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Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus that can cause pain and bleeding. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is an invasive procedure that shrinks or destroys uterine fibroids by blocking the artery that supplies blood to them.

During a UFE procedure, a radiologist places a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into the upper thigh and guides it into the uterine artery that supplies blood to the fibroid(s). A solution of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is then injected into the uterine artery through the catheter. Normal uterine tissue remains unharmed, because it is not supplied by the affected arteries.

Uterine fibroid embolization is a treatment option for women who do not have pregnancy plans. Although it is possible to become pregnant after UFE, it is also possible for UFE to cause early menopause and infertility.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Divya Gupta, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.