First described in 1995, embolisation (the obstruction of blood flow), is a relatively new technique in the treatment of fibroids. But there have been concerns that this procedure may lead to complications in subsequent pregnancies.
Up until now fertility and pregnancy data has been limited in this area, but in the March edition of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) a study evaluates the outcome of pregnancies after uterine artery embolisation for uterine fibroids.
Although a relatively small study, it nevertheless is one of the largest series reported on pregnancies following embolisation for uterine fibroids.
Of the 79 women who had been actively trying to conceive following uterine artery embolisation, there were 26 pregnancies. Seven ended in miscarriage, there were two terminations, and one ectopic pregnancy.
Of the 16 deliveries, 14 were delivered by caesarean section.
Although there was certainly an increase in delivery by caesarean section, there did not appear to be any other major excess obstetric risk associated with the pregnancies when the demographics of the population in question was considered.
Mr Tyrone Carpenter, lead author says, “Although the numbers in this study are small they provide the obstetrician and patient with some reassurance that there does not appear to be any major excess risk to mother or baby.”
Mr Peter Bowen-Simpkins, RCOG says, “This study underlines the usefulness of a new innovative technique for the treatment of fibroids and the preservation of fertility.”