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How Uterine Fibroids Affect Each Trimester of Pregnancy

can uterine fibroids affect your pregnancy

You have uterine fibroids. You’re also pregnant. What should you expect in the months ahead? Many women with fibroids will have a normal pregnancy. The hormonal changes associated with being pregnant often encourage fibroids to grow. Can uterine fibroids affect your pregnancy? Depending on where they are and how big they become, things could get complicated. No need to panic. Just prepare.

Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that commonly appear in 30% to 60% of all women over 35. In many cases, fibroids are unlikely to be problematic during pregnancy. But fibroids are estrogen responsive, meaning they tend to grow when estrogen levels rise. During pregnancy, your body will produce more estrogen. Often that causes a fibroid growth spurt. When fibroids located in the wall of your uterus or directly in the uterine cavity begin to grow larger, they can impact how well you carry the baby or how the baby is delivered.

Women with fibroids should be closely monitored by their ob/gyn. Usually, patients require no immediate fibroid treatment. But your doctor should be aware of the condition and prepare for any potential issues. The primary concerns with fibroid growth can change over different stages of a pregnancy. Here’s what to know.

First Trimester

About one-third of all uterine fibroids grow in size during the first three months of pregnancy. Estrogen surges are highest at this point, so fibroids are likely to expand. The most common fibroid-related issues in the first three months of pregnancy are pain, bleeding and the possibility of miscarriage.

Pain is generally related to the location of the fibroid. Especially if grows to a size where it begins pressing on other internal organs.

Bleeding during early pregnancy can happen when the placenta implants near a fibroid.

Miscarriage is a risk in any pregnancy. If you have fibroids, the chance is about 14%.

Second and Third Trimester

In mid to late pregnancy, fibroid-related concerns change as the baby gets closer to delivery. Fibroids may trigger unusual pain, impact fetal health, cause pre-term birth or birthing complications. Women with fibroids are also 6 times more likely to need a C-section delivery.

Pain experienced early in the pregnancy can elevate, especially if fibroids are large. In addition to putting pressure on internal organs, fibroids can sometimes twist and compress, causing extreme discomfort.

Placental abruption is a medical term for the placenta tearing away from the wall of the uterus before the baby is delivered. While this can also happen in women without fibroids, the condition occurs more often when fibroids are present. It’s serious because the placenta provides oxygen to the baby. Also because it can result in severe blood loss to the mother.

Pre-term delivery is more common among women with fibroids than those without. The normal pregnancy period is 37 weeks. Fibroids may cause you to go into labor earlier.

Cesarean/C-section delivery is 6 times more likely if you have fibroids. They can impair the uterus’ ability to contract normally during delivery, block the birth canal, slow or inhibit labor. The potential for complications during delivery makes a c-section delivery safer for you and the baby.

Ok. You made it through this information. It wasn’t easy. But it really does help to know. Remember, most women with fibroids will have a normally uncomfortable, normally challenging pregnancy. For the few that won’t, awareness is everything.

Want to know more about fibroids and fertility?

Not yet pregnant? Learn more about non-surgical fibroid treatment.

Does Fibroid Embolization Affect Your Ability to Have a Baby?

Shot of a mother holding up her baby daughter

A recent U.S. study, along with patient experiences around the world, support that Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a safe and appropriate treatment for women of childbearing age. Additionally, UFE can have distinct advantages over fibroid surgeries, such as a myomectomy, for fibroid patients who wish to get pregnant.

“Uterine Fibroid Embolization isn’t for women who want babies” – Fact or Fiction?

Early research on UFE, (research now nearly 20 years old), suggested it diminished the ovarian reserve. Ovarian reserve is a medical term for how many good quality eggs you have to make babies. But the average age of women in the study groups was 45. An age when ovarian reserve is already naturally declining. Fertility is already problematic. The assumption that UFE negatively impacts fertility was based on data from women whose fertility was already negatively affected, due to their age. The findings were fiction.

