If a friend told you the most common reasons for having a hysterectomy included heavy periods, would you believe it? At least 30% of all hysterectomies in the United States are performed to treat the symptoms of uterine fibroids, a benign condition that causes heavy menstrual bleeding, severe menstrual cramps, and chronic pelvic pain (among other symptoms). A recent study estimates that nearly 1 in 5 women who undergo a hysterectomy for benign conditions like fibroids may not need it. 

If your doctor is recommending a hysterectomy, and you’d like to learn about alternative fibroids treatments, here are some questions to ask to shape the conversation:

  1. What are my surgical options and my non-surgical options, including drug therapy specific to my condition, for treating my fibroids? 
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the fibroid treatments? 
  3. Have all of the necessary diagnostic tests been performed specific to my condition?
  4. If I want to retain my uterus, what alternatives to hysterectomy are available? 
  5. Why do you think that the surgery is my only or best option?
  6. Do you specialize in any particular treatment? If so, how many of those surgeries or procedures have you performed?
  7. What is the risk of my fibroids growing back with each procedure? 
  8. Will my cervix or ovaries be removed? If so, why?
  9. What are the risks associated with surgery?
  10. Will I experience earlier menopause? Can the symptoms of menopause be treated?

If your doctor does not offer you alternative treatments or options to hysterectomy, seek a second opinion. There are a wide range of treatments that preserve the uterus and provide symptom relief, such as UFE. A board-certified specialist can provide you with all your options, including minimally invasive alternatives. Visit VIVA EVE: The Fibroid Experts®, for help finding the treatment path that’s right for you.