A study conducted by doctors and researchers at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome recently found that uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) does not compromise egg reserves in women’s ovaries.
The study, a team effort headed by Dr. Giovanna Tropeano, examined the effects of UFE on 20 women between 33 and 39 years of age who menstruated normally and had undergone UFE for symptomatic fibroids.
The study took measurements of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and oestradiol (E2), both instrumental hormones in ensuring the timely and successful release of eggs during the process of ovulation. The number of antral follicles – pockets of cells containing maturing eggs in the ovaries – and ovarian volume measurements were also recorded.
The team found that that the hormone levels, the numbers of antral follicles, and ovarian volume in UFE patients showed no significant variation when the study group was compared to healthy women without fertility problems who had not undergone the procedure.
Though Dr. Tropeano notes that additional research will be needed before more definitive findings can be presented, her study has given fibroid patients, reproductive health specialists, and developers of UFE technologies a new reason to be excited about this procedure, already considered by many to be a groundbreaking development in fibroid treatment.
UFE is one of several minimally invasive procedures currently being used to treat uterine fibroids, non-cancerous tumors that form in the uterus or uterine wall and can cause women considerable discomfort and pain, as well as compromising their ability to become and stay pregnant. The procedure uses the targeted injection of plastic microspheres into the blood stream to block blood flow to fibroids, which causes them to shrink and die.