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Fibroids, fertility, and pregnancy

Some types of fibroids may be associated with infertility, make it difficult for you to get pregnant, or even compromise the developing baby.

Uterine fibroids and fertility

The following is a brief classification of fibroids that will help you to identify which types may affect fertility and pregnancy.

Illustration showing the placement of the different types of fibroids in the uterus

  • Intramural fibroids grow inside the uterine wall and typically do not produce symptoms unless their size is very large.  This is the most common type of fibroid.
  • Intracavitary fibroids are located inside the uterine cavity.
  • Submucosal fibroids develop close to the inner wall of the uterus (endometrial cavity).  Together with intracavitary fibroids, submucosal fibroids are the chief cause of abundant bleeding, while they are also the fibroid type that is the most associated with reproductive issues.
  • Subserosal fibroids develop close to the outer wall of the uterus.  If they press the bladder they can be responsible for urinary difficulty or increased urinary frequency.  If they press the rectum, nerves, or vascular structures at the back of the uterus, they can cause constipation, back pain, or leg pain.
  • Pedunculated fibroids are those that grow towards the outside or the inside of the uterus on a small or thin base.  Though rare, they can cause severe pain when torsion of a pedunculated fibroid happens for any reason.
  • As their name indicates, ligament or intraligamental fibroids develop in the ligaments than holds the uterus.

Fibroids that alter the form of the uterine cavity or develop inside the uterine cavity (i.e. submucosal and intracavitary) significantly reduce the possibility of pregnancy.  Eliminating such fibroids improves your chances of getting pregnant.

On the other hand, fibroids that do not affect the uterine cavity (i.e. intramural and subserosal) usually do not impact fertility.

If you are looking to get pregnant, we recommend checking with a specialist before attempting conception, so that he or she can evaluate your fibroid type and characteristics.

Fibroids and pregnancy

Submucosal and intracavitary fibroids are the ones in general which alter the uterine cavity, and therefore are the most associated with fertility and pregnancy difficulties.

Such complications can go from reducing the possibility of a successful implantation of a fertilized egg to a possible miscarriage, especially if fibroids compete with the developing baby for space or blood flow.  However, many of the pregnancies of women with fibroids reach full term successfully.

Though on few occasions are fibroids the cause of severe problems or complications during pregnancy, it is advisable that you have an accurate diagnosis performed and that you consult your situation with your gynecologist.

Recommendable choices of fibroid treatment for women wishing to get pregnant

With the exception of hysterectomy (which removes the uterus and with it cancels any possibility of pregnancy), all the other choices of treatment can allow to some degree or another a pregnancy to happen.

This possibility is not contingent solely on the treatment performed but also on other factors such as a woman’s age, health condition, fertility, her partner’s fertility, etc.

You are welcome to share with us your doubts about uterine fibroids and their associated problems at the free consultation that comes with the return of your MRI studies, following our medical consensus.  In addition, there are a number of prestigious Reproductive Medicine specialists at your disposal from our Network.

 


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Happy woman reading a positive pregnancy test