Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths that consist of muscle cells and fibrous tissues that form a mass within the uterus. They usually don’t become cancerous. The good news is that fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) uterine growths and in most cases, do not require treatment. If you are worried about uterine fibroids and pregnancy, you need to be assured that they are often treatable.
One interesting thing is that most women won’t even know they have them. If you do become pregnant, uterine fibroids may present some challenges. If you are among women that experience more pain during pregnancy because of fibroids or have fertility challenges, it is important to attend to them beforehand.
You can grow uterine fibroids inside or outside your uterine walls, or even within the uterine walls themselves. There are generally four types of fibroids: intramural which grow within the uterine wall; submucosal which grow under the lining of the uterine cavity; subserosal which grow on the outer uterine wall and pedunculated, which grow on a stalk either inside or outside of the uterus
While fibroids may cause infertility for some women, other explanations for infertility are more common. If you’re having trouble conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy, your doctor should investigate before attributing the issue to fibroids. But if you’re trying to conceive with fibroids let your doctor know about the size or position of any fibroids you have.
There are women who have fibroids and can get pregnant naturally and treatment may not even be necessary for conception. But in some cases, however, fibroids can impact your fertility. Uterine fibroids are quite common during a woman’s childbearing years and 20-80 percent of women develop them by age 50, while 30 percent of women between 25 and 44 have symptoms of fibroids.
You may experience no effects from fibroids during pregnancy or develop complications during pregnancy. The most common complication is pain, especially if the fibroids are larger than 5 centimeters and if you are in your last two trimesters.
Fibroids may increase your risk for other complications during pregnancy and delivery. These may include fetal growth restriction. Large fibroids may prevent a fetus from growing fully due to decreased room in the womb.
The chances for miscarriage are doubled if you have fibroids and it is known that the majority of fibroids don’t change in size during pregnancy, but some do. Fibroid growth is influenced by estrogen, and estrogen levels rise during pregnancy. This may lead to growth. For some women, fibroids may actually shrink during pregnancy. Fibroids need to be properly investigated to determine if they could cause problems with your attempts to get pregnant or your ability to carry a pregnancy.
During pregnancy, treatment for uterine fibroids is limited because of the risk to the fetus. Measures such as bed rest, hydration, and mild pain relievers may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.
Do fibroids affect fertility? This is the big question. But the answer is straightforward. Many women will conceive naturally if they have fibroids, but fibroids can affect your ability to get pregnant. The size and location of your fibroids, among other factors, will determine whether or not it affects your fertility.
Uterine fibroids may impact fertility in a number of ways because they can distort the cervix and uterus, negatively impacting gamete movement or embryo implantation. They can block fallopian tubes and negatively impact the receptivity of the uterine lining. Fibroids that are inside the uterine cavity (submucosal) or those that are larger than six centimeters in diameter have a higher likelihood of impeding conception.
One of the complications of fibroids is that it could lead to a higher risk of miscarriage. When it comes to uterine fibroids and pregnancy, once you’re pregnant you may not remove them. This is due to the increased blood supply to the fibroid which makes them to bleed.
Although most women with fibroids do not experience complications during pregnancy, up to a third of pregnant women do have abdominal pain accompanied by light vaginal bleeding. Most doctors will treat this with mild pain relievers, rest, or other minimal interventions to manage symptoms.
Depending on the severity of your fibroids, there may be additional risks. If you have fibroids, what should you do? If you are trying to conceive and are experiencing an irregular menstrual cycle, excessive bleeding, or other uterine fibroid symptoms, you should schedule an appointment to get a diagnosis. Consult your doctor to check the size and location of your fibroids to help ensure a healthy delivery.
Generally, fibroids are only treated if they are causing severe symptoms, especially heavy or prolonged menstrual periods. Your doctor will usually only monitor small, asymptomatic fibroids for growth instead of removing them. If you’re not planning on getting pregnant, drugs may be tried.
If you are starting fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), you may be recommended to remove any large fibroids or submucosal fibroids in order to decrease the chance of implantation failure or later pregnancy complications.
If you’re having fibroids and require to be treated before pregnancy to improve your fertility, you should see a fertility expert. It is a fact that treating uterine fibroids before pregnancy may improve your fertility risk.
Uterine fibroids may affect your fertility and may also impact your ability to carry a pregnancy successfully. However, most women will experience no fertility issues or pregnancy complications as a result of these tumours. If you have fibroids and wish to start a family, talk with your doctor about your options for treatment and your risks. Together, the two of you can decide what’s safest for your future pregnancy.
While you can’t prevent fibroids, a healthy lifestyle may lower your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight may lower your risk for fertility issues and high-risk pregnancies.
Uterine fibroids are growths in your uterus. Because they’re typically not cancerous, you can decide whether or not you want to have them removed.
You may not need surgery if your fibroids don’t bother you. However, you might consider surgery if the fibroids cause heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods, pain or pressure in your lower belly, frequent urination, or trouble emptying your bladder.
Surgery might also be an option if you want to get pregnant in the future. Sometimes fibroids can increase your risk of having a miscarriage or complications during your pregnancy.
Fibroid surgery can help relieve symptoms like heavy bleeding and abdominal pain. Overall, be aware that uterine fibroids are generally harmless if they don’t interfere with a healthy pregnancy or your fertilization. By working with a qualified physician who can monitor the growths and treat them if necessary, you can greatly reduce any risks.