Patient experience and recent medical information are confirming this. As more and more women discovered UFE as a non-surgical treatment option, more and more women chose it. Many went on to have successful pregnancies and many who experienced fibroid-related fertility issues, conceived. Many, of an age to have a suitable ovarian reserve, had babies.
It was time for a re-think about UFE and fertility. It was time for a new study.

A Landmark UFE & Fertility Study

Minimally Invasive Therapy and Technology, a medical journal known for articles on cutting edge, non-surgical advances, published a study by Dr. Bruce McLucas, that investigated the ovarian reserves in fibroid patients after embolization. The study tracked and tested a group of 89 women, between the ages of 23 and 40, for four years after their UFE procedures. The resulting data indicated UFE did not diminish ovarian reserve. UFE did not impair fertility. In fact, 32 of the 89 patients actually had a rise in ovarian reserve, post-procedure.

A Few Other Interesting Facts the Study Revealed

Fact #1: The ability for the uterus to function normally for conception, pregnancy, and delivery is not impaired by UFE.

Fact #2: Fertility in women of normal childbearing age is preserved and even enhanced by UFE when infertility issues are being caused by fibroids.

Fact #3: Ovarian reserve levels, which naturally decline as a woman ages, are not further diminished by UFE.

For Women Who Want Children, But Also Want Time to Decide

Myomectomy, a common surgery to remove fibroids from the uterus, has roughly a six-month window of opportunity for pregnancy. Fibroids tend to grow back after myomectomy. 50% of all myomectomy patients will experience fibroid recurrence within a year. Which means the time to try for a child after a myomectomy can be short. Uterine Fibroid Embolization has 0% incidence of fibroid regrowth. The possibility for pregnancy after UFE is only bound by the normal decline of ovarian reserves as you age.

Read about the landmark UFE & Fertility study here.

Testimonials about pregnancy after UFE here and here and here.

 

How Can Fibroids Affect Your Pregnancy?

Beautiful pregnant woman at home.

The presence of fibroids commonly begins during a woman’s childbearing years. For women who are planning for a pregnancy and have fibroids, it is vital to be regularly monitored by your OB/GYN for any signs of growth, so can fibroids affect pregnancy? Fortunately, in most instances, fibroids do not negatively interfere during a pregnancy. However, depending on the size of a fibroid and location within the uterus, complications may arise. No one wants to undergo fibroid treatment while pregnant, which is why it is essential to discuss fibroid treatment as early as possible.

Fibroid Treatment Before Conception

Research suggests that fibroids that alter the shape of the uterine cavity “may reduce fertility as much as 70%.” For women who are considering becoming pregnant and have fibroids, shrinking them may be recommended to improve chances of conception. Fibroids may prevent the sperm and egg from meeting, as well as hinder an embryo’s ability to implant.

One surgical option for fibroid treatment is a myomectomy, which cuts out existing fibroids. While it does remove fibroids, this procedure may result in uterus scarring and present problems for successful embryo implantation. Other drawbacks include a 50% chance of fibroids returning within a 10-month period if any of its cells are left behind during the surgery, as well as a weakening of uterine walls, which can compromise a successful pregnancy.

If you are planning for a pregnancy, the shrinking of fibroids beforehand can be a key component in protecting the welfare and health of the fetus so you can avoid fibroid treatment while pregnant. Uterine Fibroid Embolization offers a non-invasive solution that does not involve cutting, scarring, or fibroid recurrence. Embolization is a non-surgical procedure that focuses only on fibroids, meaning reproductive organs and tissues are left entirely undisturbed and functional to help ensure a healthier pregnancy.

How Fibroids Affect Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormones in the body cause the uterus to grow and accommodate for the fetus, and in some cases, this massive influx of hormones may also cause fibroids to enlarge creating issues both during pregnancy and delivery. Some fibroids will grow large enough to take much-needed blood supply from the fetus or take up too much room in the uterus, which can result in a miscarriage.

