Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow on or within the lining of the uterus. They can range in size from as small as a grape to as large as a cantaloupe. Approximately 20-40% of women over age 35 have fibroids, and African-American women are at a greater risk for developing them.
Fibroids can result in pelvic pain or discomfort, urinary incontinence, frequent urination and heavy menstrual bleeding. The location and size of uterine fibroids can affect the severity of these symptoms and impact your quality of life. Fibroids are also hormonally sensitive, so the symptoms can be cyclical, just like with menstruation.
If fibroids are not causing pain or other symptoms, a procedure to treat the fibroids may not be necessary. Pain medication and hormone treatment are options to relieve symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain, although medication cannot eliminate fibroids and often has side effects, such as weight gain, vaginal dryness and infertility.
For most women with symptomatic fibroids, a minimally invasive procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) has become a preferred treatment option. This treatment for uterine fibroids is offered by Precision Therapy of Imaging Healthcare Specialists in Southern California. UFE is performed on an outpatient basis at two of our 11 San Diego-area locations, takes less than an hour, and you can return home less than 24 hours after the procedure.