Just thought I'd update everyone on my situation since I first posted in Nov. 2005. I switched doctors (urologist) in Feb. 2006, (at the lack of finding answers and getting results with the urologist I was seeing the end of 2005). I went to a new urologist who in turn referred me to a new gynecologist. I'm so happy I switched. After a cystoscopy and some other bladder function test (can’t remember what it was), both doctors conferred that they were more than certain that it was my 8cm fibroid causing my bladder problems. My new gynecologist gave me my options, with one being a UFE (uterine fibroid embolization). I took about a month researching before deciding that that was the route I wanted to take. In March 2006, I underwent the UFE. Recovery was pretty painful the first couple days, pretty severe cramps, but was relieved with pain medication and hot pads on my belly. At 6 months post-op, an MRI showed my fibroid had shrunk to 5.9cm, a 53% shrinkage in volume. A sonogram Jan. 9th, showed the fibroid at 5.0cm. Needless to say, I am quite excited. I have had no bladder problems since the procedure. I go back for one more MRI at the 1 year follow-up in March 2007.
Ever since the procedure, my monthly cycles have been irregular. I’ve had spotting and discharge fairly regularly off and on since, in between cycles. Every month, it is different…with shorter or longer cycles…with different kinds of bleeding, very little to sometime a lot. I can say that the bleeding is much less than it used to be before the UFE…AND…I have NO MORE CRAMPS! Yippee! The Interventional Radiologist did say that I probably would not have cramps anymore or if I did, it would be very little. He was right.
I don’t know if it is because of the procedure or because of my age (I’m 47 now)…or a combination of both that my body seems to been experiencing these pre-menopausal symptoms. Along with the irregular cycles and bleeding, I’ve also had a few hot flashes. The hot flashes where pretty severe for about 3 weeks straight a couple months out from the UFE. But since then, I’ve had maybe one or two hot flashes a week. During those 3 weeks when they were so severe, I was having about 2 hot flashes every hour. I also experienced some emotional instability which is not like me.
I have yet to know “the rest of the story” but feel confident that the UFE was the best choice for me at the time. I’m probably still looking at a possible hysterectomy in 2 to 5 years since a couple months ago the gynecologist diagnosed me with a prolapsed uterus and said that a hysterectomy is probably what I’m looking at down the line. I had started seeing and feeling something hanging out of my vagina, particularly when I coughed. I went the GYN and he said I was seeing part of my cervix. That’s when he told me it was a prolapsed uterus that was causing the cervix to protrude from the vagina.
Anyway, just want to say that I consider my UFE story a success. If anyone has any questions or wants to comment, I welcome any and all.