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Here's How Fibroids Affect Fertility

Posted on January 15, 2024

Are you worried that fibroids will reduce your fertility? Never fear: you can still have children with these uterine growths. But they can make the process more complex. Here's what you need to know.

How fibroids affect fertility depends on their size and location, along with how many fibroids you develop. But why is that the case? The answer seems to lie in how these growths can change the shape of your uterus, or block the flow of your egg, or your partner's sperm when trying to conceive.

woman holding pregnancy test

How Fibroids Challenge Fertility

This clinical review, emphasizes the fact that fibroids have different effects on your fertility depending on their location in your uterus. And that's because some fibroids can keep sperm and eggs from connecting for conception. Furthermore, changes in the shape of the cervix could keep sperm out of your uterus. And changes to the uterine cavity shape can prevent implantation, even if sperm connects with one of your eggs. Implantation could also become a problem if fibroids block your fallopian tubes, keeping an embryo from reaching your uterus.

Now, after conception, fibroids can keep causing trouble. You see, fibroid growth can be linked to estrogen production. And, since pregnancy increases estrogen levels in your body, it can also stimulate fibroid growth, making them grow larger along with your fetus' growth. As a result, a small fibroid at the start of your pregnancy could be a large one by the time you're ready to deliver. And that could increase your risk for miscarriage, or for a c-section delivery.

Pregnancy and Fibroids: Choosing the Best Treatment Option

If you want to relieve fibroid symptoms and preserve your fertility, here are your main treatment options:

Myomectomy

This treatment surgically removes your fibroids using minimally invasive incisions in the lower abdomen. This approach works well if you only have a few growths, or if you have pendunculated growths that attach to your uterus via stalk-like structures. It may also work well if you have fibroids that grow within your uterine lining, bulging into the cavity.

Now, most women's fertility rates improve after myomectomy. Yet any surgery involving your uterus can result in additional risks, including the need for an emergency hysterectomy. As a result, you may wish to avoid this treatment if you wish to start or expand your family.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

This treatment option allows you to relieve fibroid symptoms and shrink your growths without undergoing surgery. Now, UFE is a relatively newer way to treat fibroids. So much of the information we have about fibroids fertility rates after UFE is anecdotal. But this is what we do know: many women report having successful pregnancies after fibroid embolization. Plus, studies suggest that fertility rates after UFE are at least the same as those in women who don't treat their fibroids. However, if you wish to become pregnant after fibroid treatment, you should carefully consider all your options with a fertility specialist.

Fibroids Fertility After Treatment: The Current Literature

Several studies suggest that pregnancy complication risks are slightly higher for women who've had UFE than for those who undergo myomectomy. These may include early labor or pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension).

Still, if you wish to avoid surgery, or aren't a candidate for myomectomy, you may wish to consider UFE. After all, when it comes to symptom relief, studies show UFE offers the same if not better results than myomectomy!

Fibroid Fertility Relief in Dallas

In order to determine the best course of treatment for your unique case of fibroids, you'll need to meet with our fibroid specialist in Dallas, weighing your treatment options to benefit your fertility.

Please call 469-966-1720 today to schedule a consultation with the experienced specialists at our Georgia Fibroids clinic, or click here to request an appointment!

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