Uterine Fibroids During Pregnancy

Uterine Fibroids During Pregnancy

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 05:24 am

Fibroids during pregnancy is a concern for women. This is because small fibroids become bigger during pregnancy. Pregnant women are diagnosed with fibroids, for the first time, during a routine abdominal test.

What is uterine fibroid?

Fibroids are benign growth that affects young women before menopause. They are found in the womb or uterus. It affects more than 171 million women worldwide. It is a common cause of excessive vaginal bleeding and failure to conceive in women.

The cause of uterine fibroids is still not known. However, it is believed that genetic factors play a role. This is because fibroids are common in women whose mother or sister had the disease.

Also, Uterine fibroids shrink in post menopause women with low estrogen level. It is widely accepted that estrogen plays a role in the growth of fibroids. Hence, use of medical drugs to reduce estrogen production. This involves the use of GnRH agonist, NSAIDs, and combined oral contraceptives. However, these drugs are for treatment of fibroids before pregnancy.

Use of surgery is also an option before pregnancy. The procedure for removal of fibroids is myomectomy. You can learn more about fibroid from the guide.

Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


What are the symptoms of fibroids in women before pregnancy?

Some of the symptoms and sign experienced by non-pregnant women include:

  • A prolonged menstrual flow that is not regular
  • Swelling of the abdomen due to large fibroids
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Increase frequency of passing urine
  • Leg swelling 
  • Varicose vein
  • Body weakness. This is caused by Anemia.


Where are the locations of fibroids during pregnancy?

Fibroids can be located in different part of the uterus or womb. If found inside the uterine muscle, it is intramural fibroids. This fibroid is a common cause of vaginal bleeding. Fibroids located beneath the inner covering of uterus are the submucous fibroid. They can cause failure to conceive and excessive vaginal bleeding.

Also, fibroids beneath the outer covering of the womb are subserosa fibroids. They can grow big, form a stalk and are pedunculated fibroids. Twisting of this fibroid will cause pain in pregnant women.


What causes Uterine fibroid pain in pregnancy?

Increase in blood flow in pregnancy is vital for the growth of the uterus and baby. However, increased blood supply to the uterus will cause the fibroids to grow too. During the second trimester of pregnancy, fibroids may outgrow their blood supply. This would result in either bleeding of the fibroid or death of fibroid tissue forming cystic spaces. These conditions will cause pain and mild fever.

However, These conditions are treated during pregnancy with NSAIDs and bed rest.


How do fibroids affect pregnant women?

The effect of fibroids in pregnancy is dependent on the size and location. Small fibroids may not cause a problem in pregnancy. However, submucous fibroids and huge fibroids will cause problems in pregnancy.

The presence of huge fibroids can cause fetal growth restrictions. This will lead to delivery of small premature babies.

Also, fast-growing tumors can affect pregnancy. This is because they can grow into where the placenta is attached to the uterus. This may result in slight bleeding or miscarriage.

Cervical fibroids can cause problems during delivery. Fibroid in the cervix prevents descent of the baby. Therefore, obstructing labor. Women with cervical fibroid during pregnancy will require a cesarean section.


How do fibroids prevent women from getting pregnant?

The site and location of fibroids are important. Women with large fibroid mass at the conua end of the fallopian tube will have a problem to conceive. This is because the fibroid mass will prevent the sperm from union with the ovum.

In addition, the presence of submucous fibroid will prevent implantation of the zygote in the womb.

However, once pregnancy is established in a woman the chances of miscarriage is not increased. Though some experts believe it may.

How are fibroids in pregnancy diagnosed?

  • Abdominal ultrasound. Most women with fibroids are diagnosed with an ultrasound of the abdomen.
  • MRI. This is also safe to use in pregnancy.


What is the treatment of fibroids in pregnancy?

The removal of fibroid during pregnancy is not advised. This is because it will cause severe bleeding. However, pedunculated fibroids are removed if they cause symptoms.

In pregnant women with obstructed labor from fibroids, Delivery is by cesarean section. A cervical fibroid can cause obstructed labor and abnormal lie in women. It can also prevent uterine contraction after delivery. This is the cause of bleeding after delivery in these women.


What are the complications of Fibroid during pregnancy?

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • preterm labor
  • Premature babies
  • Bleeding during pregnancy
  • Miscarriages
  • Fever
  • Increased cesarean section rate for women with cervical fibroids during pregnancy
  • Bleeding after delivery

Are you pregnant with fibroids? Let us share your experience.

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