Other consequences that fibroids inflict on pregnancy include acute abdominal pain and in some instances, bleeding if the placenta is near the fibroid. In late pregnancy, women with fibroids are more at risk to develop preterm labor. This can lead to a preterm delivery, which may cause certain developmental deficiencies in childhood.

If the pregnancy goes smoothly despite the presence of fibroids, there can also be challenges during delivery. Fibroids may cause the baby to lie in breech, transverse positions, or block the progress of labor and expulsion of the placenta. In these cases, your doctor may recommend a Cesarean section to avoid further problems.

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, it is important to take these concerns and solutions into consideration. Left untreated, fibroids can potentially damage your chances of conception, the childbearing process, and the delivery of a healthy baby. Uterine Fibroid Embolization provides a safe and effective solution to shrinking fibroids and promoting a healthy pregnancy.

To see the many women who have benefited from the embolization, take a look at our list of patients who now have children. For more information on pregnancy and fibroids get in touch with us today at (866) 479-1523.

The Relationship Between Fibroids and Infertility

Am i pregnant

Most women will develop fibroids during their life time. Typically, fibroids develop when a woman is in her thirties or forties. Today, many women are choosing to start their families later in life which is why understanding the relationship between fibroids and infertility is so important.

Fibroids

Many women who have fibroids are still able to have children. Fibroids can remain small and develop in areas that will not affect the reproductive system. Unfortunately, there are also certain fibroids that can affect a woman’s chances of conceiving and carrying a baby. The sperm and egg can be prevented from meeting for conception depending on the location of the fibroid. It is common for fibroids to develop in places or grow to certain sizes that make it difficult to continue a pregnancy. Fibroids can even affect the overall health of the fetus.

Fibroids & Infertility: How are They Linked?

The location of the fibroid is typically what affects your ability to have children. Fibroids may reduce your fertility in these ways:

• Fibroids that change the shape of your cervix can affect the number of sperm able to enter the uterus.
• Fibroids that block the Fallopian tubes can make the journey of a fertilized egg to implantation difficult or even impossible.
• Fibroids that change the shape of your uterus may also limit the number of places an embryo can successfully implant or decrease uterine space needed for embryo growth.
• Fibroids that weaken the lining of the uterine space or decrease the blood supply to a growing embryo can cause a miscarriage.

What Are My Options If I Have Fibroids and Want Children?

If you have fibroids and are trying to get pregnant, it’s best to discuss with your doctor whether the fibroids are in places that might prevent you from conceiving or carrying a baby. If that is the case, fibroid treatment will most likely be recommended.

If you are already pregnant, it is important for your doctor to monitor any fibroids that are present. Fibroids can grow as the baby develops which can cause issues for the pregnancy and delivery.

Myomectomy

A myomectomy, which cuts out existing fibroids, is a common surgery to increase a woman’s chances for conception and pregnancy. However, a myomectomy does have some disadvantages which include:
• Scarring- Uterine scarring can cause issues for the implantation of the embryo.
• If any part, even a few cells, of a fibroid are left behind, that fibroid will have a 50% chance of regrowth within a period of about 10 months. Your window of opportunity for conception and pregnancy will be limited.
• If you have a myomectomy and do not get pregnant quickly, you could face multiple surgeries as fibroids repeatedly grow back.
• Surgery to the uterine walls can weaken them which can compromise carrying a baby to term and/or its delivery.

Embolization

Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a non-surgical treatment that can help with your fertility. Embolization shrinks fibroids instead of cutting them. It is minimally invasive and extremely precise. Embolization blocks the blood supply to each fibroid, depriving oxygen and nutrients that fibroids need to grow and thrive. The uterus and reproductive organs remain uncut and unscarred. The procedure only affects fibroids and will not impact healthy uterine tissue. It is also important to note that a woman’s window for conception and pregnancy is greater with embolization than with surgery, as there is virtually no fibroid re-growth.

