Fibroids usually do not affect pregnancy or cause any symptoms. Most of them are very small or are located in an area of the uterus where they don’t have any impact on pregnancy. Although most pregnant women don’t even know they have fibroids, between 10 percent and 30 percent of pregnant women actually do have them.
Fibroids can sometimes cause minor symptoms. Some fibroids grow on a stalk similar to a skin tag, and if they begin to twist, a pregnant woman may experience pelvic pain and light spotting.
Fibroids and polyps are often discovered during a pelvic exam. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may ask you to have a trans-vaginal or pelvic ultrasound, an MRI, or an endometrial biopsy. Among treatments for fibroids and polyps is hysterectomy, embolization, or hormone therapy.
Fibroid Awareness Week is April 22-27, so let’s refresh your fibroid IQ.
Fibroids are benign muscle tumors in the uterus. Depending on the size and location of a fibroid, there can be a significant impact on fertility and pregnancy. The three types of uterine fibroids include:
Surface fibroids: develop on the outside covering of the uterus
Intramural fibroids : develop within the wall of the uterus
Submucosal fibroids : develop just under the lining of the uterine cavity
Submucosal fibroids pose the greatest risk to embryo implantation. A submucosal fibroid that pushes into the uterine cavity can cause infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy loss even if the fibroid is small in size.
Myometcomy is a type of surgery to treat fibroids, the round growths in the uterus that are usually benign (non-cancerous). Fibroids can range in size from pea-sized to melon-sized, and the growths are classified by their location, with four primary types.
Removal of fibroids may reduce the risk of recurrent miscarriage
Recurrent miscarriage — also known as recurrent pregnancy loss and habitual abortion — is defined as the loss of three or more pregnancies in a row at less than 24 weeks gestation. While there are many reasons a woman may experience recurrent miscarriage, British researchers have recently found that one thing that can improve the pregnancy outcome is to remove fibroids that distort the shape of a woman's uterus.
The Link Between Fibroids and Miscarriage
The British researchers examined retrospective and prospective data from a large tertiary referral recurrent miscarriage clinic to determine if fibroids were causing the repeated miscarriages and whether removing the fibroids would lead to improved outcomes. They included 25 women with cavity-distorting fibroids who had surgery, and 54 women with fibroids that didn't distort the cavity and who did not undergo any intervention. These patients were compared with a control group of 285 women with unexplained recurrent miscarriage. The patient demographics across the groups were similar; however, on average, the patients with fibroids were slightly older than the women with unexplained recurrent miscarriage. Fibroids were diagnosed using combined transvaginal ultrasound and hysterosalpingography.