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Summary of Treatment Options

The following treatments are available for fibroids:-

 

Until recently hysterectomy (removal of the uterus / womb) has been the main treatment for fibroids. Women wishing to have children may be offered myomectomy (surgical removal of the fibroids). From analysis of HES [Hospital Episode Statistics] we know that 60% of hysterectomies are for fibroids.

Hysterectomy is probably one of the most feared and dreaded female surgical operations. This fact is often not appreciated by GPs or gynaecologists and some women feel that there is little sympathy for their wishes.

Women's concerns about hysterectomy stem from the fact that it is a very major invasive operation requiring a long convalescence and months of home nursing. Many women feel it robs them of their femininity. There are many long-term side effects for some - incontinence, early menopause and sexual dysfunction. Myomectomy maintains fertility, but is similarly invasive and will almost certainly eventually lead to hysterectomy, due to fibroid regrowth and adhesions.

There are also health inequalities between the treatment of men and women, as men only normally have reproductive organs removed if they are cancerous.

Now a non-surgical treatment is available - uterine artery embolisation, which maintains fertility, is much safer, has a much quicker recovery and fewer side effects and is a lot less expensive to women, their families, their employers and the NHS.