Getting Pregnant With Fibroids
If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and you want to get pregnant, you probably have some concerns. Perhaps you are wondering if you will be able to get pregnant 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. Also, some women may be at greater risk for pregnancy complications.
You may be able to reduce some of these risks with fibroid treatment. Here’s what you need to know about fibroids and getting pregnant.
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 more 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 developing them.
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, your doctor will want to closely monitor you for any signs of potential trouble.
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 situation increases your chances of needing a C-section as opposed to a vaginal delivery. Fibroids can also cause preterm delivery, different positioning of the baby in the womb, and light bleeding.
What to Consider Before Getting Pregnant if You Have Fibroids
You may want to consider having fibroid treatment before getting pregnant. After all, there is always some level of uncertainty that comes from conceiving with fibroids. As if pregnancy isn’t uncomfortable enough, your fibroids can grow; this can lead to increased pain and low energy, as well as other undesirable symptoms. Plus, there is still risk of complications.
In particular, this risk may lead some women to experience anxiety over the health of their baby. This is why it’s important to attend all of your prenatal doctor appointments. We also suggest, to the best of your control, that you surround yourself with a strong support system of friends and family who understand what you are going through.
When trying to conceive with fibroids, it may be helpful to reduce any outside stress. If finances allow, perhaps you can take some time off. You may want to avoid individuals who cause undue stress in your life. Finally, when it comes to your partner and other close contacts, be sure to clearly communicate your needs –– both physical and emotional!
Effects of Pregnancy on Fibroids
We know that pregnancy can change your fibroids. As mentioned above, some fibroids can grow when estrogen and progesterone rise. However, other women’s fibroids may shrink during pregnancy. It’s best to have a fibroid specialist monitor your fibroids’ size throughout your pregnancy to note any changes of size or symptoms. Consistent monitoring of fibroids by an interventional radiologist during pregnancy can help eliminate issues during delivery.
Should You Get Fibroids Removed Before or After Pregnancy?
The decision of when to receive fibroid treatment is an individual one. You should discuss your symptoms and circumstances with a fibroid specialist to come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.
In most cases, doctors recommend having fibroid treatment after delivery –– but you can certainly discuss future plans during your pregnancy. In some cases, fibroids may even shrink naturally after giving birth.
If you are not pregnant, you may want to consider fibroid treatment beforehand. If you are concerned that treatment will impact your future fertility, we get it. Many women believe that hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, is their only option. Hysterectomy, of course, always results in permanent infertility and should be avoided if you wish to conceive in the future.
Fortunately, you have other options. At USA Fibroid Centers, we offer a minimally-invasive, non-surgical approach called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) that can shrink your fibroids, eliminate your symptoms, and allow you to retain your uterus. By treating your fibroids before pregnancy, you can help reduce the risks associated with getting pregnant with uterine fibroids.
Contact USA Fibroid Centers
If you have fibroids and getting pregnant is in your future, it’s a good idea to look at your treatment options. Although you can’t receive fibroid treatment while pregnant, you can treat your fibroids before or after pregnancy. To determine the best timing for you, we recommend a consultation with one of our fibroid specialists at USA Fibroid Centers. Our experts aim to help you live life to the fullest and experience all the joys of motherhood. Contact us at USA Fibroid Centers today for more information.