May 31 2016

Understanding Uterine Fibroids: Fertility Health Concerns


A woman's reproductive systemPatients can rely on Dr. Janelle Dorsett to provide all the information they need when it comes to fertility treatment options. She remains one of the leading fertility specialists in the Lubbock area because of her commitment to patient wellness and patient educations.

Fertility medicine encompasses many factors related to pregnancy and chilbirth, including assessment and treatment of various health issues. Since a number of patients have had questions about the impact of uterine fibroids on fertility, we'd like to address these matters right now.

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.

Speak with Dr. Janelle Dorsett About Your Options

To learn more about your treatment options for infertility and problems with starting a family, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. Dr. Janelle Dorsett and her team will help you make smart choices about your many options available.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212