Why Do Women with Fibroids Crave Ice?

Jan 14, 2023

Pica Is Common in Women With Fibroids

Many women suffering from uterine fibroids have a continuous craving for ice (pagophagia) or other substances having no nutritional value, such as clay, wood/paper, sand, and dirt (geophagia), and starch (amylophagia).  This condition is referred to as pica and can be very disturbing for women and their family members.  Continuous ingestion of these non-nutritious substances can be detrimental to your health.  Although pica can be seen in other conditions, it is commonly seen in women with uterine fibroids causing heavy vaginal bleeding and persistent iron deficient anemia.

Glass with ice cubes on sky blue background

Understanding Fibroids

What are uterine fibroids?  Uterine fibroids are benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus and although noncancerous, can grow to substantial size and cause a variety of issues, most notably pelvic pain, and heavy vaginal bleeding.  They are stimulated by the hormone estrogen, and so they tend to grow and cause problems during women of childbearing years and stabilize or shrink when women reach menopause.  They are the most common benign pelvic tumor in women, with up to 80% African American women and 70% Caucasian women having fibroids during their lifetime.

© Merit Medical, Used With Permission

A Nonsurgical Solution

Fortunately, there is a solution for these problems.  Dr. Williams at MIVA MEDICAL performs a minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatment for women suffering from uterine fibroids called uterine fibroid embolization or UFE, which is a same day outpatient procedure that treats all fibroids in a single treatment session.

DJ Was In Pain For Years Until Her UFE Procedure At MIVA

Why UFE Works

Fibroids persist and grow by stealing blood supply from the uterine arteries of the uterus.  With the UFE procedure, the feeder arteries supplying all fibroids are blocked, starving them of their nutrients.  Without blood supply, the fibroids can no longer grow, and will begin to shrink in size.  Women will usually notice symptom improvement, including a decrease in blood loss by their next menstrual cycle, and will continue to improve in the subsequent months as the fibroids continue to shrink.  As less vaginal bleeding occurs following treatment, the blood counts and iron levels in the body will improve.  Once the underlying anemia has been corrected, patients often have less cravings for non-nutritious substances such as ice and pica may eventually resolve altogether.

© Merit Medical, Used With Permission

Are you a candidate for UFE?

Relief is just a phone call away.  Give us a call at 816-648-MIVA to find out more information and set up a consultation with Dr. Williams to find out if UFE is right for you.  He has extensive experience in performing the UFE procedure and strives to educate women about fibroids and knowing all of their treatment options.

MIVA MEDICAL is an outpatient procedural clinic located in Independence, MO. We emphasize patient comfort and privacy here at MIVA and strive to exceed your expectations.   To take a tour of our facility click here!

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