Certain Uterine Fibroids May Impact Your Ability to Conceive
Painful and heavy periods, bloating and constipation are common indicators of women with uterine fibroids. However, in the UAE many young women ignore these symptoms because of a common misconception that such fibroids only affect older women. According to Dr Laura Melado, IVF Specialist, Abu Dhabi, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic, uterine fibroids can affect any woman in the reproductive age group, as their growth is dependent on the production of oestrogen and progesterone – hormones that maintain and regulate the female reproductive system.
In addition, genetic factors are also leading causes of uterine fibroids with women in the UAE.
“Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths that consist of muscle cells and fibrous tissues that form a mass within the uterus. These fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths and can be found in or around the uterus. Though they are common, they can vary in size and number, there are also multiple types of uterine fibroids, each characterised based on their location,” said Dr Laura.
If fibroids grow mainly outward away from the cavity of the uterus, they are called subserosal. If they stay within the muscle wall they are called intramural fibroids. If they extend into the uterine cavity, they are called submucosal fibroids. While women with fibroids can conceive but a percentage of women do face interference with conception, pregnancy or birth.
“Depending on where a fibroid is growing and its size, it is possible for a fibroid to prevent or interfere with conception. In some cases, submucosal fibroids and intramural fibroids may lead to implantation failure, miscarriage or pre-term delivery. Fibroids are not usually treated during pregnancy, unless there is a serious health concern such as excessive bleeding or chronic pain. Fibroids that are not causing uncomfortable or painful symptoms are usually left alone and monitored,” added
Dr Laura who encounters almost 1 in 9 patients with this condition.
If a fibroid is inside the uterine cavity (submucosal) or is larger than six cm in diameter, then it may impede conception by up to 70 percent. Uterine fibroids may impact fertility by changing the shape of the cervix or the uterus interfering with the movement of the sperm or embryo.They can also block fallopian tubes and can impact the size of the lining of the uterine cavity.
“If a woman has fibroids and she is trying to get pregnant, it is always recommended to consult a doctor and check the location of the fibroid to know whether it will prevent conception or cause complications in pregnancy,” said Dr Laura, adding that the most common treatments for uterine fibroids are myomectomy.
With an excellent team of top international IVF specialists, IVI delivers a success rate of over 70 percent, the highest in the Middle East. IVI Fertility has three clinics in the Middle East – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat, which strive to offer patients fertility treatments that are honest, transparent and customised to their medical conditions coupled with the best clinical practices.