How uterine fibroids affect pregnancy

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the muscular tissue lining the uterine wall varying in size. Their location is not limited to the lining of the uterine wall. In some cases, they can grow inside the uterine cavity, or even outside the uterine wall. Studies report that about 80% of women are susceptible till the age of 50. As the muscles of the uterus thickens during pregnancy, detection of uterine fibroids becomes quite difficult. Although these fibroids do not alter the nature of the pregnancy, they can pose many a challenge

As Uterine fibroids need a good amount of estrogen for its growth, it mostly occurs during the first trimester of your pregnancy. This can lead to an increased amount of bleeding and pain during the first trimester. In severe cases where the fibroids have grown large, miscarriage is common.

As you pass on to the second and third trimester, where the womb expands, pressing on the fibroids, a number of complications can rise. If the fibroids are large, they tend to twist and create much pain for the patient. In a process called “ red degeneration”, the fibroid outgrows its blood supply, turns red and dies, causing cramps and severe stomach pain, even leading to miscarriage

Recent studies have shown that women affected with fibroids are at a higher risk of placental abruption than women unaffected by them. Placental abruption happens when the placenta tears away from the wall of the uterus before the baby is delivered. This can lead to a lack of oxygen for the baby and can send the patient into shock.

There are also higher chances for preterm deliveries in women with fibroids.

The fibroids can prevent the uterus from contracting and can block passage through the birth canal, increasing the chances for a cesarean section. It can also cause breech birth i.e., a birth where the baby’s foot or bottom comes out first rather than the head. After pregnancy, fibroids shrink to 30% of their original size.

 All being said, uterine fibroids are curable. There are many medications and surgeries which can help get rid of fibroids

 Surgical Treatments like,

          Fibroid embolization

          Endometrial ablation  

And Non surgical treatments like,

  • Myomectomy
  • Hysterectomy