Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow in the uterus. While many women have fibroids and experience no problems, for others, fibroids can cause a variety of symptoms that affect their quality of life, including their sex life. In this blog post, we will discuss how uterine fibroids can affect one’s sex life, and we will also introduce you to Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), a minimally invasive procedure that can decrease fibroid symptoms and improve one’s sex life.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Despite having uterine fibroids, it is still possible to have a healthy sex life. However, uterine fibroids tend to cause a variety of symptoms that can make having sex uncomfortable. Some of the most common symptoms that can affect your sex life include:
Pain During Intercourse
Pain during sexual intercourse is by far one of the most noticeable symptoms of uterine fibroids. Although all types of fibroids have the potential to cause pain during intercourse, fibroids located near the cervix tend to cause the most pain.
Heavy Bleeding After Intercourse
Another inconvenient symptom of uterine fibroids is bleeding after sex. In some cases, this can take the form of spotting, while in other cases heavy bleeding can occur.
Uterine fibroids can also lead to changes in your libido, or sex drive. Women who have uterine fibroids tend to also have higher amounts of estrogen. High amounts of estrogen can lead to a decreased sex drive.
Additionally, uterine fibroids can also lead to fatigue. Fatigue associated with uterine fibroids is generally due to anemia, or low iron levels in the blood. This occurs as a result of heavy bleeding during periods and after sex.
Depending on the number, size, and location of uterine fibroids, they can apply pressure to the bladder. This can cause frequent urination, as well as the constant urge to urinate can make sex less appealing.
Finally, uterine fibroids can lead to abdominal bloating, which can cause an enlarged abdomen. For some people, this can lead to feelings of unattractiveness. For others, abdominal bloating can be uncomfortable. In both cases, abdominal bloating can make sex less appealing.
UFE Treatment for a Healthy Sex Life
Although symptoms of uterine fibroids can negatively affect your sex life, this does not have to be a permanent problem. Nowadays, there are a variety of treatments for uterine fibroids that can help reduce or eliminate fibroids, as well as their accompanying symptoms.
One especially effective fibroid treatment is known as uterine fibroid embolization, or UFE for short. UFE is a minimally-invasive procedure that shrinks uterine fibroids in order to reduce or eliminate their symptoms. It works by delivering embolic agents to the uterus and fibroids to block the arteries responsible for supplying blood and nutrients to the fibroids. Without a proper blood supply, the fibroids will eventually shrink and become asymptomatic.
During the procedure, a catheter is inserted through the groin and into the uterine artery. A fluoroscope, which is a real-time x-ray, is used to direct the catheter to the arteries that supply the fibroids. Then, embolic agents are deposited through the catheter and into the desired blood vessels to block blood flow to the fibroid. In most cases, this procedure can comfortably be performed using a local anesthetic and moderate to sedation. In some cases, general anesthesia may be used. The entire procedure generally takes about 90 minutes to complete.
There are several benefits to UFE, including:
- Less invasive than other procedures such as laparoscopic surgery or hysterectomy
- No incision needed
- Shorter recovery period
- The majority of women experience significant or complete resolution of symptoms
- Rare for new fibroids to develop or treated fibroids to regrow after UFE
Can I Have Sex After UFE?
One common question we often get from people who are considering UFE is whether they are able to have sex after the procedure. While there is an initial recovery period where we recommend abstaining from sex, you can safely resume your sex life once recovered. While it may take some time for your symptoms to resolve, you should start to notice an improvement in your sex life as the fibroids begin to shrink. In fact, most women notice a significant improvement in their sex life after undergoing UFE.
In this blog post, we have discussed what you need to know about uterine fibroids and sex. We have defined uterine fibroids and discussed how their symptoms can negatively affect one’s sex life. We have also discussed uterine fibroid embolization as a potential treatment option to shrink uterine fibroids and decrease their symptoms. UFE is a great way to reduce fibroid symptoms and improve your sex life. For more information, contact your local fibroid specialist today.