Reproduction is a very primal need in every living thing and so many different factors can affect our ability to reproduce and have healthy offspring. Infertility can happen due to age, genetics, disorders, etc. One such factor that has a major effect on the fertility of about 20-50% of women is uterine fibroids. It is a common condition and is genetically transferable, so it often runs in families. You might not know it, but if women in your family had fibroids, there is a huge chance that you might have it too. So visit your nearby gynecologist/fertility expert to get checked out.
At the World IVF center, the best IVF clinic in Delhi/NCR, you can get expert fertility treatment. It is a one-stop solution for all your gynaecological and fertility problems.
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are benign noncancerous tumors, commonly found in the muscle tissue of the uterus. They usually occur in multiples and may vary largely in size and location from one to the other. Their size and shape affect the size and shape of the uterus and affects the cervix. Thus, they largely affect the fertility of a woman by decreasing the chances of fertilization and implantation of the embryo in the uterus. Thus it is very important to get fibroids treated as soon as possible.
Depending on their location, uterine fibroids can be divided into three categories:
Subserosal uterine fibroids are found in the outer wall of the uterus. They account for about 55% of all fibroids.
Intramural uterine fibroids are found in the muscular layers of the uterine wall. 40% of uterine fibroids are intramural.
Submucosal uterine fibroids are protruding into the uterine cavity. Only 5%uterine fibroids are submucosal in nature.
Although the exact cause of fibroids is unknown, their presence has shown strong connections with genetics, hormones, and certain environmental factors. The best way to assess the presence of fibroids and their size, number, and location is by doing a pelvic exam along with an ultrasound. In some cases, extra imaging such as CT and MRI may be needed.
How do fibroids affect fertility?
The correlation between fibroids and infertility is a very complex issue. It has been estimated that 5-10% of all women suffering from fertility issues have uterine fibroids and their size and location are interfering with the woman’s ability to reproduce.
Large fibroids, those that are more than six centimeters in diameter, and that is located inside the uterine cavity greatly affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby. Thus, most gynecologists have estimated that submucosal fibroids that protrude into the uterus are the biggest obstacles to fertility out of all others, other than large fibroids blocking the openings of both fallopian tubes in the uterus, completely cutting off fertilization. This point also suggests that most women with uterine fibroids do not experience any problems with their fertility.
The various ways uterine fibroids can affect fertility based on their size and location in the uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes are:-
Blockage of the openings of the fallopian tubes into the uterus makes it very hard or even impossible for a fertilized egg to implant into the uterus.
If the shape of the cervix is changed due to a fibroid, it can affect the number of sperms entering the uterus.
If the fibroid is changing the shape of the uterus then it will interfere with the movement of the sperm and the embryo in the uterus.
Fibroids can also affect the thickness of the uterine lining, affecting the implantation of the embryo.
Large uterine fibroids can also affect the blood supply of the uterus, leading to a decrease in an embryo’s ability to implant or develop in the uterine wall.
Does fibroid treatment increase fertility?
Uterine fibroid treatment is done on the basis of the individual situation of each patient, after carefully assessing the severity of their condition, their symptoms, and whether there are any other factors contributing to their infertility. All of this must be done and the doctor should have an in-depth discussion with the patient and their partner regarding their condition and its probable treatments. While there are many options for the management of fibroid symptoms, the only real and permanent solution for fibroids is surgical removal through minimally invasive surgery.
Other conservative treatments for fibroids include ultrasound, electrical energy, embolization, or medications to make a fibroid smaller, even if it is only temporary. Hormonal therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to manage the symptoms of fibroids.
These methods are great for relieving the symptoms of fibroids but there is no guarantee that they will improve fertility. Although there is no exact correlation, they do leady to increased pregnancy and live birth rates.
Do fibroids affect pregnancy?
During pregnancy, fibroids must be constantly monitored because there is a high chance that they will grow larger and create complications for both the mother and the fetus. Only 2-12% of pregnant women exhibit fibroids and if they are to grow, the majority of their growth occurs in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Thus they pose a large risk of miscarriage or premature delivery by affecting the position of the fetus in the uterus.
They can also impede blood flow to the fetus, thereby interrupting their nutrition and ability to grow, once again posing a risk of miscarriage.
At the World IVF Centre, the best IVF centre in Delhi/NCR, you can get all sorts of fertility treatments from IVF doctors in Delhi, etc. along with a solution to any gynecological problems you may have such as PCOS, fibroids, adhesions, etc.