Fibroid Treatment Collective

The Fibroid Treatment Collective pioneered embolization and performed the first procedure in America. Embolization is significantly less invasive than other procedures and has been safely and successfully used on hundreds of thousands of women. Embolization represents an excellent treatment option for women who want to have children.

To read one of the medical studies published by the Fibroid Treatment Collective on embolization and fertility click here.

Questions about fibroids and infertility? Contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective at (866) 479-1523. Or schedule a free consultation here.

Can I Still Get Pregnant After a Fibroids Embolization?

Fibroids and Pregnancy

Many women put off treatment for fibroids because they don’t want to impede their ability to become pregnant in the future. While treatments for fibroids in the past had the potential for long-term effects on successful pregnancy, modern medical advances have made it possible to treat fibroids without causing a negative effect on a women’s future fertility.

The risk of delaying or avoiding treatment

First, it is in your best interest to treat for fibroids. While many women experience mild or small fibroids with few obvious symptoms, fibroids can become worse over time, growing larger or multiplying, eventually causing the symptoms to worsen. If left untreated, fibroids can cause infertility. If a woman opts against treatment to preserve her fertility, she may end up suffering infertility due to the fibroids themselves.

Treatment

Historically, fibroids were treated with hysterectomies and myomectomies, both of these treatments affect fertility. Hysterectomies remove the entire uterus which makes it impossible to bear children and fertility issues are an associated risk of the myomectomy procedure. Even ablation therapy can cause some scarring to the uterus that can cause fertility issues.

However, there is an option to treat fibroid with fibroid embolization. This treatment is administered through a minimally invasive catheterization procedure, which delivers an embolic agent to the uterine artery. This agent attacks the fibroids, causing them to shrink. As the fibroids shrink, the patient’s health improves and fertility can be maintained.

Fibroid embolization does not involve a surgical procedure, which can cause scarring or other damage to the uterus that can affect fertility. Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a non-invasive, non-surgical, out-patient procedure. It is performed under local anesthetic and sedation and has a very quick recovery time. Most patients are back at work in a few days. This quick treatment for fibroids is also very effective, with more than 90 percent of the women who have this treatment see their fibroids disappear or shrink to such small sizes that symptoms are no longer present. Other treatments can achieve similar effective results, but with much longer and more painful recoveries as well as risks to future fertility.

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions about fibroid embolization, contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective in Beverly Hills. The doctors at this practice pioneered this innovative treatment to provide a viable treatment option for women suffering from fibroids and the uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms associated with the condition. The physicians and staff here know the treatment thoroughly and provide in-depth consultations to help women make the best choice for them to effectively treat their fibroids. The doctors will answer any questions about fibroid embolization as well as other treatment options so that each patient understands the procedures and her personal health.

Don’t delay treatment for fibroids to preserve your fertility. This could backfire and there are safe effective treatment options that will preserve your ability to have a baby naturally.

Is Pregnancy Possible with Fibroids?

Any fibroid malfunction in a woman is a serious condition; however, a fibroid condition during a potential pregnancy must be taken especially seriously. Here are the facts that you need to know about pregnancy and abnormal fibroid conditions.

Pregnancy and Fibroids

Can I Get Pregnant if I Have Uterine Fibroids?

The short answer to this question is yes. Many women with uterine fibroids become pregnant by totally natural means. The science behind fertility treatment and in the treatment of fibroids allows for a much higher chance of a safe conception. However, a woman who is either trying to become pregnant or is pregnant alongside a fibroid condition must stay under the watchful eye of a team of medical specialists.

Are There Any Complications that Fibroids Cause Within a Pregnancy?

Although it is perfectly possible for a woman with a fibroid condition to become pregnant, it is more difficult in some cases. Intramural and submucosal fibroids are the two major types of conditions that seem to affect the ability of a woman to conceive. Both of these fibroid conditions change the size and the overall shape of the cavity in the uterus. These conditions may also negatively affect in vitro fertilization, reducing overall fertility rates in some women by as much as 70 percent. The good news is that a fibroid will release its hold over the pregnancy rate of a woman if it is properly treated.

