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Fertility Rates Comparable in UFE, Myomectomy

March 24, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Interventional Radiology
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Although fibroid patients usually must receive myomectomies before they can become pregnant, uterine fibroid embolizations could be safe alternatives, and they have the same rate of subsequent fertility.

In radRounds Radiology Network, Joao Martins Pisco, MD, an interventional radiologist from Lisbon, Spain, outlined the findings from his study. “These results are surprising,” he said, “because other studies have favored surgical myomectomy over UFE for women who want to conceive. In this study of 743 women, UFE had a fertility rate of 58.1%, which is comparable to surgical fibroid removal, which has a fertility rate of 57%.” The UFEs also helped in the success of the patients’ pregnancies. Of the 74 women who tried to conceive, 43 did so and within 2 to 22 months. Thirty babies were eventually born, and seven women remained pregnant at the time of the report.

UFEs are more successful than surgery if a patient’s fibroids are large and numerous, while surgical removal is often successful only if a woman has a few, small fibroids. UFEs result in fewer complications and can be done after a failed myomectomy. In some cases, they can be done in lieu even of a potential hysterectomy in combination with a myomectomy.

Because more women are waiting longer to have children, they have increased chances of developing fibroids. Almost 50% of African American women of child bearing age have them, and 20-40% of American women overall, over the age of 35, have them. Many of the patients are asymptomatic and never realise that their condition may be the cause of their inability to get pregnant, once they do decide to try to get pregnant.

“We want women to know that uterine fibroids may be a cause of infertility, that their treatment is mandatory and that UFE may be the only effective treatment for some women,” Dr. Pisco said.

Related seminar: Women’s and Breast Imaging

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