I didn’t really have a lot of symptoms before uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). What I did notice in my early thirties was when I started having cramps once a month, each month of each year, the cramps got worse and worse and worse. I got to the point that I was taking ibuprofen for the pain. Finally, I started taking prescription ibuprofen for the pain; it was just unbearable.

By the time I got into my forties, they had invented Aleve. I started taking Aleve, and that seemed to help, but I was taking like six Aleve a day for two days in a row when the pain (the menstrual cramps pain) was so bad.

I think the first time I understood that I had fibroids was when I was out on a concert tour with a musical artist. I was in my bunk, and I happened to feel a lump in my stomach. I was a little alarmed, but I wasn’t that concerned about it. I thought, well, when I get back home, which was probably going to be a couple months, I was going to have to go to the doctor and find out what that was. It was on the right side, but it wasn’t on the left side, so I knew it didn’t belong there.

I had fibroids. In my particular case they were on a stem. They weren’t really attached to my uterus, but they were outside my uterus. They were going to continue to grow, and that was how I found out I had them.

I noticed my stomach was getting larger. Pretty soon I had a 4-month pregnancy look, which I didn’t find very flattering at all. I noticed they were getting larger and larger, so I thought, okay, I’ve got to do something.

I did notice that I started to get lower back pain, which I had attributed to the fibroids, and I did have heavy, heavy, heavy bleeding. I had no other forms of treatment before UFE. I had no Lupron; I had nothing.

Once I found out about the UFE procedure, it was very easy. The options that were given to me at the time were hysterectomy or have them cut out (myomectomy). I was advised by my doctor that if I had them cut out, they would just grow back again.

When I found out about the UFE procedure, I wanted to find out more. This was something that sounded like an alternative for me.

The decision for me, between a hysterectomy or a myomectomy—a hysterectomy was just out of the question. That was not an option for me. The myomectomy was probably what I would've settled for. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I had decided that was what I would've had when it came to that time. But then when the UFE commercial came on the radio, and I went to the website, it opened up a whole new world, another treatment option that was available to me.

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