Our Experts’ Guide to Navigating Fibroids and Pregnancy
Every pregnancy is unique, and each woman deserves to have care tailored to their needs to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. But what about fibroids and pregnancy? How do fibroids affect pregnancy and can they raise your risk of a miscarriage?
Fibroids are very common among women, and the impact of fibroids and pregnancy often depends upon their size and location. We’ll explore this topic in-depth and provide the facts you need to make well-informed choices about your health.
At Associates of Women’s Healthcare, we’re a practice of women providing care for our valued patients. Our dedication is reflected in our recognition of clinical excellence by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. We’re also certified by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) through the Blue Quality Physician Program (BQPP).
Fibroids and Pregnancy: How Do Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus, and they can range from the size of a pea to the size of a grapefruit. While it’s not exactly clear what causes fibroids, researchers believe that family genetics and hormonal change can play a part. Fibroid symptoms include heavy periods, pelvic pain, and even fertility issues. However, some women with fibroids don’t experience any symptoms at all.
What Are the Risks of Having Fibroids While Pregnant?
The impact of fibroids and pregnancy depends primarily on their size and location. The later the fibroid, the more likely it is to create challenges.
If the fibroids grow rapidly, they can cause pain during pregnancy and increase the risk of:
- Needing a C-section
- Breech birth
- Preterm birth
- Stunted fetal growth (when the fibroids and the baby compete for space in the uterus)
- Placental abruption – a serious condition where the placenta detaches from the uterine wall upon delivery.
If you have fibroids, you may be considered a high-risk pregnancy and you’ll be closely monitored to help ensure there are no complications.
However, you should keep in mind that no two pregnancies are alike, and just because you have fibroids, there are a lot of other factors that help determine whether or not you have a high-risk pregnancy. Many women with uterine fibroids give birth to healthy babies.
What to Do If You Have Fibroids During Pregnancy?
First, as we mentioned earlier, please remember that many women with fibroids and pregnancy give birth without any medical issues. However, regular monitoring is key to managing the condition—especially if the fibroid(s) begin to grow.
During pregnancy, we will watch you closely and help manage any symptoms your fibroids cause. Depending upon your case, we may only recommend treating or removing the fibroids after delivery.
If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with fibroids, it’s very important to:
- Keep regular appointments with our OBGYNs in Raleigh so you can be carefully monitored. This may involve having periodic ultrasounds.
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Exercise as much as you are safely able to
- Stay hydrated
- Discuss pain management techniques with one of our providers. Depending upon your situation, we’ll work together to find a solution that is appropriate for both mother and baby.
- Use your support network. Having fibroids and pregnancy can be incredibly stressful. Lean on your support system of friends and family to give you support.
How Common Is Pregnancy With Fibroids?
While fibroids are common in women of reproductive age, an estimated .1% to 10% of pregnant women have fibroids.
Can Fibroids Cause Miscarriage During Pregnancy?
While certain aspects are not entirely understood, there is some evidence that suggests that fibroids—particularly those growing into the uterine cavity—carry a higher risk of miscarriage during the first and second trimesters. However, it’s important to note that fibroids do not directly cause miscarriages.
Because the relationship between fibroids and pregnancy and miscarriages is incredibly complex, we recommend that you continue to keep scheduled appointments with one of our OBGYNs in Raleigh to ensure that your pregnancy is progressing as it should.
Associates in Women’s Healthcare: Compassionate Care for Pregnancy and Beyond
Whether you’re planning a family, expecting a baby, or navigating menopause, our team of experienced OBGYN specialists is here to support you with state-of-the-art care and a personalized approach. Our practice specializes in all aspects of pregnancy care, from prenatal to postpartum. With advanced technology and a heart for caring, we’re here to celebrate and support you during this special time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids and you’d like to discuss getting pregnant or if you have questions, we invite you to schedule an appointment with us so we can provide the individualized care you deserve with the answers you need.