More than a third of women of childbearing age are thought to have uterine fibroids. These non-cancerous tumours in the uterus can potentially be as small as a pea or as large as a grapefruit — but uterine artery embolisation is a proven effective way to remove fibroids.

You might have been diagnosed with fibroids if you have experienced symptoms of such — like prolonged periods or painful sexual intercourse. Nonetheless, it is not always easy for women with fibroids to discern when they would actually need to be removed.

When Would Fibroids Be a Problem?

Many fibroids can go unnoticed simply because they do not produce any obvious symptoms and so do not hinder the woman’s day-to-day life. Fibroids are often discovered incidentally, e.g. as a result of examination or medical imaging.

On account of their size and awkward location in the womb, some fibroids can cause major problems — like heavy bleeding, unexpectedly intense period pain and increased frequency of urination. Fibroids can even have adverse implications for fertility.

What Does Fibroid Embolisation Involve?

In order to have fibroids removed, a woman may opt for surgery. One option here — hysterectomy — would remove the uterus and would not be ideal for a woman who hopes to become pregnant later down the line.

An alternative type of fibroid removal surgery — myomectomy — would preserve the uterus but, in comparison to fibroid embolisation, bring a higher rate of side effects.

As fibroid embolisation is also minimally invasive, it can be undertaken more quickly than surgery — and allows the patient to return to their usual activities within days.

The treatment is otherwise known as uterine artery ablation, as it involves inserting a fine catheter into the uterine artery so that small particles can be sent into the bloodstream and block the supply of blood to the fibroids. These fibroids will consequently shrink over time.

Does Fibroid Embolisation Have a High Success Rate?

Yes. This treatment’s history can be traced back to the 1990s, and more than 90% of women who receive fibroid embolisation get the result they sought.

Ask our healthcare experts for advice on whether uterine artery embolisation would be right for you. If you live in the Waikato, Northland or Bay of Plenty area, you could get through to our team by calling 0800 119 666 or emailing [email protected].