FIBROIDS AND PREGNANCY: HOW DO FIBROIDS AFFECT PREGNANCY?
You must have heard the term fibroid a lot of times from other women.
Do you know what exactly a fibroid is and how it can affect your pregnancy? Fibroids are a form of benign growth or tumours in the uterus of a woman originating in the muscular layer of the uterus. They do not have the potential to become cancerous usually but can cause a variety of problems for the women having them.
They are very common like some other gynaecological issues faced by a lot of women you might have heard of, for example, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.
A woman having fibroids is usually asymptomatic but in some cases, there might be lower abdominal or pelvic pain associated with them or the periods might be irregular or come with heavy bleeding. Additionally, women with fibroids may complain of constipation off and on and increased the frequency and urge to pass urine. The nature and severity of symptoms are also variable in most women and are often ignored unless they are accidentally diagnosed on a pelvic examination or an ultrasound or during the pre-pregnancy check-ups.
The question you must be most curious about is how these fibroids can affect your pregnancy.
Firstly you need to know that the chances of getting pregnant do diminish in case you have them. However, they do not absolutely render you infertile. In such cases, getting the fibroids surgically removed before trying to conceive is an excellent idea and your fertility can be restored to the normal levels this way.
Now, what if you get pregnant with fibroids?
Well, this depends mostly on the site, size, and number of fibroids present in your uterus. Most women do not face substantial complications due to fibroids in their pregnancy but for those who do, the symptoms can range from pain throughout the duration of the pregnancy and bleeding, which may be psychologically traumatic too. Women with fibroids who get pregnant stand at a higher risk of having a miscarriage than normal women.
So what are the worst complications a fibroid uterus can have?
This includes a chance for preterm labour which is that you may deliver earlier than the normal duration of the pregnancy. This can be dangerous for you and your baby. Another tough consequence of fibroids is a condition termed as abruptio placentae. In this condition, the fibroid develops into the site of attachment of the placenta to the wall of the uterus thereby displacing it and leading to uncontrolled bleeding very hazardous for the mother and child both. In such a case, an emergency cesarean section might have to be done. Also since the fibroids grow into the cavity of the uterus, there are chances that they might interfere with the normal growth and development of the baby.
Fibroids may pose a problem for a full term woman who is about to deliver. The baby at the time of delivery may come to lie in a breech position or halting the normal progression of labour thereby making a cesarean section inevitable.
Now that you know what problems a fibroid uterus can cause to you, let us tell you about its treatment.
Before pregnancy, asymptomatic cases need no treatment. If they are causing symptoms like pain, symptomatic treatment is given which includes painkillers and bed rest. During pregnancy, they are monitored through frequent ultrasound examinations to see their progress with the pregnancy and to determine the best mode of delivery for you.
To conclude, if you have fibroids before pregnancy and they are considerable in size or numbers, it is best to get them removed surgically before trying to conceive. Even if you have them, keep your follow up with your doctor during your pregnancy strong and you might not face any adverse incident.