How Uterine Fibroids Affect Pregnancy
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterine wall's muscular tissue that vary in size. Their presence is not limited to the uterine wall lining. They can grow inside the uterine cavity or even outside the uterine wall in some cases. According to a few studies, approximately 80% of women are susceptible until the age of 50. Because the uterine muscles thicken during pregnancy, detecting uterine fibroids becomes difficult. Although these fibroids do not change the nature of the pregnancy, they can present many challenges.
Since uterine fibroids require a high estrogen level to grow, they usually appear during the first trimester of your pregnancy. This can result in increased bleeding and pain during the first trimester. Miscarriage is common in severe cases where the fibroids have grown large.
A number of complications can arise as you progress to the second and third trimesters when the womb expands and presses on the fibroids. If the fibroids are large, they twist and cause the patient a lot of pain. When the fibroids outgrow their blood supply, they turn red, and dies, resulting in cramps and severe stomach pain, and possibly miscarriage.
Recent studies have found that women with fibroids are at a higher risk of placental abruption than women who do not have them. The placenta separating from the wall of the uterus before the baby is born is called placental abruption. This can cause the baby to run out of oxygen and send the patient into shock.
Women having fibroids are also more likely to have preterm births.
The fibroids can prevent the uterus from contracting and block the birth canal, increasing the chances of a cesarean section. It can also result in breech birth when the baby's foot or bottom emerges first rather than the head. Fibroids shrink to 30% of their original size after pregnancy.
Overall, uterine fibroids are treatable. There are numerous medications and surgeries available to assist in the removal of fibroids.
Surgical treatments like-
- Fibroid embolization
- Endometrial ablation