If you’re focusing on starting or extending your family, but have existing fibroids, you may have concerns that pregnancy is out of the question.
As a fibroid specialist, Derakhsh Fozouni, MD, understands how overwhelming your worry can be about achieving a healthy pregnancy despite fibroids. Dr. Fozouni offers treatment options to both ease the pain of fibroids and improve your chances of conceiving and carrying a child.
Fibroids are growths that develop on the wall of your uterus, and they are typically not cancerous. Many women in their reproductive years have fibroids without any issues. Just one fibroid or a group of fibroids can develop gradually over time without causing you any symptoms. You may also have fibroids that grow quickly and become large enough to interfere with your quality of life. For some, fibroids shrink on their own after menopause, the time when your periods stop for good.
However, if you have fibroids that grow large and cause symptoms, you may need treatment to keep you comfortable. Dr. Fozouni also offers customized fibroid care plans if the growths are interfering with your fertility.
Why you have fibroids
Fibroids are common in women during their reproductive years, before the transition to menopause begins. Your risk for developing uterine fibroids may also be increased if you have a family history of the condition.
Other contributing factors to uterine fibroids include:
- Poor diet
- Hormones levels
- Being overweight
- Vitamin D deficiency
If you started your period at a young age, you may also be at increased risk for fibroids. Women with an African-American background may also be more likely to develop fibroids that grow large, especially during their younger years.
How fibroids affect your fertility
If you’re trying to become pregnant without success, having fibroids may contribute to your infertility. Depending on the size and location of the fibroid, you may find it more difficult to become pregnant, a situation that affects 5-10% of women with infertility issues.
Fibroids can play a role in infertility in several ways. The uterine growths can affect your:
Large fibroids can change the shape of your cervix and limit the amount of sperm that can enter your uterus to fertilize eggs.
If fibroids alter the shape of your uterus, you may experience infertility because of limitations in sperm movement or space for embryo growth.
In some women, fibroids can block the Fallopian tubes, making it increasingly difficult for sperm to meet the egg.
Fibroids can limit the blood that flows into your uterine cavity, which can reduce the likelihood that an embryo will implant to the uterine wall.
Additionally, if you have conceived successfully, having large fibroids can interfere with the development of the embryo and lead to an increased risk for miscarriage or premature birth.
Addressing fibroids for improved fertility
A simple pelvic exam and ultrasound images provide Dr. Fozouni with the information needed to treat your fibroids. These diagnostic tests show where fibroids are located and how large they are to determine if they are a factor in your infertility.
Prior to pregnancy, you may benefit from medications that shrink fibroids to reduce their interference with conceiving a child. If fibroids are large or painful, you may need to have minimally invasive fibroid removal surgery to ease symptoms and improve your chances of achieving a pregnancy.
Dr. Fozouni also offers specialized services for high-risk pregnancies that may be a factor if you have existing fibroids and are able to conceive.
If you have been trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant, schedule a diagnostic evaluation for fibroids as soon as possible. You can contact Dr. Fozouni & Associates by calling the office or by requesting an appointment online now.