People often worry about uterine fibroids and pregnancy. While there may be a few additional risks, it’s often treatable. Fibroids can be singular or multiple and are very common. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids in the uterus, they may cause symptoms and require treatment. Here's what you should know.
What are Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or fibroids, develop from the muscle part of the uterus. The good news is that fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) uterine growths and in most cases, do not require treatment. There are four types of uterine fibroids:
- Subserosal fibroids - grow from the wall of the uterus outward and can create pressure on the bladder, bowel, and intestine. These fibroids may cause bloating, abdominal pressure, cramping, and pelvic pain.
- Intramural fibroids - grow within the muscle of the uterus and can cause pressure-like symptoms and, sometimes, heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Submucosal fibroids - grow from just underneath the uterine lining into the uterine cavity and can cause bleeding, pain, or infertility.
- Pedunculated fibroids - grow on stalks or stems. These stems are attached to the uterine wall and can grow either outside the uterus or inside the uterine cavity.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids
Many women with uterine fibroids do not experience any symptoms and are not even aware that they have fibroids. Because uterine fibroids can develop in different areas of the uterus, many women will have different, location-based symptoms. Women who do show symptoms often experience:
- Longer and heavier menstrual bleeding
- Pressure or pain in the pelvic region
- Frequent urination, difficulty with emptying the bladder and constipation
- Lower back pain
- Abdominal swelling similar to pregnancy
How do fibroids cause infertility?
Uterine fibroids can affect your fertility in several different ways based on how their size and location change your uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes. Uterine fibroids may impact fertility in a number of ways:
- Fibroid uterus prevents the embryo from implanting (or) it can cause an abortion by increasing uterine contractions.
- Fibroids may weaken the lining of the uterine cavity
- Adenomyosis – A condition in which there are blood cysts in the muscle of the uterus.
- Uterine fibroids can block the Fallopian tubes and make the journey of a fertilized egg to implantation difficult or impossible
- Intrauterine adhesions
- Negatively impact the receptivity of the uterine lining
Can you get pregnant if you have uterine fibroids?
Yes. Most women with uterine fibroids can get pregnant naturally. However, it is best to consult with a fertility specialist to determine if the fibroids are hampering your ability to conceive. By removing large or problematic fibroids before conception, you can effectively reduce pregnancy risks. It’s important that your pre-natal care includes a sharp medical eye. PFRC houses the best gynecologists in Chennai who will be more than happy to guide you.
Hysteroscopy & 3D Laparoscopy
Methods like hysteroscopy and laparoscopy are used to handle all problems ranging from small to large 10-12 cm fibroid, polycystic ovaries, chocolate cysts, tubal blocks, septum, and other growths in the uterus. The 3D laparoscopy is a phenomenal invention where surgery can be done with precision, ensuring minimal blood loss, excellent tissue healing, and minimal damage to tissue and this translates to phenomenal pregnancy rates. Through the laparoscope, large fibroids, as large as 10 cm can also be removed with the help of a morcellator, a masterpiece for grinding the fibroid assisting in laparoscopic removal through an opening as small as 1 cm. Laparoscopy is also used to remove uterus as large as 12 – 14 cm, thereby obviating the need for large incisions.
Treatment for Fibroids at PFRC
Most women who have fibroids will not face infertility as a result. If there are problems, you should also find out if there are other factors involved prior to seeking treatment for fibroids. PFRC’s best fertility specialists in Chennai can evaluate whether fibroids may be an issue and if any treatment is needed. PFRC attains a high premium on preparing a patient for a successful pregnancy. The latest addition to our center is the 3-D laparoscopy, making it one of the first few centers in India to use this equipment. Practitioners here use tools such as the harmonic scalpel to remove the large fibroid with precision and minimal blood loss, which are crucial in preventing adhesions that may affect fertility.
When fibroids are thought to be the cause of infertility, many women are able to become pregnant upon getting proper treatment. It is wise to consult a fertility specialist and get an expert opinion.