ‘hang in there’ and wait to see what happens. The problem with that theory was that very few patients with fibroids made it to menopause and instead, would undergo a hysterectomy to improve quality of life. So while falling levels of estrogen and progesterone might work in regard to reducing the size of fibroids, the hormonal imbalance a hysterectomy could cause would leave some women with a range of emotional and physical symptoms.
Getting Back To The ‘Wait And See’ Theory
Even when a hysterectomy isn’t necessary, the menopause can be a time of wildly fluctuating hormone levels. While levels of estrogen generally decrease as the process moves through the phases, during the perimenopause (the transitional period immediately before menopause) estrogen levels can see a dramatic upturn. As a result, there can be more estrogen present during this phase of the transition than at any time before. Clearly, this isn’t good for fibroids and may cause them to grow. Moreover, the time taken from perimenopause to menopause varies greatly for each person and as such, it can in some cases, take years to see a significant reduction in fibroid size.
So what is the best solution?
If you are in your 40’s and suffer from uterine fibroids, then, in reality, the best time to act is now. Given what we now know, it’s highly likely that adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach will result in further fibroid growth and worsening symptoms.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization.
An alternative approach is to undergo what is known as a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). It’s effectively a minimally invasive procedure which works by blocking the supply of blood to the fibroid. In doing so it causes the fibroid to shrink and any symptoms to be remedied.
UFE is recognized as an effective non-surgical treatment for fibroids and it provides women with a different approach other than a hysterectomy. It’s been suggested that around 90% of all women who have completed UFE therapy express feeling relief from fibroid symptoms leading to a better and higher quality of life. There are minimal complications (if any) and because it involves a small pinhole incision, patients can return to work or carry on their daily activities within a few days.
If you suffer from uterine fibroids and are seeking a safe, proven non-surgical way to eradicate fibroid problems then talk to us about UFE treatment. We offer free consultations so contact the team at MINT today. To book an appointment call us at 314 255 2204 .