Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fibroid Field Day

My estrogen is raging....and so am I. I want to start a campaign to STAMP OUT FIBROIDS. What is the deal with them?

I'm 47...on the verge of perimenopause, and not liking it. My estrogen is at an all time high, and my fibroids are having a field day.

I had a doctor appointment yesterday at a local hospital with an UFE expert. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is the process. They cut off the blood supply to fibroids by injecting small synthetic pellets into the arteries that feed the uterus. Yikes! Who comes up with these things?

I went to explore at the suggestion of the new gynecologist I just switched to. Luckily the UFE guy did not try to do a hard sell. I think he could see I was not going to sign readily on the dotted line. He showed me my MRI films, and it was actually quite enlightening. I saw my uterus on a screen, in all it's fibroid glory. I thought I was looking at a road map with huge glaciers blocking the path. Amazing and alarming at the same time!

We discussed the process, which itself didn't sound like a huge big deal. It's not a major surgery, compared to a hysterectomy. But, it's the uncertain aftermath that concerned me the most. The doctor was quite honest....surprisingly...and refreshingly so...and said that my case wasn't going to be easy. I was likely looking at a year of pain/from the healing, fibroid and uterus shrinking, etc.

Since I'm not hugely symptomatic at this point, I'm not rushing into anything. I am slightly anemic (I take a liquid iron supplement) and have bouts of discomfort from them, but I've lived with them since my 20s. I had a myomectomy years ago (surgery to remove the fibroids) in order to make room for a baby, and it left me with scarring around one tube, and thus fertility challenged. The gynecologist never told me at the time that that could happen.

So....all this said....what I wonder is why no one has come up with a better solution for those who suffer from debilitating fibroids? If men got them too, would more funds be devoted to research? There is big money to be made from hysterectomies, which is the course of action most typically recommended. But, the
surgery is nothing to sneeze at. It can lead to immediate menopause, and I'm not 50 yet.

I cross my fingers I can make it until menopause, when the fibroids will start to shrink on their own. Until then, I'll take the supplements (not hormonal) suggested to me by my integrative doctor, and hope for the best.

Do you suffer from fibroids too?

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Blogger L said...

As someone who has had a Uterine Arterial Embolization (aka UFE) for something other than fibroids (post-birth bleeding - it was that or an emergency hyst - at the time, the UAE was experimental for that situation, I was only the 5th person in my state to have it done) I will say do your homework thoroughly.

There are downsides to any procedure that will help the fibroids... but from what I know of fibroids from friends, there comes a point where the downsides of the surgeries are less impactful than the downsides of fibroids themselves.

This site is worth looking at:
as is:

I'm so sorry you are suffering with fibroids... it is amazing to me how such a pervasive issue still has so little focus or medical study.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Gorman Newman said...

I thank you for your thoughtful comments. I hope for the sake of all women that more research will be done in the fibroid treatment arena, but I guess given all the diseases that plague women, there's so much that requires medical attention, unfortunately.

8:22 AM  

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