uterine fibroids and pregnancy

How Uterine Fibroids Affect Pregnancy

Uterine fibroids are abnormal, non-cancerous growths that can appear in a woman’s uterus. The exact cause of their development is not known; however, some professionals believe it relates to a woman’s hormones or genes. Having yourself checked for uterine fibroids is an excellent precautionary choice to make being that numerous side effects can cause harm to your body. It is suggested to get checked for uterine fibroids because it is likely you might have them. In fact, some sources like UCLA Health claim these fibroids occur within 20 to 50 percent of women.

Why Do Uterine Fibroids Go Undetected?

Women are often unaware of having a uterine fibroid until an initial routine ultrasound is performed when expecting a child. This is because fibroids sometimes do not cause any symptoms. Although they are quite common, it is unusual for the fibroids to cause any complications during a woman’s pregnancy. If symptoms are present, they most often are experienced by the mother and can display themselves as nausea, pain, fever, vomiting, and infrequently, as an elevation of white blood cells. Even though complications are rare with fibroids, it’s still wise to be aware of possible problems. Unfortunately, due to risks involved with the uterus bleeding more than normally, once a woman is pregnant, the fibroid cannot be removed.

Side Effects of Uterine Fibroids

As previously mentioned, pain from the fibroid is one symptom an expectant mother may experience, especially as the fibroid becomes larger. This growth is often caused in part by the fibroid’s response to progesterone and estrogen hormones, both of which increase dramatically during pregnancy. The location of the fibroid is another determination of possible complications, both during pregnancy and at delivery. The risk of complication increases if the fibroid is located directly next to the placenta, which can translate into a decrease in the blood supply to the fetus.

A lower than normal blood supply could cause a baby to be born at a lower than normal birth weight; this increases the likelihood of breathing problems and an abnormal body temperature in the newborn. In more severe cases, an early delivery may be warranted if the blood supply is extremely compromised. A C-section may also be necessary if the fibroid is positioned in a location close to the cervix and obstructs delivery or causes the baby to be in a breech position.

Conclusion

If you are pregnant, it is imperative to have yourself tested for uterine fibroids. Detecting the fibroids can be essential in choosing the appropriate delivery method for your child.

Georgia Vascular Institute is a referral center that can help with many types of health concerns. We can help with veins, fibroids, infertility, migraines, osteoporosis, cancer treatment, foot and leg ulcers, and many other conditions. Contact us anytime to learn more about how interventional radiology can help you.