Fibroids and Pregnancy

Many women are concerned about the relationship between fibroids and pregnancy. While effects differ from one patient to the next, fibroids can negatively impact a pregnancy.  They may cause the uterus to change shape, decreasing fertility.

Their location or size might influence whether you get pregnant, stay pregnant, or have a normal delivery. Fibroids on the uterus wall and the inside of the uterus often lead to problems with conception or can crowd a growing fetus. And in some cases, fibroids cause miscarriages.

Non-surgical fibroid embolization can help you avoid the stress and uncertainty of trying to get pregnant or stay pregnant when fibroids are present.

Options for Moving Forward

Fibroids can appear in young women who desire fertility. After embolization, young patients who pursue fertility have an outstanding success rate. Half of all patients treated by the Fibroid Treatment Collective who desired fertility went on to conceive and deliver children successfully and safely. This rate corresponds to an article in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

It’s important to note that embolization does not have the regrowth issue many women experience with surgeries like myomectomy. Fibroids that have been embolized can’t regrow. New fibroids cannot appear.

Historically, doctors have treated fibroids with hysterectomies and myomectomies. Both treatments are surgical, invasive, and may impair fertility. Hysterectomies remove the entire uterus, making it impossible to bear children. Myomectomies may cause scarring and weakness to the uterine wall. There is also a high incidence of regrowth. Around 50% of all myomectomy surgeries will require repeat surgeries because the fibroids regenerate.

A recent addition to fibroid treatment choices, ablation therapy essentially ends fertility completely. The trauma to uterine walls by hot water ablation or electrical scalpel creates extensive scarring, preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization is:

  • Low trauma
  • Doesn’t cut or remove uterine tissue
  • Doesn’t leave scars
  • Preserves the uterus as whole and healthy

Fibroid Pain During Pregnancy

What if a woman has fibroids and becomes pregnant? What should she expect?

Depending on the fibroids’ size and location, you may not experience anything (beyond the normal discomforts of a normal pregnancy). But for some, it will be difficult to carry the baby to term. There will be moderate to severe fibroid-related pain. And fibroids that keep growing during the pregnancy can change the uterus, affect the fetus’s health, and interrupt the duration of the pregnancy.

If you have been diagnosed with symptomatic fibroids and are considering starting or adding to a family, the time to seek treatment is now. Once you are pregnant, any fibroid treatments, including embolization, cannot be performed until your baby is delivered.

Can I Get Pregnant with Fibroids?

The rate that uterine fibroids impact fertility varies from woman to woman. Based on various studies, it is estimated that about 5 to 10 percent of all infertile women have at least one fibroid. However, this does not necessarily mean that the fibroids are causing these women to be infertile.

In general, the effect uterine fibroids have on fertility depends mostly on size and location. For example, fibroids that occur within the uterine cavity are more likely to result in infertility than fibroids that arise in other areas of the uterus. Also, fibroids in the uterine wall, larger than six centimeters in diameter, will likely cause infertility.

While you can certainly have fibroids and get pregnant, fibroids can lead to a number of complications that make carrying to term challenges. From fibroid pain during pregnancy to the risk of miscarriage, there is substantial evidence that pregnancy without fibroids will be easier, safer, and more successful.

Finding the Right Treatment

The vast majority of fertility issues are not due to fibroids. But if you suspect fibroids are impacting your ability to have children, you and your partner should be thoroughly evaluated. Start by ruling out that other issues aren’t the actual cause. If your doctor feels that fibroids are preventing you from getting pregnant, it’s time to seek treatment.

Remember, it’s always advisable to consider fibroid treatment before considering pregnancy. Fibroids often grow along with the baby, creating further problems. The best chance for a safe and uneventful pregnancy is to deal with any obstacles before you’ve conceived.

Complications that Fibroids Cause Within a Pregnancy

Though it is possible for a woman with fibroids to become pregnant, it is more difficult in many cases. If your fibroids alter the shape of your uterus, they can bring challenges. Both natural and in-vitro fertilization pregnancies can prove far more difficult. The reduction in fertility rates is up to 70%. Especially challenging are:

  • Intramural fibroids
  • Submucosal fibroids

Left untreated, fibroids can lead to:

  • Premature birth
  • Need for cesarean section
  • Miscarriage
  • Abnormal fetus positioning
  • Heavy bleeding after giving birth

How Do Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?

Problems can arise when the fibroid is 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 these messages are altered or blocked in a serious enough way, the embryo will simply stop developing. An otherwise normal pregnancy might end in miscarriage.

Fibroids within the uterus are especially problematic. As the embryo grows, it needs to fight for space with the fibroid(s). This can only lead to stress and potential complications.

Symptoms of Fibroids in Pregnant Women

In many cases, women will discover they have fibroids when they go for that first ultrasound to monitor the fetus. There may have been no symptoms and nothing unusual to alert them. Then suddenly a condition they didn’t know they had becomes a source of anxiety they don’t want.

The most common fibroid symptoms in expectant mothers include:

  • Pelvic pain and pressure during pregnancy and in advance of labor
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Sometimes an increase in white blood cells

While fibroids can be addressed or alleviated in several ways, no fibroid treatment should be attempted while a woman is pregnant.

During pregnancy, the uterus is far more prone to bleeding. Fibroids cannot be removed from the womb without the risk of excessive blood loss or harm to the baby. Any treatment will have to wait until after you deliver. Treating fibroids before becoming pregnant is not only wiser but safer.

Pregnancy and Fibroids: What to Expect?

Most women don’t have fibroids during pregnancy. The incidence is only about 10% (And most of the fibroids found will be small enough not to cause problems.)

But fibroids can grow larger during pregnancy. Especially during the first three months. In certain cases, fibroids can grow as fast as the fetus.

At a time when all your energy is focused on producing a healthy baby, why even worry about fibroids? Before getting pregnant, consider a treatment that features low body trauma, minimal recovery, and a high success rate.

Consider Uterine Fibroid embolization.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

The longer you wait, the more time fibroids have to grow. Becoming pregnant, staying pregnant, and delivering safely all become less certain. Take control. For yourself. Your baby. The future. Schedule an appointment

Terry solved a fibroid problem. And started a family.

My goal is not only to take care of this pain and suffering, my goal is to number one be healthy and number two I want to be able to be a mother.

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