Fibroids During Pregnancy
Given how many people have fibroids, over 33 percent of women develop them during their childbearing years, it’s natural to wonder how they might influence pregnancy or your ability to become pregnant in the future. Here’s what you need to know about fibroid tumors and treatment during pregnancy.
How Can Fibroids Affect Your Pregnancy?
For most women with fibroids, pregnancy and delivery progress as expected. However, fibroids can increase the risk for certain complications, and your doctor may want to monitor your pregnancy more closely if you have them. Here are the main pregnancy complications that fibroid tumors have been associated with:
- Cesarean delivery: Breech positioning and other complications associated with fibroids can increase the need for cesarean delivery.
- Placental abruption: Submucosal fibroids that grow just under the uterine lining and protrude into the womb can increase the likelihood of placental abruption. This situation occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before delivery, preventing the fetus from getting oxygen.
- Fetal growth restriction: Intramural fibroids can sometimes cause fetal growth restriction, which occurs when large fibroids take up space inside the womb and prevent full development of the fetus.
- Preterm delivery: Fibroids are associated with preterm delivery in part because the acute abdominal pain of blocked blood flow to a fibroid has the potential to induce early labor during pregnancy. Another sign that increases the risk for preterm delivery, is if the doctor has noticed that your fibroids have increased in size during pregnancy.
- Breech positioning: If fibroids have led to an abnormally shaped uterine cavity, the baby could have difficulty getting into proper position for vaginal delivery.
- Bleeding: Some fibroids can cause heavy bleeding after delivery.
If you’re concerned about how fibroids might affect a future pregnancy, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or a fibroid treatment specialist.
How Do Doctors Treat Fibroids During Pregnancy?
Most people don’t need serious treatment for fibroids during pregnancy. In most cases, a doctor will monitor fibroids carefully and prescribe rest, heating pads, and safe pain medication to help with pain.
In some cases, a doctor may determine that fibroid treatment during pregnancy would be necessary or beneficial. Treatments could include Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), as determined by your doctor.
Will Fibroids Affect Your Ability to Conceive?
Fertility is a common concern for many women with fibroids. The fibroid size and location can affect fertility and the ability to conceive. Submucosal fibroids may increase the likelihood of infertility, because they may block the fallopian tubes. Fibroids may also distort the uterus, which can negatively impact embryo implantation. If you know you have fibroids and you’re planning on getting pregnant, you might find it useful to consult a fibroid specialist.
You should also remember that some treatments for fibroids could affect your ability to conceive. While treatments like hysterectomy may help people with fibroids stop symptoms like heavy bleeding and pain, they also prevent future pregnancy. If you’re hoping to conceive at some point, you should seek non-surgical procedures like UFE that treat fibroids while preserving the uterus and its’ functions.
Let USA Fibroid Centers Provide Guidance
The relationship between uterine fibroids and pregnancy is complicated, especially when you consider the number of treatment options available. At USA Fibroid Centers, we believe fibroids shouldn’t stop you from living your life. Whether you’re pregnant now or considering conceiving in the future, our fibroid experts can provide useful insight into your treatment options.
UFE can be a good choice if you wish to have the ability to conceive in the future. For more information about UFE and pregnancy, reach out to us today.