Patient Stories

Elizabeth’s Patient Story

Fibroids Compromising My Life and Work

Over the course of several months my cycle started getting longer and longer.  It felt like I was bleeding all of the time.  My energy was low, and my relationships were strained.  As a designer, my job is very physical and I spend a lot of time with clients in their homes.  My bleeding was so severe that I felt very vulnerable and tied to my house.  I did not want to be embarrassed with clients.

No Good Choices

Finally, my bleeding was so severe that I made an emergency appointment with my ob/gyn.  I was told that I had three fibroids that were causing my symptoms. I was presented with several treatment options, and none were right for me.

I did not want to take hormones that would put my body into early menopause.  Surgery was not a viable option for me – I had no interest in going through the trauma and long recovery.  I was afraid that the granules in the embolism treatment could go to the wrong place and harm my ovaries.

Focused Ultrasound – The Right Option for Me

I left my doctor’s office thinking there was no good option for me – I needed relief, but I also wanted my reproductive system to age naturally.  I was lucky that a friend then told me about focused ultrasound.  It appealed to me because there is no cutting and seemed like a very targeted, nonsurgical and non-hormonal solution.  None of the treatment options were without risks or drawbacks.  Focused ultrasound had the fewest drawbacks for me – and gave me the most hope.

Successful Treatment

The focused ultrasound treatment required my active participation.  It was not like surgery where I was put under anesthesia and then woke up without a uterus.  The procedure was a bit uncomfortable – but worth it.  I had to lie on my stomach with my belly in cool water for a few hours.  I was in constant communication with the doctor as the heat was applied – telling them if I was feeling any burning or pain.  I was invested in the process and felt empowered to help the procedure be successful.

My recovery went just as the doctor said it would.  It took a couple days to feel myself again.  My period then got incrementally lighter until after a few months I was back to my usual menstrual cycle.  Now I have my freedom and my life back.

Participating in a Clinical Trial

My treatment was part of a clinical trial to study the focused ultrasound equipment.  Research is important for making medical breakthroughs and I feel very strongly that we all should help advance new technologies.  Just because a treatment has been around for a number of years, it is not necessarily the best for everyone.  I encourage women to look into clinical trials as an option.  When you are in a trial, you are not just a patient.  They are very interested in you and your outcome.  I think that anybody who participates in a clinical trial will get a much higher level of care than they might expect otherwise.

Advocating for Treatment

I was lucky to have access to focused ultrasound treatment by participating in a clinical trial.  I understand that a lot of insurance companies do not cover FUS because it is a new therapy.  Women deserve the full range of treatment choices.  If you are not happy with your treatment options, find out if there is a focused ultrasound center near you – and then advocate with your insurance company for coverage.  If you speak up, they will listen!

Vaneicia’s Story – UFE, Myomectomy, and Still Searching

I have been living with fibroids since I was 18 years old. Over the years they’ve just continue to grow and cause other concerns. In 2009 I had a MRI done and the doctor said they found 17 fibroids and possibly more … Continue reading

Elizabeth’s Choice – Focused Ultrasound

Elizabeth’s Patient Story Fibroids Compromising My Life and Work Over the course of several months my cycle started getting longer and longer.  It felt like I was bleeding all of the time.  My energy was low, and my relationships were … Continue reading

Stephanie’s Choice – Focused Ultrasound

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Colin’s Choice – Robotic Myomectomy

My Fibroid History I started with one submucosal fibroid in 2007. I had three hysteroscopic myomectomies, each about nine months apart, in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and a robotic laparoscopic myomectomy in March 2010. I am 32 and wishing to … Continue reading

Titilayo's Choice

I had heavy bleeding, frequent urination, a bulky stomach, and cramping. My bleeding is sometimes so heavy that I can’t go out. I go through 10-15 pads in a day. It is so uncomfortable. I have tried everything you can … Continue reading

Shirley’s Choice – Focused Ultrasound

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Jodi’s Choices – Myomectomy and UFE

I had a myomectomy in 2001 and the fibroids grew back. My doctor recommended Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) because I am 40 years old, am not worried if I cannot have anymore children, and he suggested it would be a good alternative to hysterectomy. Continue reading

Debra's Choice – Focused Ultrasound

Symptoms I’ve had fibroids for the past 10 years that were closely monitored. About three years ago, I realized that my prolonged, heavy, crampy periods were taking over my life. I found it difficult to make social or vacation plans … Continue reading

Frances’ Choice – Focused Ultrasound

It is so important for a woman to have a voice. When I first learned that I had uterine fibroids I kept it to myself. I thought I was the only one, and that was not a cool feeling, so … Continue reading

Wendy's Choice – Focused Ultrasound

This is a true story with a happy ending…A story that may help tens of thousands of women. Women must become aware that there is a fantastic choice other than the barbaric option of hysterectomy…A huge fibroid was shrunk (ablated) … Continue reading