Can I Get Pregnant With Fibroids
The effect that uterine fibroids have on 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 caused 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 wall of the uterus that are larger than six centimeters in diameter are also likely to cause infertility. Fortunately, large fibroids and growths that occur in the uterine cavity are uncommon. The vast majority of women will not become infertile due to fibroids. If you suspect that fibroids are impacting your fertility, you and your partner should be thoroughly evaluated to ensure that other issues arent the cause of infertility.
If My Best Chance For A Successful Pregnancy Is Fibroid Treatment What Are The Options
Removing fibroids to improve the chance for conception and pregnancy may be recommended to you. Often, a doctor will suggest a surgery called myomectomy. Myomectomy cuts out existing fibroids. While this form of fibroid removal is fairly common, it has several drawbacks.
- Surgery to the uterus may cause scarring. Uterine scarring can make the successful implantation of an embryo problematic.
- 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. This makes your window of opportunity for conception and pregnancy very limited.
- If you have a myomectomy and dont get pregnant fairly quickly, you could wind up facing multiple surgeries as fibroids repeatedly grow back.
- Surgery to the uterine walls can also weaken them. Sometimes, this compromises carrying a baby to term and/or its delivery.
Possible Causes And Risk Factors Of Uterine Fibroids
Although definite causes of uterine fibroids remain unknown, clinical researches point to these relevant factors:
- Hormones. Estrogen plays a key role to stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy. This hormone significantly appears to promote the growth of uterine fibroids.
- Heredity. Uterine fibroids seem to run in families.
- Obesity. The risk of uterine fibroids is two to three times greater in women who are obese due to obesity is strongly linked to higher rates of circulating estrogen and its production.
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Will Fibroids Cause Pain During The Pregnancy
For some women, their uterine fibroids flare up during pregnancy. Pain is a very common symptom for these pregnant women. Those who experience pain from fibroids during their pregnancy should rest, use heating pads, or use a prescription or pain medication that is safe for use by pregnant women.
If the fibroids of a woman grow exceptionally fast during a pregnancy, this can result in red degeneration. Some of the symptoms of red degeneration include severe pain, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, nausea, and even fever. A woman will feel this pain over the entire area where the fibroid is located. This pain may radiate down the entire back of the woman. While this pain typically appears during the second trimester, it can appear at any time during the pregnancy.
If the pain from the red degeneration is incredibly severe, it might cause the uterus to begin to contract, inducing preterm labor. Women who experience this will likely be hospitalized or asked to rest in bed to wait for the signs of preterm labor to disappear.
Q: How Does Having A Myomectomy Affect Your Likelihood Of Conceiving And Any Future Pregnancies
A: Youll need to wait three to six months after your myomectomy to start trying to get pregnant to give your uterus time to heal.
How many fibroids you had removed plays a role in whether youll be able to get pregnant. Research shows women who have had more than six fibroids removed are less likely to conceive than women with fewer fibroids taken out. Some women who had myomectomy might also need to deliver a baby via C-section since the procedure may weaken the uterus.
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What Are Uterine Fibroids
Also called leiomyomas or myomas, uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus. These abnormal growths or tumors can range from quite small to very large and develop in or on a womans uterus. Although typically benign, they can cause severe abdominal pain as well as a range of other symptoms, though many go unnoticed entirely.
Fibroids are classified by where they develop on the uterus and there are four basic classifications.
- Intramural fibroids, the most common type, grow within the uterine wall.
- Subserosal fibroids form on the outside of the uterus.
- Pedunculated fibroids are subserosal tumors that have developed a slender base to support the tumor.
- Submucosal fibroids are tumors that have developed in the middle muscle layer of the uterus.
Fibroids can vary in size from undetectable to the human eye to large masses that affect the size of the uterus. You could have one single fibroid or multiple fibroids that join together and cause a large mass.
Depending on how severe your case you could be asymptomatic and not even realize you have them. In these instances they are either never discovered or can be caught during another exam such as a pelvic exam or ultrasound.
Some women do experience symptoms such as:
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Periods that last longer than a week
It is important to seek medical help if you experience any of these symptoms for an extended period of time.
Can I Have A Baby With Fibroids
If you get pregnant while you have fibroids, your fetus could be affected, as we already mentioned. Luckily, a new study suggests a way to carry your baby without impact. In fact, 90% of participants carried their babies to full term!
The study followed 120 women with large fibroids in their first trimester. Then, those fibroids kept growing during the second trimester. And thats a problem, since about 46% of pregnant women with large fibroids miscarry.
