Are you ready to learn about the mysterious growth within your uterus? Then, you are at the right place. This article explores the intricate connection between Uterine fibroid and infertility, a common health condition that normally occurs during a woman’s childbearing age. Let’s begin
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids or leiomyomas, are unusual growths usually found in the uterus wall. They are muscle growth made up of tissues. There are three main types of fibroids,
- Intramural fibroids: The growth in the uterine wall
- Submucosal fibroids: Usually found in the uterine cavity
- Subserosal fibroids: Growths occur outside the uterus
Are Uterine Fibroids Cancerous?
No, uterine fibroids are not cancer-causing tumors. They do not increase your chances of getting cancer in the future. They are the most common non-cancerous muscle growth found in women.
What Are The Reasons Behind The Development Of Uterine Fibroids?
Women of childbearing age are in the risk category of getting uterine fibroids. The exact reason behind the development of uterine fibroid is unknown. A few risk factors include,
- Hormones: Reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone may facilitate the development of fibroids in the uterus.
- Genetics: Genetics plays an important role here. If any of your family members have a history of fibroids, you are more than likely to develop one.
- Race: Regardless of race, fibroids can develop in a woman at childbearing age. However, studies show that black women have a higher chance of uterine fibroids.
- Extracellular Matrix: Fibroids grow in different shapes. The repeated divisions of a stem cell into a mass develop fibroid. Extracellular Matrix, or ECM, helps cells to stick together. An increase in ECM can cause fibroids.
- Vitamin D deficiency: Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may lead to uterine fibroids. Taking vitamin D supplements may help to shrink fibroids.
- Hereditary: If your mother or sister has a history of fibroids, you are more likely to develop one.
- Other factors: Diet, starting your period at a young age, alcohol consumption, and excess body weight may also facilitate fibroid growth.
What Are The Symptoms Of Uterine Fibroids?
Some women may not develop any kind of symptoms even if they have uterine fibroids. So, it is difficult to diagnose them simply by evaluating the symptoms. Only screening can determine the presence of fibroids. Some common symptoms of fibroids include
- Heavy menstruation
- Painful periods
- Painful sex
- Menstrual clots
- Periods lasting more than a week
- The feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- The feeling of fullness in your abdomen
What Is The Relationship Between Uterine Fibroids And Infertility?
Only a tiny percentage of women with infertility have uterine fibroids. Removing uterine fibroids can increase the chances of pregnancy. In most cases, fibroids may not cause infertility. However, the size, location, and number of fibroids can prevent a woman from getting pregnant.
- Submucosal fibroids generally reduce the chances of conceiving and live birth. Submucosal fibroids can be seen in the uterine cavity. The location makes it hard for conception.
- Uterine fibroids can cause damage to your fallopian tube.
- Fibroids have the potential to prevent egg fertilization.
- In some cases, fibroids may damage the placenta, and the abnormal growth may disrupt the connection between the placenta and the uterus. Eventually, it leads to miscarriage.
- Uterine fibroids will lead to many other pregnancy complications. You may have an eventful pregnancy if you have fibroids. They grow faster during pregnancy.
- Fibroids may completely alter the shape of the uterus by making it difficult to get pregnant.
- Fibroids negatively affect embryo implantation by altering the endometrial receptivity.
- The blockage in the fallopian tube can also lead to impaired gamete transfer.
- It may alter the hormone levels in your body.
- Fibroids may result in malpresentation of the fetus. It can also disrupt the normal position of the fetus.
Altogether, uterine fibroids can potentially hinder your dream of parenthood. However, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment cure the condition. We need to find the fibroids in order to eliminate it. Read along to find out about the diagnosis of uterine fibroids.
How To Diagnose Uterine Fibroids?
Self-diagnosing is not possible here. If you notice severe symptoms, seek the help of a medical professional. Your doctor may perform a pelvic examination and refer you for some lab tests as well. The lab tests include a complete blood count or CBC test to find anemia that may occur due to heavy menstruation. Bleeding during menstruation is a common symptom of uterine fibroids. Imaging tests are needed to find out more about fibroids. Commonly used imaging tests are,
- Ultrasound: If your doctor suspects fibroids, ultrasound will be the first option. Ultrasound imaging examination uses sound waves to get a picture of your uterus and ovaries. It is one of the safest ways to find uterine fibroids.
- MRI Scan: MRI will help to get a detailed image of fibroids. It can characterize the kind of fibroid and the exact location of it.
- Hysterosalpingography: Doctors usually refer to hysterosalpingography in case of infertility. HSG checks the shape of the uterus using X-ray images. It can find out uterus irregularities. HSG will also help find fallopian tube blocks.
- Hysteroscopy: It can detect fibroids inside the uterine cavity. Your doctor may inject saline into the uterus to expand the uterine cavity and insert a hysteroscope through the cervix to examine the uterus.
Uterine fibroids can increase the risk of abortion in a pregnant woman and painful pregnancy as well. Although uterine fibroids can cause fertility and pregnancy-related complications, adequate treatment will be able to cure your fibroids and increase the chances of pregnancy. Traditional treatments like surgeries and the use of certain medicines can remove fibroids.
Fibroids can hurt your dream of expanding your family to an extent, but that does not mean it is impossible to have a baby if you have uterine fibroids. A lot of women with uterine fibroid can give birth to a healthy baby. Apart from treatments, maintain a healthy body weight, eat a lot of veggies and fruits, and reduce the amount of red meat to lower the risk of fibroids.