Baby After Fibroid Procedure Possible
Alternative to Hysterectomy Preserves Fertility, Less Complications Than Surgery
While Pron is encouraged by her study results, she says there is still no definitive answer for women faced with a choice between surgery and UFE. "That is the study that needs to be done: a randomized trial comparing fertility after UFE to fertility after myomectomy," she says.
Pron said women in the study were "advised to wait for three or four months after the procedure before attempting to conceive, and this is roughly the same advice given after myomectomy." There were three miscarriages and one therapeutic abortion among the 19 pregnancies. "There have been 14 live births so far and one more is expected next month," she says.
Interestingly, 13 of the 15 women had "a history of prior miscarriage -- one woman had nine prior miscarriages. Twelve of the women had no babies before the procedure," Pron says. That suggests that untreated fibroid disease may "impair fertility." Eighteen of the 19 pregnancies were "achieved without fertility treatments, one was achieved using in vitro fertilization," she says.
Even women who aren't planning families may be interested in UFE because the procedure has fewer complications then surgery and usually gets them out of the hospital and back to work much faster says James Spies, MD, professor of radiology at Georgetown University. He also presented current research at the radiology meeting,
Spies compared UFE to hysterectomy in women who had symptomatic fibroid disease. He says that 102 underwent UFE and 50 women had hysterectomies. Less than 28% of women who had UFE reported complications from the procedure while half of the women who had hysterectomies reported complications. But Spies says that in both groups "the complications were very minor."
He says that women who had UFE were out of the hospital in less than a day, compared to at least two days of hospitalization for women who had surgery. "And the women treated with UFE returned to work in just over 10 days compared to more than a month out of work for women who had hysterectomies," Spies says.
While he didn't look at fertility, Spies says he is not surprised that women can become pregnant after UFE.