Many of our patients often ask us if their uterine fibroids are going to make them infertile. In short, no, they will not directly cause you to be infertile. However, uterine fibroids may make it more difficult for you to get pregnant because they can interfere with the health of your uterus, ovaries, and uterine lining.
Uterine fibroids can come in all different shapes and sizes, and they can appear in different areas of the women’s reproductive system. For some women, they may only have one fibroid that they never notice because it doesn’t cause any symptoms. For others, they may have multiple fibroids that are very painful and lead to several uncomfortable symptoms like abnormal bleeding. The probability of your uterine fibroids causing infertility depends on how their size and location interferes with your reproductive system.
When you get pregnant, the fertilized egg travels from your ovaries to your uterus where it will live and grow for the whole duration of your pregnancy. The egg does this by traveling through the fallopian tubes. For women that have fibroids blocking their fallopian tubes, it might prevent the egg from traveling to the uterus, thus restricting pregnancy.
What They Can Do
Can uterine fibroids cause infertility? Well, fibroids can affect the shape of the entrance to the uterus and reproductive system, also known as the cervix. When the cervix can’t do its job properly, it’s very hard for sperm to make it through to the uterus. If healthy sperm can’t make it to the uterus, then your eggs can’t fertilize it and you won’t get pregnant. This can be concerning when you consider that about 99.9% of sperm don’t make it to the uterus in a woman without any reproductive health conditions.
Fibroids also affect the growth of the uterine lining during pregnancy. When the egg becomes fertilized and makes its way to its home in the uterus, it needs extra blood and nutrients to grow. If you have fibroids, it can often restrict the blood flow to the uterus and uterine lining which can affect the growth of an embryo or fetus.
There are 4 main types of fibroids:
Research has shown infertility is not likely from uterine fibroids on their own. The type of fibroids that commonly lead to infertility, submucosal fibroids, is the rarest type of fibroids, making up only about 5% of all fibroid diagnoses. Some women can even develop fibroids once they have already become pregnant, regardless of how healthy their reproductive system was before getting pregnant.
Treatment and Infertility
Infertility is more common as a result of certain treatments for fibroids, yet people often confuse the relationship between fibroid treatment and infertility with fibroids and infertility. There are several different treatments available for uterine fibroids. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization
- Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy
- Endometrial ablation
- Abdominal myomectomy
Many of these treatments directly affect the health of the reproductive system. Some treatments, like hysterectomy or endometrial ablation, require removal of the uterine lining or the entire uterus. Obviously once your uterus is removed it is completely impossible for you to get pregnant.
Don’t Neglect the Signs
It’s very important that you talk with your primary care physician or gynecologist if you think you might have uterine fibroids. If you are already struggling with fibroids and you are searching for a treatment that won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant in the future, reach out to us at 855.615.2555 to learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization therapy here at USA Fibroid Centers.
Not sure if you need treatment? You can also request a consultation with one of our specialists by clicking the button below.