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What's the Best Way to Stop Postpartum Bleeding?

Posted on January 08, 2024

Postpartum bleeding occurs if women hemorrhage after delivering a baby. The bleeding must be quickly stopped, or the condition could prove fatal to the mother. Unfortunately, this often leads doctors to perform emergency hysterectomies, immediately thrusting women into menopause. On other occasions, doctors remove fibroids during a cesarean section to prevent post-partum bleeding. While effective, this approach makes any subsequent pregnancies fall into the high risk category. So, what's a better option? Studies reveal that UAE, or Uterine Artery Embolization, provides a better solution.

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Understanding UAE

UAE, also referred to as UFE or uterine fibroid embolization, is an interventional radiology treatment that our Dallas specialists use to treat fibroids. During this procedure, we inject small particles into the uterine arteries, via catheter, in order to block blood flow to the area. For women with fibroids, this causes their uterine growths to shrink. But for women with postpartum bleeding, whether or not they have fibroids, it can stop the hemorrhaging and help you keep your uterus.

Using UAE to Stop Postpartum Bleeding

A study from Emory University’s School of Medicine recently revealed that doctors are 60% more likely to treat postpartum bleeding with a hysterectomy than with UAE. But it shouldn't be that way, since the study author also reveals that "UAE is safer and has an easier recovery than hysterectomy."

Now, finding the optimal treatment for this problem is critical, since about 100,000 American women in experience postpartum bleeding each year. As of now, the most common treatment for the condition is a blood transfusion, followed by a hysterectomy as the next most common treatment option. Here's why that can and should change

Postpartum UAE vs Hysterectomy

As the study revealed, out of 1000 women with postpartum bleeding, 116 received transfusions, 20 underwent hysterectomies, and 13 women received UAE treatment.

Why are these statistics troubling? A hysterectomy causes serious side effects, along with loss of fertility Plus, having a hysterectomy left moms facing long hospital stays and many expenses.

Of even more concern? Treatment choices disproportionately impacted Hispanic women, women living in rural communities, or women on Medicaid patients, since these were the patients most likely to receive a hysterectomy. So, to combat these disparities in healthcare, the study authors recommend adding interventional radiologists to hospitals' maternal medicine teams, leading to a likely reduction in hysterectomies given to stop postpartum bleeding.

Choosing UAE in Dallas

Our Dallas interventional radiologists aren't involved in postpartum care, but we do offer UAE, helping women relieve fibroid symptoms while preserving their uterus. Searching for more information on UAE and fibroid relief? Reach out to our office by clicking here to request an appointment.

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