Fibroids and female reproduction: a critical analysis of the evidence
- Created: February 22, 2009
- by: admin
Authors: E. Somigliana, P. Vercellini, R. Daguati, R. Pasin, O. De Giorgi and P.G. Crosignani
Human Reproduction Update Advance Access originally published online on June 21, 2007
Abstract: Observational epidemiological studies aimed at elucidating the relationship between fibroids and infertility are inconclusive due to methodological limitations. However, two main pieces of clinical evidence support the opinion that the fibroids interfere with fertility. First, in IVF cycles, the delivery rate is reduced in patients with fibroids but is not affected in patients who have undergone myomectomy. Second, even if randomized studies are lacking, surgical treatment appears to increase the pregnancy rate: 50% women who undergo myomectomy for infertility, subsequently conceive. Available evidence also suggests that submucosal, intramural and subserosal fibroids interfere with fertility in decreasing order of importance. Although more limited, some data supports an impact of the number and dimension of the lesions. Drawing clear guidelines for the management of fibroids in infertile women is difficult due to the lack of large randomized trials aimed at elucidating which patients may benefit from surgery. At present, physicians should pursue a comprehensive and personalized approach clearly exposing the pros and cons of myomectomy to the patient, including the risks associated with fibroids during pregnancy on one hand, and those associated with surgery on the other hand.