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In Brief: Procedure shrinks fibroids in postmenopausal women, too

June 01, 2006

In Brief

Procedure shrinks fibroids in postmenopausal women, too

Uterine fibroids are common noncancerous growths that form within the walls or lining of the uterus or on its outer surface. They're not life-threatening, but they can cause considerable suffering. Large ones in particular can impinge on pelvic organs, resulting in pain, constipation, and frequent urination.

Because their growth is related to estrogen and possibly progesterone, uterine fibroids often regress after menopause. But they continue to cause trouble for many women, some of whom undergo surgery for fibroid removal (myomectomy) or hysterectomy to remove the entire uterus. A study shows that uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a minimally invasive technique, reduces symptoms in postmenopausal women. Until now, UFE has been an accepted first-line therapy only in premenopausal women.

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