Uterine Artery Embolization Side Effects
What to Expect After Your Procedure
Side effects refer to the undesired secondary effects of a medical treatment or procedure. Some side effects of uterine artery embolization are experienced by virtually every patient while other side effects are quite rare and potentially quite severe. In general, uterine artery embolization is a very safe procedure with a very low complication rate, but women who opt into the procedure should still understand the risks and what they can expect during their recovery.
To help you prepare for your uterine artery embolization procedure, our Fibroid Specialists break down the possible side effects, explain why they occur, and also provide context on how common or rare they are.
Uterine Artery Embolization Specialist in Los Angeles
Adrianne S, October 2018
Uterine Artery Embolization Side Effects
Finally, rare side effects of uterine artery embolization include vaginal infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), urinary retention, urinary incontinence, thigh paresthesia, absence of menstruation, uterine artery damage, and uterine artery thrombosis (clotting). These rare side effects are also referred to as complications of uterine artery embolization because they’re unexpected, uncommon problems that can require additional medical treatment to resolve. Complications occur in less than 1% of treated individuals, and this figure is based on data from about 10 years ago when operators were generally less experienced than they are today. 
In most cases, the side effects of uterine artery embolization are inconsequential and tend to resolve on their own within the first 30 days following the procedure.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Absence of Menstruation
Infertility and Pregnancy Complications
We included infertility and pregnancy complications in this list because it shows up on many other credible sources, but this shouldn’t necessarily be taken at face value. The debate over whether or not uterine artery embolization has a negative impact on fertility or pregnancy outcomes is still ongoing, and neither side of the argument has the upper hand from an evidence-based perspective. Check out our recent article on uterine artery embolization and pregnancy to learn more.
When it comes to fibroid treatment, we believe that less is more. A less invasive procedure means less trauma, less risk, and shorter recovery time. Learn more about why we opt for UFE, the least invasive treatment for uterine fibroids.
 Gupta et al. (2014). Uterine artery embolization for symptomatic uterine fibroids (Review). Cochrane Library, (5). http://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005073.pub4.
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 Moss, J. G., Cooper, K. G., Khaund, A., Murray, L. S., Murray, G. D., Wu, O., … Lumsdenf, M. A. (2011). Randomised comparison of uterine artery embolisation (UAE) with surgical treatment in patients with symptomatic uterine fibroids (REST trial): 5-Year results. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 118(8), 936–944. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2011.02952.x
 Manyonda, I. T., Bratby, M., Horst, J. S., Banu, N., Gorti, M., & Belli, A. M. (2012). Uterine artery embolization versus myomectomy: Impact on quality of life – Results of the FUME (Fibroids of the uterus: Myomectomy versus embolization) trial. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology, 35(3), 530–536. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00270-011-0228-5
 Mara, M., Maskova, J., Fucikova, Z., Kuzel, D., Belsan, T., & Sosna, O. (2008). Midterm clinical and first reproductive results of a randomized controlled trial comparing uterine fibroid embolization and myomectomy. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology, 31(1), 73–85. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00270-007-9195-2
 Schirf, B. E., Vogelzang, R. L., & Chrisman, H. B. (2006). Complications of Uterine Fibroid Embolization, 1(212), 143–149. http://doi.org/10.1055/s-2006-941444.