Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus that can
cause pain and bleeding. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is an invasive
procedure that shrinks or destroys uterine fibroids by blocking the artery that
supplies blood to them.
During a UFE procedure, a radiologist places a thin, flexible tube
called a catheter into the upper thigh and guides it into the uterine artery
that supplies blood to the fibroid(s). A solution of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is
then injected into the uterine artery through the catheter. Normal uterine
tissue remains unharmed, because it is not supplied by the affected
Uterine fibroid embolization is a treatment option for women who do
not have pregnancy plans. Although it is possible to become pregnant after UFE,
it is also possible for UFE to cause early menopause and infertility.