London, Oct 18 (ANI): Doctors in the UK have warned that a treatment for heavy periods caused by fibroids can seriously harm a subsequent pregnancy.
Fibroids are small, benign lumps of smooth muscle in the womb.
Sometimes, because of their number, size and location, they cause heavy period pain or difficulty in getting pregnant and treatment is needed.
Doctors at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital looked at the outcomes of 215 pregnancies after uterine artery embolisation (UAE) treatment.
They pulled together the data from five small studies carried out in the UK, Czech Republic and Canada.
The doctors found that the risk of miscarriage following UAE was 35 percent compared with a rate in untreated women of 10 to 15 percent.
The incidence of caesarean sections was much higher at 67 percent compared with a normal rate of 20 to 25 percent.
And bleeding after delivery was more than twice as common at 14 percent compared with 5 percent.
The babies tended to be smaller and they were more likely to present in an awkward position.
UAE has been available as a treatment in the UK since 1995.
The doctors in study say as many as 40 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids.
Study's lead author Ertan Saridogan said that although a large number of women had already undergone the procedure, there had been relatively little study of its long-term effects.
"We do not offer it as a first-time treatment, but, for some women, surgery and other treatments do not work. We want to increase awareness of the pitfalls of this widespread procedure," the BBC quoted him as saying.
"I hope this will inform women before they make their decisions, so they can make an informed choice - they've been going at it blindly without realising what it might imply for their future pregnancies," he added.
The study appears in the journal, The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. (ANI)