Uterine fibroids are the abnormal smooth muscular outgrowths that tend to grow in a female’s uterus (womb). These fibroids are also known as “myomas” or “leiomyomas” and associated with the increased chances of complications related to fertility and pregnancy.
Uterine fibroids can induce intense abdominal pain, heavy menstrual flow, pressure in the pelvic area along with the frequent urge to urinate. It also happens that many women with uterine fibroids do not exhibit these symptoms and only find out about it after an ultrasound. Therefore, a woman has to be really careful with the health of their uterus.
Though most uterine fibroids are non-cancerous or benign tumors they do interfere with a woman’s pregnancy and cause troubles. Let’s gain further insight into the negative effects of the uterine fibroids on pregnancy. (Also Read: Excessive bleeding during pregnancy)
Uterine fibroids and pregnancy- Complications that uterine fibroids can cause in pregnancy
Restricted fetal growth
When a pregnant woman has big sized or numerous uterine fibroids, it prevents the full growth of the fetus. It happens as these fibroids occupy much space in the uterus, hence the fetus cannot grow properly. Other factors such as drinking alcohol and smoking also majorly contribute to restricting fetal growth and making the uterine fibroids severe.
Preterm delivery due to uterine fibroids
Fibroids can grow anywhere inside or on the outer surface of the uterus. These fibroids in the uterus, increase the chances of preterm labor. It happens because of the abdominal pain and cramps caused by the fibroids. The pelvic pressure also increases along with the uterine contractions, this can ultimately result in preterm or early delivery. Usually, babies born in early delivery are weak and may have to be kept in the hospital for days.
Many studies have shown that women with uterine fibroids have increased chances of placental abruption. This is a serious complication that results in heavy bleeding and requires immediate medical attention. In placental abruption, the placenta detaches or breaks from the walls of the uterus due to the blockage created by the fibroid(s). It prevents the fetus from receiving sufficient blood and oxygen and increases the chances of miscarriage.
Placental abruption is more common during the second or third trimester in comparison to the first. Thus, a pregnant woman must keep up with the regular follow-ups with their gynecologist to minimize the chances of such a severe complication during pregnancy.
Cesarean section/ delivery
Numerous studies have reflected that women who deal with uterine fibroids have higher chances of having a cesarean section. Mostly, it happens because the fibroids prevent the uterus from contractions necessary for normal delivery. Also, fibroids can obstruct the birth canal and slow down the labor progression. Therefore, the chances of normal delivery are lower in such cases.
In normal conditions, the fetus is in the headfirst position in the uterus. But in some cases, the baby is in the feet first position, called a breech position. Breech position is very common in the cases of uterine fibroids due to insufficient or abnormal shape of the uterine cavity. Vaginal or normal delivery cannot be carried out in the cases of breech position.
Miscarriage due to severe uterine fibroids
According to researches, women with fibroids in the uterus have almost double chances of miscarriage. Chances of miscarriage are especially high during the first trimester of the pregnancy. Therefore, a pregnant woman with uterine fibroids needs to be more careful and follow all the instructions that the gynecologist gives.
Now that you know about all the possible complications related to pregnancy that can occur due to uterine fibroids, it is clear that you should not take uterine fibroids casually. These fibroids require proper and timely treatment. The suitable treatment of uterine fibroids completely depends upon your condition.
What if you are pregnant and then find out about uterine fibroids?
It is very much possible that the symptoms of uterine fibroids surface during your pregnancy. It happens because of the direct relation of the estrogen levels and the fibroid growth in the body.
But becomes worrisome is that during pregnancy the treatment options for fibroids become limited. No such treatment or procedure that can harm the fetus is allowed. Therefore, both the mother and the doctor have to very careful and wise.
In such cases of fibroids, the doctor highly recommends the following to the pregnant woman:
- Taking proper bed rest and not indulging in rigorous activities that can put excess pressure on the uterus. Such physical activities can aggravate the symptoms of fibroids and result in more complications.
- Staying hydrated at all times is of utmost importance. Having loads of water and fresh juices helps immensely. Whereas dehydration can adversely affect the uterus and the fetus.
- In cases where the doctor suspects the fibroids to majorly affect the pregnancy, they perform myomectomy to treat the fibroids. The myomectomy is safer during the second half of the pregnancy when chances of miscarriage are minimum.
If you are pregnant but are planning for it, your doctor may suggest myomectomy to remove the fibroids. In myomectomy, the doctor removes the fibroids without any effect on the uterus. It is usually used for removing fibroids on the outer surface of the uterus.
Proper and timely treatment of uterine fibroids is necessary in order to maintain good reproductive health and to ensure that the fibroids do not have any negative effects on your pregnancy.
So if you too are facing the troubles of uterine fibroids, you can call us at Pristyn Care. We will book your appointment with an experienced gynecologist so that you can receive the best-suited treatment according to your condition.