Fibroids During Pregnancy
About 33 percent of women with fibroids develop them during childbearing years. Fibroids are unpredictable and can be caused by a number of different factors. If you are in your prime reproductive years, it’s important to be aware of what happens when you develop fibroids during pregnancy.
How Can Fibroids Affect Your Pregnancy?
Fortunately, many women that develop fibroids while pregnant end up having a normal delivery to a completely healthy baby. However, fibroids do have the potential to cause complications to pregnancy based on where they develop, how large they grow, and how many are present. If you’re pregnant and have fibroids, your doctor may recommend some additional testing to closely monitor your pregnancy through each trimester.
The main complications that can arise from fibroids that developing during pregnancy include:
Breech positioning and other complications associated with fibroids can increase the need for cesarean delivery.
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.
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.
If fibroids have led to an abnormally shaped uterine cavity, the baby could have difficulty getting into proper position for vaginal delivery.
Some fibroids can cause heavy bleeding to occur after delivery.
Can Fibroids Interfere with Fertility?
Fertility is a common concern for many women with fibroids. The fibroids size and location can affect fertility and the ability to conceive. Submucosal fibroids (the least common type of 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 are planning on getting pregnant soon, you might find it useful to consult with a fibroid specialist.
Some treatments for fibroids could affect your ability to conceive. While a procedure like hysterectomy can help women with fibroids find relief from symptoms like heavy bleeding and pain, it also make future pregnancy impossible. If you’re hoping to conceive in the near future, give us a call at 855.615.2555 to learn more about how Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) can help you before or after your pregnancy.
Unfortunately, treatment for fibroids cannot be pursued while you are pregnant. Although there can be complications that arise from fibroids during pregnancy, there is far more risk of undergoing a treatment procedure while you are pregnant. If you are experiencing pain associated with your period, or if you notice symptoms like frequent urination or stomach bloating, consult with one of our fibroid specialists on how to best manage your symptoms while pregnant.