Can Large Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?
Our fertility clinic has helped many couples overcome fertility challenges so they can build their family.
One type of issue that may affect fertility and pregnancy are fibroids. Fibroids are noncancerous growths on the uterus. They are common and generally pose no problems to fertility and pregnancy. However, large fibroids can have an impact.
Dr. Janelle Dorsett addresses patient concerns about large fibroids and pregnancy at our clinic in Lubbock, TX. For answers to your questions, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
Large Fibroids and Becoming Pregnant
Fibroids are a noncancerous tumor found on or near the uterus. Fibroids can range in size, from about the size of a watermelon seed to the size of a grapefruit. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids by the time they are 50.
Many women with fibroids conceive without a problem and go on to have healthy, normal pregnancies. However, when fibroids are large, they can interfere with fertility. When fertility is affected, fibroids can be treated in our Lubbock clinic. Some women may benefit from fibroid removal, a procedure called a myomectomy. Often, this is enough to improve fertility when fibroids are the issue.
Whether or not a myomectomy is performed, most women who have fibroids will have normal pregnancies, but sometimes fibroids can lead to complications.
Complications during the First 12 Weeks of Pregnancy
Fibroids generally stop growing during pregnancy, but if they do grow in size, it's usually during the first trimester. Whether fibroids grow or not, they can cause issues during the first trimester, such as:
- Bleeding: Some bleeding during the first trimester may occur in women with fibroids. It should be noted that women without fibroids sometimes experience light bleeding during the first trimester as well.
- Pain: Pain, either alone or with bleeding, may also occur in women with fibroids.
- Miscarriage: Women with fibroids might be at a slightly higher risk of miscarriage than those without fibroids.
Complications after 13 Weeks
As pregnancy progresses, an expanding uterus and growing baby can push against large fibroids. Many women with fibroids will have a normal pregnancy, but some may experience some problems, including:
- Red degeneration of fibroids: Red degeneration of fibroids occurs when a fibroid outgrows its blood supply. As a result, the fibroid will turn red and die. Red degeneration can cause severe abdominal pain and sometimes miscarriage.
- Pain: Fibroids may cause pain throughout pregnancy. Larger fibroids are more likely to cause pain because they are more likely to outgrow their blood supply, triggering red degeneration. Large fibroids may also twist. Twisting can cause abdominal cramps and pain.
- Placental abruption: Placental abruption is a condition in which the placenta tears away from the uterine walls before delivery. Placental abruption is a medical emergency for both the mother and baby, as it can cause the mother to bleed heavily and prevent the baby from getting sufficient oxygen. Women with fibroids are more likely to experience placental abruption.
- Preterm delivery: Preterm delivery refers to any delivery occurring prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Women with fibroids are more likely to have a preterm delivery than those without.
Schedule a Consultation
If you like more information about fibroids and fertility treatment, please call our Lubbock clinic at (806) 788-1212 to schedule a consultation.