Fibroids impact on Fertility

What exactly are fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are masses of muscle tissue in the uterus that are benign (noncancerous). Myomas and leiomyomas are other names for them. Fibroids originate when a single muscle cell in the uterine wall multiplies and matures into a benign tumour.

Fibroids can alter the form and size of the uterus, as well as the cervix in some cases (lower part of the uterus). Although most women have several fibroid tumours, solitary fibroids are conceivable. Fibroids’ location, size, and number determine whether they produce symptoms or require treatment. Fibroids are most commonly found in or around the uterus’s body, however, they can also be found in the cervix.

Fibroids are classified into three categories based on where they are found:

Subserosal refers to the uterus’s outer wall (55 percent)

Intramural are present in the uterine wall’s muscular layers (40 percent) Protrusion of the submucosa into the uterine cavity (5 percent)

Fibroids can also have a stalk (pedunculated) that connects them to the uterus, or they might be related to adjacent ligaments or organs like the bladder and colon. Outside of the pelvic cavity, fibroids are uncommon.

How frequent are they?

Fibroids affect 20% of reproductive-age women; however, they are more common in African-American women (50 percent -80 percent). Although the specific cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, research suggests that it is caused by a mix of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors.

Can They Affect Fertility?

Fibroids affect about 5% to 10% of infertile women. Fibroids’ size and location influence whether or not they have an impact on fertility. Fibroids that are inside the uterine cavity (submucosal) or fibroids that are very large (>6 cm in diameter) within the uterine wall are examples (intramural). The majority of fibroids-affected women are not infertile. Before fibroids are treated, women with fibroids and their partners should be thoroughly screened to rule out any fertility issues. An IVF Specialist can help determine whether fibroids are interfering with conception.

Uterine fibroids can affect fertility in several ways:

The number of sperm that can enter the uterus might be affected by changes in the shape of the cervix. The migration of the sperm or embryo can be hampered by changes in the shape of the uterus. Fibroids can obstruct the fallopian tubes. They affect the size of the uterine cavity lining. The uterine cavity’s blood flow may be hampered. An embryo’s ability to stick (implant) to the uterine wall or develop may be harmed as a result of this.

Fibroids and pregnancy: what happens?

Fibroids are found in 2% to 12% of pregnant women, however not all fibroids grow larger or cause complications during pregnancy. A fibroid is most likely to grow during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

What can happen if you have fibroids while pregnant?

The main concern during pregnancy is whether the fibroid would raise the risk of preterm labour or miscarriage. Fibroids can overrun their blood supply and produce significant pain in some circumstances. You may need to be admitted to the hospital. Fibroids can also cause the baby’s position in the uterus to alter. Miscarriage, preterm delivery, and caesarean section are all risks associated with this.

Your doctor’s suggestions and your scenario will determine how you treat your fibroids. During pregnancy, surgery is rarely required or performed.

If a woman becomes pregnant after having a fibroid removed, she should talk to the obstetrician who will deliver the baby. It’s possible that a caesarean section will be advised.

Summary

Uterine fibroids are prevalent and can have a variety of effects on fertility. They can influence whether sperm and egg meet, whether an embryo implants, whether a pregnancy continues and the baby’s growth and location. Treatment is determined on an individual basis. It is based on fibroids’ symptoms and may help with overall fertility. The intensity of your symptoms and IVF Specialist suggestions will determine how and whether you treat your fibroids.

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