My name is Sharon, and I was 46 when I had my UFE procedure. My lifestyle prior to the fibroid treatment was very complicated. I was in pain a lot. I was unsure often. There were periods of time when my cycle would start, I didn’t know if it was my cycle or if the fibroids themselves were having their own cycle. I never wanted to go and do certain activities. No pool, no jacuzzi. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I was concerned about the clothing I wore because I needed to mask the bloating. It was really just not a fun life. The symptoms were horrible, but the clotting was the worst for me as well as the uncertainty the continual bleeding. It was just overwhelming.
There were other treatments offered to me. At one time, I almost got to the point of having a procedure. The OB-GYN physician that I saw suggested Lupron and a myomectomy. They suggested several things. The one thing they did give me was birth control pills to try to stop the bleeding.
The pills did work for a little while, but very little. When I saw the pills were not working, it came time to do something. I knew the Lupron would be the reason for the myomectomy. But I knew a myomectomy wasn’t for me. I had a family member who had one, and the fibroids they didn’t remove grew. So I thought, “Okay, that’s not the right treatment.”
The care I received prior to my UFE was fabulous. I just felt right at home. They showed me slides on a laptop; they explained things to me that I’d already seen and some things that my OB-GYN had shared with me. I had my initial interview knowing that I was going to have the procedure and that it was the right thing for me.
The follow-up care that I received was fabulous. About three days after the procedure, the bleeding stopped. My body got into position, and I’ve not had one problem since then. Not one.
The difference in my life now, after the UFE procedure as opposed to prior to the UFE procedure, is like night and day. I feel confident now. I wear pretty much anything that I think my body type can tolerate. I’m willing to go places and do things. I’m not uncomfortable when we have guests. I’m happy. I feel healthy. It’s just a night and day difference, and my husband is very happy.
I think I made a believer out of my gynecologist. When I learned about the UFE procedure, which was prior to him, and I asked him about it, he didn’t have good things to say. He called it “experimental,” and he said quite a few things that were discouraging.
My husband then saw it on a television program that was giving options for different gynecological problems, and he mentioned it. When I went back to my gynecologist, at that point it had been at least a year, he was totally in favor of it. As a matter of fact, he gave me the information and told me exactly who to contact. I think seeing my suffering and realizing that a hysterectomy was not the answer for every woman made a believer out of him.
I’m a business owner, so it was important that I get back on my feet as soon as possible. I had my procedure on a Thursday, and I was sending out emails on Monday of the next week.
In seeking the best treatment for me, the hysterectomy procedure as well as the myomectomy procedure were explained to me as well as offered to me. It was clear to me that neither was the treatment for me.
After UFE, I’ve not had to have anything else done. I’ve had a follow up, X-rays, and MRIs—things that would actually show any trace of fibroid that would be left. I’ve not had to have any care or any treatment. I go in like any normal woman; I get my pap smears, and I leave with my receipt in my hand.
I was really surprised at my body and how it responded. I really was expecting more intensity, but there was none. I didn’t really have pain. I had a little bit of cramping like you would if you were having a normal monthly period but not as severe.
I can’t imagine why anyone would choose a hysterectomy unless it’s medically unsound for you to have a UFE procedure. People tell me, “Well, if you have a hysterectomy, you won’t have a menstrual cycle anymore.” That is a very, very high price to pay just to get rid of a menstrual cycle. It involves so many other things. You came here with your uterus. It has a function in your body other than menses and carrying a fetus. It holds things in place, so why not leave here with what you came with? Give ‘em your tonsils, don’t give ‘em your uterus!