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Study Overturns Link Between Uterine Fibroids and Miscarriage

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A 10-year study offers hope for women with uterine fibroids who are hoping to conceive. Rather than confirming the previous belief that fibroids caused miscarriages, this study has found no connection between fibroids and pregnancy loss.

About the fibroid-miscarriage study

The study, conducted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Katherine Hartmann, MD, PhD, was originally intended to discover which types of fibroids caused the greatest risk of miscarriage. Instead, researchers found that the miscarriage rate between women with fibroids and women without was exactly the same (about 11 percent).

The study followed more than 5,500 women over the course of a decade. These women were divided into two groups: Those with fibroids and those without. Those with fibroids had their fibroids analyzed by ultrasound to determine how many they had, what their size was, and where they were located in the uterus. The surprising results were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The results of the fibroid-miscarriage study

Dr. Hartmann believes that previous studies inaccurately linked fibroids and miscarriage because these studies failed to evaluate the fibroids by ultrasound beforehand.In addition, these studies sometimes failed to take ethnicity and age into account (African American descent and increased age both act as risk factors for miscarriage).  By accounting for these factors, the newest study got a more accurate picture of the impact of fibroids on pregnancy.

This new study is a relief for many women who may otherwise have pursued major surgery (such as a myeomectomy) in order to remove their fibroids before conceiving. The study’s researchers recommend carefully evaluating the need for such procedures as a way to reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Of course there are other symptoms of fibroids that can trouble sufferers. These symptoms include fibroid pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and pregnancy complications (i.e. preterm birth, C-section, postpartum bleeding, and placental abruption).

Get fibroid relief before conceiving

Fibroid symptoms are no fun, even if you’re not worried about pregnancy complications. 

The doctors at Viva Eve have years of experience in the treatment of both uterine fibroids and adenomyosis through the minimally-invasive uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This procedure reduces complications and risks associated with major surgery while alleviating symptoms of fibroids and improving overall quality of life.

We at Viva Eve provide high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see.

Sources for information referenced in this post

  • Hartmann, K. E., Velez Edwards, D. R., Savitz, D. A., et al. (2017). Prospective cohort study of uterine fibroids and miscarriage risk. Am J Epidemiol, Jun; 7: 1-9.
  • Pasley, J. (2017, Jun 7).Retrieved from Vanderbilt-led study disputes link between uterine fibroids and miscarriage risk
  • Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017, Feb 6).Retrieved from Uterine Fibroids.
  • Mukherjee, S., Velez Edwards, D. R., Baird, D. D., et al. (2013). Risk of miscarriage among black women and white women in a US prospective cohort study.Am J Epidemiol,177(11): 1271–1278.

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