Fibroids and Infertility

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Understanding the impact that fibroids have on your fertility journey.

For many women, the journey to motherhood can be a dream they cherish deeply. However, it’s essential to recognize that this path might not be smooth for everyone. Many factors can interfere with your ability to conceive, one being uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous growths in the uterus, have emerged as a potential obstacle on the road to conception for some women.

July is Fibroid Awareness Month so will explore the nature of fibroids, the available treatment options, and the intricate ways in which uterine fibroids can affect fertility, shedding light on the challenges many women face and the hope that modern medicine offers in overcoming these hurdles.

Understanding Uterine Fibroids:

Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas, are benign growths that develop within or on the walls of the uterus. These non-cancerous tumors are relatively common, affecting a significant number of women during their reproductive years. While their precise cause remains unclear, hormones like estrogen and progesterone are believed to play a role in their development and growth.

Fibroids usually develop during your childbearing years, when your estrogen levels are highest. Up to 30% of all women are affected by fibroids by age 25, while up to 80% of women develop fibroids by age 50. Fibroids most often affect women in their 30s and 40s but tend to develop at younger ages and grow at an accelerated rate in African American women. 

The Impact of Fibroids on Fertility:

The presence of uterine fibroids can potentially interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. The impact of fibroids on fertility depends on various factors, including their location, size, and number. In some cases, fibroids may not cause any fertility issues at all. However, when located near or within the uterine cavity, they can disrupt the normal functioning of the reproductive system, leading to challenges in conception. Here are some ways fibroids may affect fertility:

Distorted Uterine Cavity: Fibroids within the uterine cavity can alter its shape and size, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and grow.

Fallopian Tube Obstruction: Large fibroids near the cervix can obstruct the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg from reaching the uterus.

Hormonal Imbalances: Fibroids can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance necessary for ovulation and successful conception.

Increased Risk of Miscarriage: In some cases, fibroids may contribute to a higher risk of miscarriages, especially if they affect the implantation process.

While you may have fibroids without any symptoms, the condition often causes lower back pain, painful sex, and pelvic pressure. Fibroids are also associated with symptoms so severe that they affect your daily life with painful periods, frequent urination, heavy bleeding between periods, and trouble voiding.

Uterine fibroids can present unique challenges to a woman’s fertility journey, but with advancements in medical science and an array of treatment options, there is hope for women aspiring to build a family. Each woman’s experience is unique, and with compassionate care, the Reproductive Partners Fertility Center-San Diego team offers avenues to navigate the intricacy of uterine fibroids and pursue the cherished dream of motherhood.

To find out more about the ways that fibroids and other factors can affect your fertility, schedule a consultation with one of our providers HERE.