A diagnosis of Fibroids can be disappointing and scary for many women who wish to have children. The fact is, though, fibroids are common with 20-50% of women estimated to have them. With this many women given the diagnosis, many pregnancies occur in women with fibroids. In most cases, these women have no complications related to the condition. Any woman diagnosed with fibroids may want to weigh the risks associated with this condition. What are some risks of fibroids and pregnancy?
Some common risks in early pregnancy include increased bleeding, and miscarriage. A submucosal fibroid presents the most risk of causing problems in early pregnancy. This is the type of fibroid that grows just under the lining of the uterus. The growth into the uterus can cause problems with implantation and it can also hinder the growth of the placenta, which is the lifeline to the baby.
The risks associated with fibroids and pregnancy get more serious when a woman is farther on into the pregnancy. A main risk in late pregnancy is premature labor. This is due to the fibroid taking up space in the uterus. As the baby grows inside the uterus, the space is also shared with the fibroid. This leaves less room for the baby to grow. Sometimes the baby runs out of growing room and the mother goes into labor before the due date. There is also a risk of separation of the placenta during the later stages of pregnancy.
Delivery can become very serious if certain complications related to fibroids occur. A major complication that results from this is Cesarean Section. The presence of a fibroid can cause the baby to be breech or to lie in transverse position, which will prevent the baby from progressing through the birth canal. At times when the baby is positioned correctly, a fibroid can block the birth canal, keeping the baby from entering. Either of these situations will likely result in Cesarean Section. Other risks are postpartum hemorrhaging, inability of the uterus to effectively contract after delivery, and complications in the expulsion of the placenta due to fibroid blockage. When weighing the risks of fibroids and pregnancy, these delivery complications bring the possibility of cesarean section to the top of the list.
All of the risks mentioned are serious and can fill women with concern and fear. It's good to remember that in most cases, a woman can go to full term and have a normal delivery with a diagnosis of fibroids. Fibroids can be in many different locations and many sizes, which will determine if the pregnancy is affected at all and if so, it could just be slight discomforts associated with the growth of the fibroid. This is usually temporary and can be treated with pain medication. While under the care of an experienced doctor, you will be monitored and given any support you need. There is no need to worry excessively, but it's always good to be informed about the possible risks associated with fibroids and pregnancy.