Fibroids that are not properly treated may also cause other problems after a pregnancy has been initiated. These problems include preterm delivery of the baby, a need for a cesarean section in order to give birth, a miscarriage, or abnormal fetus positioning. A woman that gives birth with a fibroid condition may also experience very heavy bleeding after giving birth.

How Do Fibroids Affect a Pregnancy?

The main problem with becoming pregnant while having a fibroid condition is the fibroid blocking the natural function of the uterus. The embryo is constantly receiving critically important messages from the uterine wall, and a fibroid condition may block or alter these messages. If they are altered or blocked in a serious enough way, the embryo will simply stop its process of development, and a miscarriage will occur.

A medical professional will work under the assumption that even the most silent and asymptomatic fibroid has the ability to cause damage to a growing embryo. Radiology is an essential discipline to include in the process of pregnancy if a fibroid condition has been identified in a pregnant woman. This is especially important for intramural fibroids, a fibroid that develops directly inside of the uterine cavity and competes for space with the embryo, almost like a jealous brother or sister. The result is a chemical interference with the growth of the embryo, and this condition may require a surgery.

Do you have uterine fibroids and want to get pregnant? Call (866) 479-1523 today for a FREE consultation.

Pregnancy Over the Age of 30

Today’s career-oriented woman is waiting longer to get pregnant. This may serve as a benefit to her career life, but what about her biological time clock? Rest assured, although most women hit their fertility peak in their 20’s, most healthy women who get pregnant after the age of 35 and even into their 40s have healthy babies. That doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t think about the smart steps you could take to maximize your health and your baby’s health during pregnancy.

How Can I Increase My Chances of Having a Healthy Baby?

Get early and regular prenatal care. The first eight weeks of your pregnancy are very important to your baby’s development. Early and regular prenatal care can increase your chances of having a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Prenatal care includes screenings, regular exams, pregnancy and childbirth education, and counselling and support.

Getting prenatal care also helps provide extra protection for women over 35. It allows your doctor to stay ahead of health conditions that are more common in women who are older when they get pregnant.

Consider optional prenatal tests for women over 35. Your doctor may offer you special prenatal tests that are particularly applicable older moms. These tests help determine the risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Ask your doctor about these tests so you can learn the risks and benefits and decide what’s right for you.

Take prenatal vitamins. All women of childbearing age should take a daily prenatal vitamin containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Getting enough folic acid every day before and during the first three months of pregnancy can help prevent birth defects involving a baby’s brain and spinal cord. Taking folic acid adds an important level of protection for older women, who have a higher risk of having a baby with birth defects.

How Can I Lower My Risk for Pregnancy Problems?

Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating a variety of foods will help you get all the nutrients you need. That way you’ll keep your teeth and bones healthy while your baby develops. Also be sure to include good food sources of folic acid, such as leafy green vegetables, dried beans, liver, and some citrus fruits.

Gain the recommended amount of weight. Talk with your doctor about how much weight you should gain. Women with a normal BMI should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. If you were overweight before getting pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you only gain 15 to 25 pounds. Gaining the appropriate amount of weight lessens the chance of your baby growing slowly and reduces the risk of preterm birth. You also lower your risk of developing pregnancy problems such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.

Exercise regularly. Regular exercise will help you stay at a healthy pregnancy weight, keep your strength up, and ease stress. Just be sure you review your exercise program with your doctor. You’ll most likely be able to continue your normal exercise routine throughout your pregnancy.

Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Like all pregnant women, you should not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes during your pregnancy. Drinking alcohol increases your baby’s risk for a wide range of mental and physical defects. Smoking increases the chance of delivering a low birth weight baby, which is more common in older women.

Ask your doctor about medications. Talk with your doctor about what meds are safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and natural remedies.

You can learn more about fibroids and fibroid treatments online, or contact us directly by calling 866-362-64633 or by requesting a free phone consultation.

 

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