Fibroids During Pregnancy
The effects of uterine fibroids on pregnancy is an important consideration to make when planning to start a family. Fibroids may affect your fertility and may also impact your ability to carry a pregnancy successfully. Being diagnosed with fibroids while pregnant does not always lead to a high-risk pregnancy, but it can lead to complications that you should be aware of. Having a fibroid ultrasound at regular intervals can help you monitor the progress of your pregnancy in relation to the growth of your fibroids.
The majority of pregnant women do not encounter complications as a result of fibroids, but some do. For the 10 to 30% of women who do, these range from abdominal pain to more serious challenges that could affect the baby’s delivery or successful development. Uterine fibroids are the most common benign tumors of the female genital tract and are often found in women of reproductive age.
Some women with fibroids have uneventful pregnancies, while others may experience complications. Increased risks posed by fibroids include:
- Fetal growth restriction – Large fibroids may prohibit a fetus from growing to full size due to decreased room in the uterus.
- Placental abruption – The placenta can tear away from the uterine wall because it’s blocked by a fibroid, reducing vital oxygen and nutrients.
- Preterm labor and delivery – Fibroids may cause intense fibroid pain, who could lead to uterine contractions that lead to early labor and delivery.
- Cesarean section – If the cavity is shaped abnormally due to the presence of fibroids, the baby may not be able to align for vaginal delivery and may be in breech position. Additionally, fibroids can keep the uterus contracting and can block the birth canal, slowing down the progress of labor.
- Miscarriage – Research shows that spontaneous miscarriage rates in early pregnancy are higher in women with fibroids than women without fibroids. Additionally, bleeding and pain is significantly more common.