Uterine Fibroids are a common and treatable women's health issue

Most patients are back to light activity within a couple of days.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A common issue for women is something that is generally not discussed. Some doctors' say 50% of women will get uterine fibroids, and most don't even know they have it.

But if you do and are experiencing symptoms there are treatment options.

Bernadette Wilson never thought she'd be talking about her uterine fibroids on television.

"I felt like oh my goodness should I be doing this it's so personal," she said.

The 53-year-old was experiencing heavy bleeding and had some tests done with her gynecologist.

"That then calls for them to see that the fibroids were really big, they were enlarged," she said.

"Uterine fibroids are benign growths or tumors, not cancerous that grow in the uterus" explained Dr. Sarah Abdulla, an interventional radiologist at Temple Health.

Treatment options can vary.

One is to surgically remove the actual fibroids or get a hysterectomy, which is the complete removal of the uterus.

Wilson chose a different path with uterine fibroid embolization.

"It's a minimally invasive procedure where we take a little catheter through the arteries, navigate them to the artery supplying the uterus and the fibroids and we basically embolize which means cut off the blood supply to the fibroids," said Dr. Abdulla.

Over the following days and weeks, the fibroids lose their blood supply and begin to shrink. And no surgery means less downtime.

"Most patients are back to light activity within a couple of days and back to their regular activities within a week or two," said Dr. Abdulla.

"It turned out to be the best decision I made because now I don't have that problem five years later," said Wilson.

Wilson says she feels great and has had no reoccurrence of the issues.
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