Procedure may help urinary tract symptoms

March 31, 2011 at 11:19 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- Uterine fibroid embolization -- radiology treatment for non-cancerous fibroids of the uterus -- improves women's urinary tract symptoms, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. James B. Spies of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington says uterine fibroids are benign tumors in the uterus that can cause prolonged, heavy menstrual bleeding severe enough to cause anemia, disabling pelvic pain, urinary frequency, pain during sexual intercourse, miscarriage and interference with fertility.

Twenty percent to 40 percent of women age 35 and older have uterine fibroids of a significant size, but 50 percent of African-American women have fibroids of a significant size.

"Uterine fibroid embolization continues to be an outstanding treatment choice for women with uterine fibroids, and -- based on this study -- this non-surgical treatment improves related urinary tract problems," Spies says in a statement.

"Fibroids can cause a variety of unpleasant, life-disrupting urinary symptoms for women, such as bladder frequency, urgency and the need to urinate during the night -- and uterine fibroid embolization can significantly improve these symptoms and daily life for women."

The findings were presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th annual scientific meeting in Chicago.

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