If you are trying to conceive and have been told that you have fibroids, you may be wondering if it will affect your ability to get pregnant. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the uterine wall. They can vary in size from a small pea to a large grapefruit. The good news is that most women with fibroids can still conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. However, there are some potential risks that need to be considered. In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of fibroids on fertility and pregnancy, as well as what you can do to increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy.
Fibroids and Fertility
While fibroids themselves do not cause infertility, they can interfere with fertility in a few different ways. Fibroids can distort the shape of the uterus, making it difficult for the egg to implant properly. They can also block the fallopian tubes or interfere with the movement of the egg through the tubes. In some cases, fibroids can cause the production of abnormal amounts of estrogen, which can interfere with ovulation. Certain types of fibroids, such as submucosal fibroids, may also increase the risk of infertility or pregnancy loss.
If you have fibroids and are trying to conceive, it is important to talk to your doctor about whether your fibroids will affect fertility or your ability to maintain a pregnancy. In some cases, your doctor may recommend fibroid treatment to improve fertility and lower the risks during pregnancy. There are a number of different treatments that can improve fertility in women with fibroids, including:
There are a number of different medications that can be used to treat fibroids. These include:
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists: These drugs work by reducing the levels of estrogen in the body, which can shrink fibroids and improve fertility.
- Progestin therapy: This medication can help to shrink fibroids and reduce heavy bleeding.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs can help to relieve pain and cramping associated with fibroids. They can also help to reduce the size of fibroids.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove fibroids. There are a number of different surgical options that can be used, including:
- Myomectomy: This surgery removes fibroids from the uterus without removing the entire uterus.
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE): This minimally invasive procedure involves injecting a substance into the arteries that supply blood to the fibroids, which cuts off the blood supply and causes the fibroids to shrink.
Fibroids and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, there is a chance that your fibroids may grow in size due to elevated estrogen levels. However, the higher progesterone levels may also cause your fibroids to shrink. Studies show that around 79% of uterine fibroids shrunk in size after delivery. While most women with fibroids will have a successful pregnancy, there are some potential risks that need to be considered. These include:
Fetal Growth Restriction
Fibroids can cause Fetal Growth Restriction, which is when the fetus does not grow at the normal rate and is born with low birth weight. This can be caused by large fibroids within the uterus that prevent the fetus from growing normally.
Placental abruption is a serious complication that can occur when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall. This can cause bleeding and in some cases, death of the mother or baby. This can happen when the uterine wall is blocked by a fibroid.
Fibroids are associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery. This is when the baby is born before 37 weeks. In some cases, the pain from fibroids can lead to preterm delivery.
Women with fibroids have an increased risk of miscarrying. In some cases, this may be due to the position of the fibroid in the uterus.
Fibroids can also cause complications during delivery. They may make it more difficult for the baby to descend into the birth canal. In many cases, a cesarean section may be necessary. In fact, women with fibroids are six times more likely to require a cesarean delivery compared to women without fibroids.
In this blog, we have discussed the effects of fibroids on fertility and pregnancy. While most women with fibroids will have a successful pregnancy, there are some potential risks that need to be considered. If you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant and have fibroids, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and what you can do to minimize them. If needed, your doctor will be able to help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you.