Fibroid Embolization Less Effective In Women Under 40

african doctor examining female patient
Young women who have a minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids called embolization are more likely to have a recurrence than older women are, according to a new study report in Reuters Health.

Fibroids are very common, non-cancerous growths that form from muscle cells and other tissue in the wall of the uterus. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of Black women will develop fibroids at some point by age 50.

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In the new study, Italian researchers looked at long-term results from uterine artery embolization, in which tiny particles are injected into blood vessels leading to the uterus, cutting off the fibroids’ blood supply and shrinking them. Researchers found that out of 176 women treated with embolization, the “clinical failure” rate was 18 percent over seven years.

In other words, the fibroids grew back – typically after three years.

Women age 40 or younger were almost six times more likely to see their symptoms come back, versus women who underwent embolization after age 40.