The Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids: Finding Relief

The Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids: Finding Relief 645d5224a763d.png

The Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids: Finding Relief

Uterine fibroids are a common type of benign tumor characterized by the overgrowth of connective or smooth muscle tissue in the uterus.

These tumors, which affect women mainly during their reproductive years,  are diagnosed in up to 70% of white women and more than 80% of women of African ancestry during their lifetime.

Though most women with fibroids have fibroids that are asymptomatic, it is estimated that approximately 30% of women with fibroids will experience severe symptoms which may require medication, surgery, or interventional radiology procedures, such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization.

In our last article, we took a look at clinical data on the effect that Uterine Fibroid Embolization can have on relieving the common fibroid symptom of heavy bleeding, also known as menorrhagia.

We learned that according to medical records analyzed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), an estimated 26 million women between 15 and 50 have uterine fibroids. And of those, nearly 15 million women experience associated symptoms or linked health-related problems, such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

Based on the results of several studies and meta-analyses of studies, there is plenty of evidence to support that as many as 92% of women treated with Uterine Fibroid Embolization, experience a decrease in the symptom of heavy bleeding.

In fact, one rather large study found that 86% of patients experienced relief from fibroid-related heavy bleeding merely 3 months after the UFE procedure. While 92% experienced relief from heavy bleeding at 12 months.

This same study, which was published in The Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, also found that the bulk of fibroid symptoms was controlled in 64% of patients at 3 months and 92% at 12 months.

So what are the bulk of fibroid symptoms? And, what does the research say regarding the effect that Uterine Fibroid Embolization has on treating these?

Though not all women with fibroids experience symptoms, for those that do,  the most common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids include:

Menstrual pelvic pain/cramping
– Heavy menstrual bleeding
– Lower back pain
– Fatigue/weariness/anemia
– Constipation/bloating/diarrhea
– Irregular periods
– Passage of clots
– Spotting/bleeding between periods
– Difficulty having a bowel movement
– General abdominal pain
– Non-menstrual pelvic pain/cramping
– Pain during sex
– Pelvic pressure
– Infertility

While of course fibroid symptoms vary from woman to woman, there is evidence to show that some symptoms are more common than others.

One study that looked at the prevalence of fibroid symptoms was published in 2017,  in The International Journal of Women’s Health.

This prestigious medical journal published the results of a cross-sectional survey of 59,411 women aged 18–54 years in the US from August 6, 2012, through September 14, 2012, that have a diagnosis of uterine fibroids.

What they found regarding the distribution of uterine fibroid-related symptoms experienced in these women with uterine fibroids was as follows:

Menstrual pelvic pain/cramping:
2,277, which is 74.9%

Heavy menstrual bleeding:
2,147 which is 73.4%

Lower back pain:
2,090 which is 68.4%

2,069 which is 68.3%

1,859 which is 63.3%

Irregular periods:
1,698 which is 57.8%

Passage of clots:
1,690 which is 56.9%

Spotting/bleeding between periods:
1,342 which is 45.0

Difficulty having a bowel movement:
1,140 which is 38.9%

General abdominal pain:
1,019 which is 35.0%

Non-menstrual pelvic pain/cramping:
984 which is 33.2%

Pain during sex:
851 which is 29.3%

Pelvic pressure:
654 which is 22.4%

384 which is 12.0%

We already know based on the research results published in our previous article, that UFE is very effective in treating the symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding. But how well does it help in the relief of these other symptoms?

Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at the effect that Uterine Fibroid Embolization can have on reliving some of these troublesome symptoms of uterine fibroids.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization, or to find out if this procedure could benefit you, please give us a call and set up your consultation today.

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