We are always pleased when research on non-invasive MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is published. It helps to make this new treatment more respected among physicians — and thus, potentially more available to you.
What is even more exciting is when an MRgFUS research study is so highly regarded that it wins an award. This was recently the case with a fertility study conducted by Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, a Fibroid Relief Advisory Board member. Dr. Stewart was presented with a Royan International Research Award in the category of Female Infertility and Reproductive Imaging on September 8 in Iran.
More important than the award, however, is what Dr. Stewart and her team learned from the research: that MRgFUS is a promising therapy for women who want to become pregnant after undergoing fibroid treatment. In the study – entitled “Safely Extending Focused Ultrasound Surgery for Uterine Leiomyomas to Women Who Desire Future Pregnancies” – the researchers found that the time to become pregnant following treatment was about the same as that for uterine artery embolization (UAE), a minimally invasive procedure that blocks the blood supply to fibroids. With MRgFUS, delivery rates were higher and cesarean section rates lower than with UAE.
Among the women in the study, 41 percent had a live birth following MRgFUS, and another 20 percent had an ongoing pregnancy beyond 20 weeks at the time of report. Sixty-four percent of the women were able to have a vaginal delivery. Importantly, there were no low birth weight infants and no pattern of complications for the baby or the mother.
The study itself, even without an international honor, represents a win for women. It provides further evidence that there are solid options out there for women with fibroids – especially those who don’t want fibroids to rob them of the possibility of having a child.