Getting Pregnant With Fibroids
If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors that reside within your uterus, and you want to get pregnant, you probably have some concerns. Perhaps you are wondering if you will be able to conceive children without any issues, or whether you will be able to safely deliver your baby.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our fibroid specialists want you to know that the vast majority of women with fibroids can get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. However, some women may experience difficulties along the way. These can involve conception, usually due to the size and location of their fibroids. Because fibroids tend to grow during pregnancy, others experience increased fibroid symptoms like pain, discomfort, or low energy levels. Some women may be at greater risk for pregnancy complications.
You may be able to reduce some of these risks with fibroid treatment. Request an appointment with one of our expert specialists today to discuss how fibroid treatment may help.
Can You Get Pregnant with Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids, which can form in the uterine wall, outside the wall, or in the uterine cavity, are noncancerous tumors ranging in size, location, number, and type. While no one is sure why certain women are more susceptible to fibroids, they’re most common in African-American women, obese women, women that started their periods at an early age, and women with a family history of fibroids. Fibroid growth is thought to be caused by the influx of progesterone and estrogen; however, genetic and lifestyle factors also increase your chance of development.
The ability to conceive is rarely affected by the presence of fibroids, though fibroids tend to grow during pregnancy and can cause problems. This type of fibroid growth is likely related to an influx of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy. Many pregnant women don’t even know they have fibroids until they go for their first ultrasound. Some women won’t experience any symptoms, while others will start experiencing fibroid symptoms during and after their pregnancy.
The most common fibroid symptoms in pregnant women include:
- Increased level of white blood cells
- Fatigue due to anemia
If you are pregnant and believe you are experiencing fibroid symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor. While fibroid treatment is not generally performed on pregnant women, there may be help available for temporary symptom relief.
We also want you to keep in mind that some fibroid symptoms, such as bleeding during pregnancy, can also be signs of pregnancy complications. Only a medical professional can provide an accurate diagnosis.
Is It Safe to Get Pregnant With Fibroids?
While it is generally considered safe to get pregnant with fibroids, there is limited data about the impact of fibroids on pregnancy. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, fibroids are found in 2 to 12% of pregnant women. During pregnancy, fibroids tend to grow in size, but not all fibroids will get larger or cause problems. Fibroids typically grow during the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy, and most will shrink by the postpartum period.
Depending on the number, size, and location of your fibroids, certain problems may occur during pregnancy. Fibroids can outgrow their blood supply and cause severe pain, which is why it’s important to have a fibroid specialist monitor the fibroids throughout your pregnancy to note any changes of size or symptoms.
How Fibroids Can Affect an Unborn Baby
One potentially serious complication during pregnancy is when a large fibroid blocks the opening of the uterus. This increases your chances of needing a C-section as opposed to a vaginal delivery. Fibroids can also change the position of the baby in the uterus, which increases the risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage, and C-section. Additionally, fibroids may cause issues with placental attachment, restrict the growth of the baby, or lead to a breech position (bottom or feet first) of the baby at the time of delivery.
What to Consider Before Getting Pregnant if You Have Fibroids
Since fibroids may cause complications for both you and the baby during pregnancy, you may want to consider having treatment before getting pregnant. Additionally, fibroids are associated in 10% of infertility cases and are the sole cause of infertility in up to 3% of patients.
Many women believe that hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, is the only treatment available for fibroids. Although hysterectomy is the treatment most often recommended and performed for fibroids, we want you to know there are other options.
If you have fibroids and are considering getting pregnant, our fibroid specialists can help. They can provide an accurate diagnosis of the size and location of your fibroids using ultrasound guidance.
Should You Get Fibroids Removed Before or After Pregnancy?
The decision of when to receive fibroid treatment is an individual one. In most cases, doctors recommend having fibroid treatment post delivery to avoid potential risk a procedure might post to you or the baby. In some cases, fibroids may even shrink naturally after giving birth. However, it’s important to know that even after shrinking, fibroids can grow back and cause painful symptoms once more.
Seeking treatment from a fibroid specialist is the best way to ensure your symptoms don’t interfere with your life or plans to get pregnant. At USA Fibroid Centers, our doctors put their patients first. They’ll discuss your symptoms and future plans with you to come up with a treatment recommendation that fits for you and your family.
Can You Get Pregnant After Fibroid Removal?
One of the concerns for many women who have been diagnosed with fibroids is how it will affect their ability to conceive, even after getting treatment. While pregnancy after fibroid removal is possible, the likelihood of conception will depend on the procedure performed to treat the fibroids.
When you choose UFE for fibroid treatment, your chances for conception and a successful pregnancy improve. This is because UFE shrinks the fibroids that may be preventing pregnancy. UFE also preserves fertility by keeping the uterus intact.
If a doctor recommends a hysterectomy for fibroids, the chances of conception are eliminated completely. Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, and sometimes other organs, and always results in permanent infertility. With a myomectomy, the odds of getting pregnant are more likely since this procedure removes the fibroids and leaves the uterus intact. However, the majority of women who have this procedure and later become pregnant will need to have a C-section for delivery. This is because a C-section reduces the chances of the uterus rupturing during the delivery.
Getting Pregnant After Fibroid Removal
If you’re hoping to get pregnant after fibroid removal, you may want to consider UFE treatment. UFE doesn’t surgically remove the fibroids or any organs; instead, it is a non-surgical procedure that involves using a catheter to cut off blood supply to the uterine artery that feeds the fibroids. Fibroids shrink and die once the artery is blocked, reducing symptoms while maintaining your ability to have children. In fact, a recent study found that UFE is an effective treatment for women who want to conceive.
Schedule Your Treatment with USA Fibroid Centers Today
If you want to learn more about treating your fibroids before or after getting pregnant, request a consultation with one of our fibroid specialists today. We believe no woman should have to choose between invasive surgery or their ability to have children. At USA Fibroid Centers, we offer UFE, a minimally invasive procedure that treats fibroids without resulting in infertility.. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 855.615.2555 to visit a specialist at one of our more than 40 locations.
 Source: ReproductiveFacts.org, from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine
 Source: Seminars in Reproductive Medicine Journal