Can Fibroids Affect My Ability to Get Pregnant?

Estimates suggest that 20-50% of women have fibroids, which are noncancerous growths found inside or outside the uterine wall, or underneath the uterine lining. However, since most fibroids don’t come with any symptoms, many women live their entire lives undiagnosed. In some cases, fibroids can prevent you from getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy successfully, but it depends on the size and location of the fibroid. 

Here at The Association for Women's Health Care in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois, our team can help you understand how fibroids impact fertility, which fibroids are harmless, and how you can treat fibroids without sacrificing your dream of being a mom. 

When a fibroid becomes problematic 

Some fibroids are the size of a rice grain, whereas others are the size of a cantaloupe. Fibroids become a concern for fertility and can cause discomfort and pain when they’re larger than two inches. 

Most fibroids can be left untreated, especially if the growths are too small to cause any discomfort. But if you’re experiencing lower back pain, heavy bleeding, frequent urination, constipation, or bloatedness that doesn’t go away, then these growths may be big enough to alter the shape of your uterus and increase your chances of having a miscarriage.

Along with size, location matters too. If the fibroid is outside the uterus, it won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy. However, if the fibroid blocks the fallopian tubes, it may prevent the fertilized egg from getting implanted. 

Causes and risk factors

Although fibroids are quite common, their cause is still unknown. However, the following factors can increase your chances of developing them:

A recent study has also shown a link between a common type of hair loss and the development of fibroids. 

Modern medicine makes it easier for women with fibroids to get pregnant

In the past, the extraction of fibroids almost always meant a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), rendering women infertile. Thanks to developments in modern medicine, however, some treatment methods can preserve the reproductive organs and increase your chances of getting pregnant. You can choose from several minimally invasive procedures to remove fibroids, such as myomectomy and uterine artery embolization, or you can even opt for hormonal treatments.

If you live near Chicago, Illinois and are concerned about your fertility, contact our team of specialists to get a diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.

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