To help these women, researchers divided them into four groups. One group received a cervical procedure and targeted progesterone therapy. Another group received both treatments and a myomectomy. Then, a third group only received progesterone therapy. And the fourth group of women only received traditional maternal medical care.
At the end of the study, results were promising. The women who had cervical procedures and progesterone treatment reduced their miscarriage rate more than two times over compared to just progesterone treatment. And, compared to no-intervention, miscarriage rates dropped by 11.2%.
Of course, this news is promising for pregnant women with fibroids. But some women may prefer to treat fibroids before getting pregnant. Or, you may need to treat your fibroids in order to successfully conceive. So, if thats the case for you, keep reading to learn more about the best fibroid treatments for family planning.
How Do Fibroids Hurt The Ability To Have A Baby
Lets start with the positive part. Many women will have fibroids that wont hurt their chances of having children. The fibroids may stay small, or occur in areas that dont affect the reproductive system. But certain fibroids will have a profound effect on the ability to conceive, stay pregnant and carry a baby to term.
Depending on where they are located, fibroids may prevent sperm and egg from meeting for conception. Fibroids can hamper the ability of an embryo to implant. They often grow in places or to sizes that make it challenging for a pregnancy to continue. Fibroids may even affect the health and welfare of the fetus.
How do fibroids hurt the ability to have a baby? The answer has a lot to do with where in the uterus the fibroids are located.
Fibroids can 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.
- Uterine fibroids that block the Fallopian tubes can make the journey of a fertilized egg to implantation difficult or impossible.
- Fibroids which change the shape of your uterus may decrease the number of places an embryo can successfully implant or reduce uterine space needed for embryo development.
- Fibroids that weaken the lining of the uterine cavity or decrease the blood supply to a growing embryo can cause miscarriage.
Treating Fibroids Before Pregnancy
Uterine fibroids are most common during the reproductive years, so it comes as no surprise to us that many of our patients are concerned about preserving fertility. Some avoid treatment altogether because theyve been told a hysterectomy, the complete surgical removal of the uterus, is their only option. We want you to know that this isnt true.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our experts offer an effective, non-surgical treatment that can preserve your uterus and retain your fertility. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that involves less risk and a significantly shorter recovery time than fibroid surgery.
If you suffer from symptomatic fibroids and have not been able to conceive, we suggest inquiring whether you are a good candidate for UFE. Even if you do not want to undergo uterine fibroid treatment during pregnancy, conceiving may become easier if you treat your fibroids prior to conception.
Treating fibroids before pregnancy is the safer, better alternative. Monitor any symptoms of uterine fibroids you may experience and seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you wait to seek treatment for fibroids until after you discover that youre pregnant, your treatment options will be limited until the baby is born. Due to the risk for the baby, doctors will generally only prescribe bed rest, mild pain relievers, and hydration to deal with the symptoms.
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Do Fibroids Shrink After A Pregnancy
Fibroids do tend to shrink in the months after delivery. The whole uterus reduces in size, there are changes in blood flow and hormone patterns.
Studies have shown that majority of women with fibroids detected in first trimester will have regression in total fibroid volume three to six months post-partum.
Can Uterine Fibroids Harm My Pregnancy
Early in pregnancy, its not uncommon to diagnose a patient with preexisting conditions that might cause concern during the next nine months.
While diabetes and high blood pressure are common concerns we diagnose during pregnancy, 1% to 10% of expectant moms are found to have uterine fibroids abnormal but noncancerous tissue growths inside the uterus during a prenatal ultrasound. For some this is a new finding, but many women are already aware they have them.
Uterine fibroids are common. By age 35, 40% to 60% of women will have developed these growths, which can cause abdominal bulkiness and heavy or painful periods.
Even so, the diagnosis can be alarming for some patients. I have weird tissue growing near my baby? What does that mean for my pregnancy?
While there is a large amount of research on fibroids in nonpregnant patients, data are limited on how fibroids can affect pregnancy. Thankfully, we do know that most patients with fibroids will have an uneventful pregnancy and delivery.
Having a few small fibroids is rarely cause for concern. However, depending on the location of your fibroids, how many you have, and whether they are large fibroids can range from the size of a coin to a basketball we will monitor for certain situations that can cause problems during pregnancy.
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Treatment Of Uterine Fibroids
There are 2 main treatment options to treat uterine fibroids: medications and surgery. To select the most appropriate treatment, it is entirely determined by location and size as well as presenting symptoms and individuals conditions.
