Center for Assisted Reproduction

About Fibroids and How They Affect Fertility in Women

By CARE Fertility on July 23, 2016

A woman's reproductive organsOur team has helped countless people in and around Dallas start families of their own through the use of advanced fertility treatment. These state-of-the-art procedures are ideal for men and women who have had issues starting families of their own.

A number of women who come to the practice have experienced issues with fibroids. Let's take a moment to consider what they are and how they affect female fertility.

About Uterine Fibroids

Also known as leiomyomas and myomas, uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus. They occur when cells divide repeatedly from the smooth muscular tissue of the uterus. The fibroids may grow slowly or rapidly, ranging from minute and undetectable without the aid of a microscope to large, enough to distort the shape and size of the uterus. Thankfully these growths do not increase the risk of uterine cancer or develop into cancer.

It's estimated that up to three-quarters of women will have uterine fibroids at one point of their life, yet many women will be unaware of them developing.

Causes of Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids tend to show up during a woman's childbearing years, though there is yet to be a consensus as to why they form. Clinical research suggests that they occur as a result of genetic changes, hormonal changes or fluctuations, and other factors related to bodily growth.

Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

When uterine fibroids cause symptoms, the most common signs include the following:

  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • Prolonged periods
  • Pain or pressure of the pelvis
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Constipation
  • Problems emptying the bladder
  • Back pain
  • Leg pain

Can Uterine Fibroids Affect Conception?

Uterine fibroids that significantly alter the uterine cavity can have a negative impact on fertility. This includes large submucosal fibroids that are inside the uterine cavity and large intramural fibroids that are within the wall of the uterus.

On the whole, however, most women with fibroids will not necessarily notice issues with fertility. Between 5 percent to 10 percent of infertile women have fibroids.

Can Uterine Fibroids Affect My Pregnancy?

In some cases, yes. Uterine fibroids are present in 2 percent to 12 percent of pregnant women. These fibroids can potentially affect a child in the womb if they grow rapidly, which tends to occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In serious cases, uterine fibroids can cause miscarriages. Rapidly growing uterine fibroids can also alter the position of the baby in the uterus, leading to serious problems for the mother and her child.

Keep in mind that many women who have fibroids are able to carry a baby to term without any serious worries about wellness. This will be something too discuss with your doctor and a fertility specialist, however, if you have any concerns about wellness.

Treatment Options to Consider

If you have had a miscarriage before or have experienced issues with uterine fibroids that have affected fertility or pregnancy, there are many options to consider to get the help you need.

When uterine fibroids cause problems with conception, the ideal option to consider is typically in vitro fertilization (IVF). To avoid miscarriage or issues with fetal health and development, a surrogate carrier may be helpful to consider.

Learn More About Fertility Treatment Options

For more information about various fertility treatment options and how they can help you start the family you have always wanted, be sure to contact our team of advanced fertility specialists today. We will work closely with you to address the issues that matter most.

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