Uterine Fibroids and Pregnancy

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If you suffer from the dreaded Uterine Fibroid, you may be wondering how safe it is or if it is even possible to get pregnant.  Most women don’t even realize they have uterine fibroid until after becoming pregnant and the doctor finds them in an ultrasound scan. In most situations, uterine fibroid does not pose a problem during pregnancy; however, there are circumstances where they do. Depending on the location of the fibroid within the uterus and the size of the fibroid, you may run into some complication. 

Pain During Pregnancy 

During pregnancy, the hormones in your body cause the uterus to enlarge and grow to accommodate the growing fetus. The surge of this hormones can also cause the fibroid to grow. Because fetuses need blood to grow, the fibroid can also grow beyond their own blood supply, which can result into one of two things. 

The fibroid may undergo either white degeneration or red degeneration. With white degeneration, portions of the fibroid may undergo cell death and become cystic, and with red degeneration, it bleeds into itself. These situations can both cause severe to mild abdominal pain. This kind of pain can be controlled with over the counter medication. 

Pregnancy Complications 

In early pregnancy, there may be a slightly increased risk of miscarriage and bleeding, depending on the location of the fibroid in the uterus.  If it has grown into the uterine cavity or submucosal, it can disrupt the growth of the placenta or prevent the normal implantation of the pregnancy. 

In late pregnancy, there are three main issues to watch out for. The first is preterm labor, which is very likely if there are multiple fibroids or the fibroid is large.  The second concern, placenta disruption-the abnormal separation of the placenta- can occur if the fibroid grows rapidly into the place where the placenta is normally attached. Lastly, it is possible for the fetus to experience restricted growth. But is has not been medically confirmed that it is more likely with fibroid than without. 

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Delivery Complication 

Depending on the location and size of the fibroid, they may cause some complications during delivery. This may include causing the baby to lie in transverse or breech position or expulsion of the placenta and blocking the progress of labor.  

It appears like the fibroid may cause problems; the doctor may choose to perform a Cesarean section. At this time, he or she will probably not remove the fibroid because of the inherent risk of excessive bleeding. Typically, most fibroids shrink as the uterus recovers. 

Under normal circumstances, fibroids are not expected to cause problems during pregnancy. However, it is important that it is well monitored by a doctor. There are options to remove the fibroids during the pregnancy that you can discuss with your doctor, if possible. It is best in most situation to have symptomatic fibroids removed before conception. 

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