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Pregnancy Complications Likely After Fibroid Treatment

Uterine artery embolization associated with pregnancy risks, including preterm and Caesarean birth

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have undergone uterine artery embolization to treat fibroids have a significantly higher risk of delivery by Caesarean section as well as an increase in preterm delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, miscarriage and lower pregnancy rates compared to the general obstetric population, according to study findings published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Woodruff J. Walker, F.R.C.R., and a colleague at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, U.K., conducted a study of 56 completed pregnancies from a cohort of 1,200 women who had undergone uterine artery embolization.

While 33 (58.9 percent) of the pregnancies were successful, six of them (18.2 percent) were premature and 24 (72.7 percent) were delivered by C-section. There were 13 elective Caesareans and nine were due to fibroids. In six cases (18.2 percent) there was postpartum hemorrhage. In all there were 17 (30.4 percent) miscarriages, three terminations, two stillbirths and one ectopic pregnancy.

"We believe that our results have influenced the way in which patients with fibroids wanting to become pregnant should be counseled. For those patients with large and/or multiple submucous or interstitial fibroids where resection would be difficult and likely to recur and in those with failed previous fibroid surgery, uterine artery embolization should be considered as an option for treatment with advice that a successful pregnancy outcome is possible," the authors conclude.

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