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