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What You Need to Know About Fibroids and Pregnancy

What You Need to Know About Fibroids and Pregnancy

Most women will develop fibroids in their lifetime, and for the estimated 26 million women who currently have them, problems getting or sustaining a pregnancy can occur. Most women with fibroids have no symptoms and remain unaware of their presence. 

Sometimes, fibroids are found through testing after experiencing fertility problems. The good news is that if fibroids are interfering with your ability to become pregnant, their removal usually helps. 

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, it’s best to work closely with a specialist who can check for issues such as fibroids. At Ideal Gynecology, you’ll find a team that is dedicated to excellence in women’s health. Our goal is to ensure that you receive superior care and service that is aligned with you. 

Fibroids: an overview

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that can sometimes develop in or on the uterus. Though they’re common and often don’t cause symptoms, in some cases, they can interfere with your ability to become pregnant.  

Fibroids vary in size, from very small to the size of a mango or larger. Depending on where they grow, they can affect fertility in various ways. Keep in mind that having fibroids doesn't necessarily mean you can't have a healthy pregnancy.

Fibroids and fertility

Although many women with fibroids conceive naturally and go on to have healthy pregnancies, these growths can sometimes affect fertility. They can change the shape of the cervix or uterus, which can affect the movement of sperm or implantation of the embryo. 

Another way fibroids can impact fertility involves their effect on the blood flow to the uterus. Adequate blood flow is crucial to ensure embryo nourishment. Fibroids can disrupt this blood flow, which might impact embryo growth. 

In some cases, fibroids can block the Fallopian tubes. If you have fibroids and are having trouble conceiving, it’s essential to have your fibroids evaluated. 

The size, location, and type of fibroid play a critical role in determining if they might affect fertility. In some cases, fibroid removal, known as myomectomy, can improve the chances of getting pregnant, especially if the fibroids are large or submucosal. 

Fibroids during pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body undergoes major hormonal changes that can affect fibroids. In some cases, these growths may increase in size because of increased estrogen levels. Though many women with fibroids experience no complications, others may experience issues such as abdominal pain or a feeling of pressure. 

It's also important to note that fibroids can potentially lead to a higher chance of needing a Cesarean section. They also increase the risk of preterm birth.

Monitoring and management

If you have fibroids and are pregnant or planning to conceive, regular monitoring is crucial. Our team will likely recommend ultrasound scans to monitor the fibroids' growth and assess their impact on your pregnancy. Conservative management is typically enough during pregnancy. 

Considerations after pregnancy

As estrogen levels normalize after pregnancy, fibroids may decrease in size. However, it's crucial to continue monitoring them, especially if you plan to have more children. In some cases, we may recommend treatment for fibroids after you’ve given birth, particularly if your fibroids are causing symptoms.

Having fibroids rarely prevents a successful pregnancy, but it does mean you may need special attention and care. If you have fibroids and are planning to get pregnant, or are pregnant, give us a call to discuss how we can help. Call our Atlanta, Georgia office today for more information.

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