Dealing with uterine fibroids can be challenging for many women, especially when they start thinking about starting a family. Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus and can vary in size and location. They’re notorious for causing heavy periods and abdominal pain, but can they impact your ability to conceive? It’s a common question we hear at Fresno Fibroid Center.
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids, you too may wonder about their potential impact on your fertility and whether it's still possible to conceive.
In this blog post, our team explores the relationship between fibroids and fertility and provides you with some valuable insights to help you make informed decisions.
Effects of fibroids on your fertility
The impact of fibroids on your fertility depends on various factors, such as their size, location, and number. In some cases, fibroids may not affect fertility at all, while in others, they can significantly impact a woman's ability to conceive.
Here are a few ways fibroids can affect fertility:
Interference with implantation
Fibroids located inside your uterine cavity or near the fallopian tubes can interfere with the implantation of a fertilized egg, making it difficult for pregnancy to occur.
Distortion of the uterine cavity
Large fibroids that distort the shape of the uterus can make it challenging for a fertilized egg to implant properly. Large fibroids can also make it more difficult for your uterus to stretch and accommodate a growing fetus.
Blockage of fallopian tubes
In some cases, fibroids can obstruct your fallopian tubes (where conception occurs), preventing the sperm from reaching the egg and inhibiting fertilization.
Disruption of blood flow
Fibroids can disrupt the normal blood flow within the uterus, leading to inadequate blood supply to your uterine lining, which can affect the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Treatment options for fibroids
Understandably, it can be frustrating to learn that your fibroids may impact pregnancy, but keep in mind that fibroids can be treated. If you have fibroids and are concerned about your fertility, it's essential to consult with our team here in Fresno, California. Our team evaluates your specific situation and recommends the most suitable treatment options.
Drs. Pruett, Tower, Balfour, Ng, and Davidian may make various recommendations on management for your fibroids. Common treatment approaches for fibroids include:
If your fibroids are small and not causing significant symptoms, your Fresno Fibroid Center provider may suggest monitoring their growth and observing their impact on fertility before considering any intervention.
Certain medications can be prescribed to manage fibroid-related symptoms, such as heavy bleeding and pelvic pain. However, they do not shrink the fibroids themselves or improve fertility directly.
Note: Some medications, such as low-dose birth control, will conflict with your goals of starting a family. If you’re currently taking medication or birth control to help manage your fibroid symptoms, let us know your family planning goals.
Depending on the size, number, and location of fibroids, surgical options like myomectomy (removal of fibroids while preserving the uterus) may be considered. Myomectomy can be a suitable option if preserving fertility is a priority.
Minimally Invasive Therapy - UFE
Some women are not good candidates for treatment with myomectomy for various reasons, including possibly the size and/or number of fibroids. Uterine fibroid embolization, or UFE, is a minimally invasive treatment option that can shrink your fibroids and treat your symptoms while maintaining the possibility of pregnancy and delivery of a baby. Our doctors at the Fresno Fibroid Center specialize in minimally invasive treatment with UFE.
The bottom line
Having fibroids does not necessarily mean you cannot get pregnant, but it can pose challenges depending on their size, location, and impact on your reproductive system. By working with us, we can assess your individual situation and explore the most appropriate treatment options whether that’s watchful waiting, a surgical intervention, or minimally invasive therapy to treat your fibroids.
With the right management and guidance, many women with fibroids have successfully conceived and delivered healthy babies. Remember, every case is unique, so don't hesitate to seek professional advice to make informed decisions about your fertility journey.
To get started with fibroid management, give us a call at 559-216-0746 or use our online form to book an appointment.