Medications for uterine fibroids target hormones that regulate menstrual cycle for treating symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding. However, medicines do not eliminate fibroids, but may instead shrink them. Surgeries to remove fibroids involve traditional surgical procedures and minimally invasive surgery. Laparoscopic gynecologic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to safely remove uterine fibroids without having an open cut which is required in open surgery. The surgical instruments such as a laparoscope, a narrow tube with a camera are inserted via small incisions. This allows the gynecologist to clearly visualize all dimensions of gynecologic organs on a monitoring screen before having fibroids removed accurately and safely. Laparoscopic surgery with smaller incision significantly results in less pain and enhanced safety associated with fewer post-operative complications such as lower rate of infections, less blood loss and less fibrosis formation after surgery. More importantly, faster recovery time and shorter hospital stay enable patients to quickly return to their daily life and activities. After surgery, patients are recommended to take contraceptive pills at least 1 month before considering for pregnancy.
Symptoms Of Uterine Fibroids
Some women who have fibroids do not experience any symptoms. In those that do, symptoms can be influenced by the location, size and number of fibroids. The most common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual periods lasting longer than a week
- Pelvic pressure or abdominal pain during menstruation
- Irregular bleeding between menstrual periods and
- Frequent urination.
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How Are Fibroids Treated Before Pregnancy To Improve Fertility
Treating uterine fibroids before pregnancy may improve your fertility risk. The most common treatments for fibroids that preserve fertility include:
- Myomectomy. This surgical procedure is used to remove fibroids. It may increase the need for cesarean delivery, and youll likely need to wait about three months following the procedure before attempting to conceive.
- Hormonal birth control pills. While youre on the pill, you wont be able to become pregnant. But this contraceptive can help ease symptoms of the condition, such as heavy bleeding and painful periods.
- Intrauterine device . Like the birth control pill, an IUD will prevent pregnancy as long as youre using it. However, it can help eliminate some of symptoms while preserving fertility.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. This type of medication blocks the production of the hormones that lead to ovulation and menstruation, so you wont be able to become pregnant while taking this medication. It can help shrink fibroids.
- Myolysis. This procedure uses an electric current, laser, or radio-frequency energy beam to shrink the blood vessels that feed the fibroids.
Other treatments are available for women with fibroids who may want to have children in the future. Each treatment carries its own risk and complications, so talk with your doctor about your options.
Uterine Fibroids Can Impact Your Fertility
A 37-year-old woman goes to her doctor for evaluation and treatment for infertility. She has never been able to get pregnant and very much wants to have a baby. She has bleeding for 10 days with her periods and she says she has feelings of fullness in her pelvis and pain during her period. Intercourse can be painful at times and she often battles constipation. During her physical examination, her doctor feels a large mass on her uterus and recommends further testing.
An ultrasound shows a mass measuring 10 cm in diameter. The mass, which the doctor believes is a fibroid tumor, extends into the cavity of her uterus. Her doctor talks with her about several treatment options and she chooses to have a myomectomy. This procedure allows the tumor to be surgically removed from her uterus using a minimally-invasive technique. She recovers quite well and 3 months later, while completing some of the testing for infertility, she gets pregnant. She has no complications during her pregnancy and delivers a healthy girl at 9 months through a cesarean section.
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What Are The Effects Of Pregnancy On Fibroids
The majority of fibroids dont change in size during pregnancy, but some do. In fact, of uterine fibroids may grow in the first trimester, according to a 2010 review. Fibroid growth is possibly influenced by estrogen, and estrogen levels rise during pregnancy. This may lead to growth.
Still, for other women, fibroids may actually shrink during pregnancy. In a 2010 study, researchers found that of fibroids that were present before a pregnancy decreased in size after delivery.
Schedule Your Ufe And Speak To A Specialist
Its only natural that you would be concerned about how fibroids can affect your ability to conceive and have a safe pregnancy and delivery. If you have been diagnosed with fibroids, you can discuss treatment with a fibroid specialist at USA Fibroid Centers. They will help you develop the right treatment plan, whether you are pregnant or planning to have a baby.
Schedule a consultation to learn more about UFE and how it can help you deliver a happy and healthy baby. You can also call 855.615.2555 to visit one of our facilities.
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Fibroids Fertility And Infertility
Can you still be fertile with fibroids?
Yes, many patients with fibroids can get pregnant. But to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy, its best to discuss your goals and priorities with your doctor. If fibroids are having an impact on your quality of life, a gynecologic surgeon can discuss treatment options that can help preserve your fertility.Can fibroids cause infertility?