With Severe Uterine Fibroid Pain Under Control, Tara Focused on the Finish Line

Tara R. of Philadelphia was a sprinter as a teenager. As she hit her 40s, she proved she had more races in her and completed her first half-marathon. She was getting ready to run another half-marathon when everything came to a halt.

“I had excruciating pain in my hips, legs, and back and had to stop training,” said Tara. “Every time I tried to run, I was uncomfortable. It felt like I had broken hips.”

But her problem had nothing to do with her hips, legs, or back.

Tara had uterine fibroids, a common medical issue estimated to affect 20 to 80% of U.S. women under age 50.

“Most fibroids are benign growths, meaning they’re not cancerous,” said Virtua OB/GYN Dipak Delvadia, DO. “However, they can cause heavy bleeding—with menstrual periods lasting seven days or more—and pelvic pain and pressure. Larger fibroids also can cause bloating that can make you feel like you’re 5 months pregnant.”

Dr. Delvadia noted that symptoms could be so bad that they force some women to adjust their work, wardrobe, activities, and life.

Tara’s painful fibroids put a temporary end to her training. Her libido lagged, with fears of bleeding during sex always on her mind. And, she carried extra clothes with her everywhere, in case of embarrassing accidents.

Tara needed the pain, bleeding, and fears to end—she wanted her vibrant, active life back. That’s when Dr. Delvadia introduced her to Sonata—a new, safe and effective uterine fibroid treatment. 

New uterine fibroid treatment offers alternative to surgery

“Sonata uses the combined technologies of ultrasound and radiofrequency energy to locate, target, and destroy one or more fibroids from inside the uterus,” explained Dr. Delvadia. “There are no incisions—the device goes through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. With this approach, the uterus stays intact, helping women avoid surgery, like myomectomy or hysterectomy.”

Tara R. shows off her Philly Half Marathon medal.

Depending on the number and size of the fibroids, most Sonata treatments take 1 to 1 ½ hours to complete. The treatment is performed with the patient under conscious sedation, which blocks pain and helps with relaxation during a medical procedure.

“After the procedure, most women recover quickly and return to normal activities within a day or two,” said Dr. Delvadia. “If needed, discomfort is easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.”

Tara returned to work two days after having the procedure. And the treatment benefits kept coming. “I returned to having more normal, predictable periods. I slept better. My interest in sex came back, and I can enjoy it without the fear of bleeding. And, I dropped a size as the fibroids shrunk,” she recalled.

What’s best—she resumed training within weeks of having the procedure. And she has the medal to show she completed the 2021 Philly Half-Marathon, when just a few months before, she didn’t think it would be possible.

“I want women who have uterine fibroids to know there’s a treatment that can make them feel better so they can enjoy fitness, sex, and life again,” said Tara.

Sonata is a safe and effective treatment option for many women with symptomatic uterine fibroids. Virtua Health is the first health system in New Jersey and the tri-state area to offer it to patients.

Learn more about Sonata treatment at Virtua Health

To see if Sonata fibroid ablation treatment is right for you and learn more about insurance coverage, call 856-325-3760, option 2.

Updated November 3, 2021

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