Uterine Fibroids And How It Affects Your Fertility

Uterine Fibroids And How It Affects Your Fertility


What Are Fibroids?

Fibroids are noncancerous or benign tumors that grow inside your uterus or womb. Fibroids are extremely common occurrences among women, especially of advanced age.

Fibroids can also interfere with your fertility and put a longstanding hindrance on your chances of getting pregnant, depending on their position and number.

There are three types of uterine fibroids predominantly:

  • Subserosal: found along your outer uterine wall. (most common)
  • Intramural: found within the muscular layers of your uterine wall. (second to subserosal)
  • Submucosal: found inside your uterus. (least common)

What Causes Uterine Fibroids?
How do fibroids make their way into your body is an unexplained or grey area. Doctors have not been able to determine the definitive cause. However, most studies suggest that fibroids could be a result of hormonal imbalances or other genetic and environmental factors.

What Are The Symptoms Of Uterine Fibroids?
The symptom usually depends upon location, size and number of fibroids.
Many women with fibroids in their uterus may not experience any evident symptoms, some common symptoms are:
-Heavy menstrual bleeding
-Extremely painful periods
-Leading to anemia
-Periods lasting longer than usual
-Pain during intercourse
-Lower back pain
-Infertility, miscarriage, pre-term labor
-Difficulty in emptying your bladder completely
-Frequent urination
-A feeling of fullness in your abdomen
-Mass or lump in lower abdomen

How Do Fibroids Affect Fertility?

Since fibroids are found mainly inside the uterus, they do not interfere with ovulation. Instead, they may hamper the uterus from performing its functions. For example, certain types of fibroids prevent the blood flow from entering the endometrium. In such cases, the endometrium cannot thicken and prepare the womb for implantation and pregnancy.
Sometimes, the fibroids grow large enough to block the uterus’ openings towards the fallopian tubes. Fertilization and pregnancy can therefore become difficult or even impossible as the sperms may not come in contact with the eggs.

Fibroids can also cause a change in the shape of your cervix, disallowing sperms to enter freely. If the number of sperms entering your uterus is low, chances of successful fertilization drop, and consequently, your chances of getting pregnant become lower as well.

Only the sub mucous fibroids are known for causing fertility issues in females

How Can You Treat Fibroids To Improve Your Fertility?

There are several treatment options available to remove fibroids and improve your fertility. Before pregnancy, your fertility specialist may recommend:

  • Myomectomy
    It is a surgical procedure in which the surgeon will surgically remove the fibroids. You need to wait until full recovery and a minimum of 3 months before you try to conceive.
  • Hormonal Birth Control Pills
    Using hormonal birth control pills will disallow you from conceiving. However, they will help with easing out symptoms related to uterine fibroids like heavy bleeding, menstrual pain, etc.
  • Myolysis
    A procedure that aims to shrink fibroids and the blood vessels feeding the fibroids through the use of electric current, lasers, and radio energy.
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD)
    Just like birth control pills, an intrauterine device will disallow you from getting pregnant but will help eradicate symptoms of fibroids like heavy bleeding, menstrual pain, etc.
  • Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (Gn-RH) Agonists
    These are medicines that reduce the production of hormones that lead to ovulation and menstruation. So, though they might not let you conceive while you’re taking them, they also help in shrinking the fibroids.
    – Uterine artery Embolisation can also be done to reduce the size and number of fibroids.
    However chanced of infection and necrosis make it less preferable choice.

If you develop fibroids during your pregnancy, the treatment can be tricky as there is a risk to the baby growing inside your womb. In most cases, your doctor will recommend bed rest, constant hydration, and some mild pain-relieving medicines to help cope with the symptoms.

For women in the second half of their pregnancy, if the fibroids become severe, the doctor may also perform a Myomectomy to remove the fibroids. However, this is only possible when the fibroids are present on the outer lining of the uterus or inside the uterine wall. For fibroids present inside the uterine cavity, any surgery could pose serious risks to the fetus.


Uterine fibroids are common and affect up to 80 percent of women around the age of 50 years. The chances of their occurrence in women of reproductive age are fairly common too. In most cases, the fibroids do not interfere with your fertility.

However, in some cases, they may grow to become severe and start hurting your fertility health. Therefore, before you get started with any treatment plan, it’s best to get a thorough check-up done by a trusted fertility specialist.

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