Can Fibroids Affect Your Ability to Get Pregnant?

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Can Fibroids Affect Your Ability to Get Pregnant?

Last updated: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 3 min reading time

Uterine fibroids and fertility

Can uterine fibroids affect one's chances of getting pregnant?

First things, first, let's better understand uterine fibroids.

Uterine fibroids (fibroids) are non-cancerous (benign) growths on the uterine muscle wall. They are also called leiomyoma/myoma (myoma = arising from muscle). It is a common condition in women, especially during child-bearing age. Studies show that approximately 3 – 4 in 10 women between the ages of 30 – 40 would have uterine fibroids.

There are 3 different types of uterine fibroids:

The different types of uterine fibroids will differ in their presenting symptoms. Both intramural and submucosal fibroid types may cause heavy menses; subserosal fibroids usually have no symptoms.

What are the signs of fibroids?

The exact cause of fibroids is still unknown but uterine fibroids are associated with:

Symptoms and complications of fibroids depends on their size and type. Most women with fibroids do not realise they have them as, they don't cause any symptoms or pose any danger. Some symptoms that may indicate fibroids are:

Though having these symptoms may not necessarily mean you have fibroids, visit your gynaecologist for a detailed assessment if you notice any of the above symptoms.

How are fibroids diagnosed?

The most common methods are by a pelvic examination and an ultrasound.

More details can be determined by minimally invasive methods such as:

Can fibroids cause infertility?

Fibroids may affect a woman's chance of getting pregnant. However, studies estimate that this proportion is small, approximately 2.4% of women with fibroids may experience infertility.

The chances of fibroids affecting your ability to get pregnant depends on their size, number, type and location. They may also cause:

Are there treatment options for women with fibroids and whose fertility is affected?

Yes. The most common treatment for fibroids for women who want to preserve their fertility is to remove the fibroid (myomectomy).

Other treatment options are:

Each of these treatment options has its benefits and accompanying risks. When you consult your doctor, they will discuss the options available and together you'll be able to make a decision that is most suited for you.

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Uterine fibroids symptoms, treatment, causes and surgery. Retrieved on 2/7/20.

Essam El Mahdi. Fibroids and infertility. EMJ Repro Health 2019;5(1):94-99. Retrieved 2/7/20.

Xioaxiao Catherine Guo, James H Segars. The impact and management of fibroids for fertility: an evidence-based approach. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 2012;39(4):521-533. Retrieved 2/7/2020.

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Family planning & fertility Women's health