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Interventional Radiology’s Role in Reproductive Health

Interventional Radiology (IR) is a relatively young invention of modern medicine that should receive much more attention for what it can accomplish.

It’s an appealing choice for many patients because treatments are minimally invasive and focus on patient care. Treatments can range from prostate health to even Covid-19 patients today.

IR continues to offer patients a better alternative to open surgery as it comes with fewer risks and beneficial outcomes. Naturally, IR is an excellent option when it comes to reproductive health in both men and women. Surgical treatments carry their own inherent risks, which is where IR may seem like a better option. Lower risk, lesser downtimes and next to no scarring! Let’s take a look at what IR has to offer you.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus and often appear in women of childbearing years from ages 16-49.  If left untreated, they can lead to:

  • ·pelvic pain
  • ·anaemia
  • infertility

Traditional methods of treatinguterine fibroidsalmost always carry the risk of sterility. This can be incredibly disheartening for young women. Getting a hysterectomy is the most effective way of preventing fibroids from coming back. However, it usually involves removing the womb. It also reduces your chances of a future pregnancy and can cause early menopause and a loss of sex drive. Interventional Radiology is quite the contrast as it offers an alternative: uterine fibroid embolisation.

What is Uterine Fibroid Embolisation?

Firstly, it’s considered to be the more ideal option for patients. Why? It comes with shorter downtimes; no scarring and it preserves the uterus. It also does not take away your chance of reproducing in the future and has a lower risk of complications. 


IR also offers a solution to those suffering from adenomyosis which is a condition where cells grow within the walls of the uterus. Adenomyosis can cause:

  • severe menstrual cramps
  • bloating
  • heavy bleeding leading to anaemia

Traditional treatments for it include endometrial ablation or hysterectomy. These procedures are often performed on women who are certain about not having children in the future. The minimally invasive alternative to those treatments is Uterine Artery Embolisation. It prevents the need for more severe procedures, allowing you the chance for pregnancy in the future.

Varicocele for Men’s Reproductive Treatment

Male reproductive health is not discussed nearly enough despite making up about half the infertility cases around the globe. One of the main causes of male infertility is varicocele. It’s a common condition among young men and generally does not require treatment. It appears as a mass of swollen veins in the scrotum due to backflow of blood within the veins.

Varicocele treatment is only sought out when patients experience severe symptoms like pain and infertility. It is typically treated with varicocele surgery which brings along with it a long recovery period and a high risk of recurrence.

Alternatively, patients can choose to undergo varicocele embolisation if they are a good candidate for the treatment. It’s a minimally invasive solution that is just as effective at improving fertility. It also comes with shorter downtime and no long term scarring.

Regardless of what you’re going through, it’s time to take charge of your reproductive health and do what’s best for you and your long-term wellbeing.

Book a consultation with Dr Quigley