Fibroids are benign growth or mass; a very common condition among women. Though the condition is common and usually doesn’t cause problems, fibroids and pregnancy could be problematic in two ways – in hindering conception to begin with and secondly because of possible problems in sustaining the pregnancy.
The first question about pregnancy and fibroids would be whether it is possible to get pregnant if a woman has fibroids. In some cases it has been seen that fibroids could impact conception making it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
However this is uncommon; usually fibroids do not hinder conception. In fact many women who have fibroids may not even be aware that they do have fibroids, because most women experience no symptoms.
Also pregnancy and fibroids are not an untenable combination for the most part – most often fibroids do not cause any pregnancy complications.
However it has been seen that in some cases, the risk of a miscarriage and the chance of early or preterm labor are seen to rise due to the presence of the fibroids.
So in a vast majority of cases, it is possible for fibroids and pregnancy to coexist without the former impacting the latter negatively.
However women that do experience symptoms of fibroids such as painful or very heavy periods, painful sex, the urge to use the bathroom frequently and so on, may be aware of the presence of the fibroids. In such cases the fibroids could be of a size and nature as to cause problems in getting pregnant and also later after the pregnancy has occurred.
If such a diagnosis has been made and a woman has decided to get pregnant, then there are certain precautions that she should take.
The fact is that fibroids can have a growth spurt during pregnancy since their growth is determined by female hormone levels which change and increase very significantly during pregnancy. Even then in most cases, fibroids during pregnancy may be asymptomatic.
Occasionally very large fibroids and pregnancy could result in complications such as:
- There could be symptoms such as pelvic pain.
- Also some light spotting (bleeding) could be experienced.
- At times a condition called ‘Fibroid Torsion’ when fibroids start to grow on a stalk like structure within the uterus and the start to twist may occur causing the symptoms.
- Sometimes the fibroids could obstruct labor if they are growing too close to the birth canal.
- In rare cases fibroids may result in post partum hemorrhaging.
- Very large fibroids may also push the baby into atypical positions, so that the chances of having the baby via C section increase.
So the rule of thumb for fibroids and pregnancy is that the situation should be monitored by the health care professional attending to the pregnancy. Usually it is not recommended that any treatment for fibroids be initiated while a woman is pregnant, though her condition should be closely monitored.
Only in the case of serious symptoms such as hemorrhaging is swift action required. If however a woman is aware of the presence of fibroids which cause troublesome symptoms then it is best to seek a medical opinion before getting pregnant so that she can be properly advised about getting proper treatment as required.