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Facts you need to know about fibroids and reproductive health

Readers Lounge By Esther Muchene
Fibroids are non-cancerous (Shutterstock)

If you have ever heard of fibroids, also known as myomas, you probably have an idea of what they are. They are muscle growths or non-cancerous tumors that grow in the uterus.

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These growths vary in size and are often located in different positions of the uterus. Some grow beneath or above the uterus lining while others can grow on the walls of the uterus.

Generally, the reasons for fibroid growths aren’t that known. However, they occur in women who have high levels of estrogen.

There are many questions surrounding fibroids and fertility health. Women often wonder what the risks are, how it affects the pregnancy and what forms of treatments are available.

Below are some of the facts to know about fibroids and reproductive health.

  • They can hinder a pregnancy

One thing to know about fibroids is that they can hinder a patient from conceiving. For some, these growths become big in size and end up creating an obstruction in the uterus. The baby needs room to grow so having big fibroids decreases the chances of conceiving. Also, the fibroids increase the chances of getting a miscarriage while pregnant.

  • You can still have a successful pregnancy

Although having fibroids while pregnant is considered high risk, many women have been able to have successful pregnancies even without treatment. If they are relatively small and don’t cause any obstruction, it’s possible to still have children and deliver normally.

Fibroids can increase chances of getting a miscarriage (Shutterstock)
  • How does it affect you while pregnant?

Expectant mothers living with fibroids might experience some uncomfortable changes along with the usual symptoms of a pregnancy. Although not all women with this condition experience side effects of the growths, some still face challenges.

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The fibroids can cause severe cramping, increased bloating and constipation, unusual bleeding and pelvic pains.

Also, pregnancy hormones have an effect on the tumors in some women. They can change in size and become larger or smaller depending on the trimester.

  • What are the complications during pregnancy?

As aforementioned, having fibroids increases the chances of a miscarriage so it’s generally a high risk situation. Other complications include having a premature delivery due to fibroid induced uterine contractions.

If the fibroids are large, the baby can also fail to develop properly because so much space is being occupied by the fibroids in the womb.

Another complication that can occur is abnormal positioning of the baby. The baby’s head is meant to be towards the birth canal while the legs need to be on the opposite side. Due to the growths, the baby’s position could be altered causing a breech complication where the baby is not positioned well. This can be a challenge during birth.

Due to these complications, women who are expectant and dealing with fibroids might have to undergo a C-section delivery. However, many are still able to have natural births.

  • What are the treatment options?

First, patients go for an ultrasound so that doctors can confirm the presence of fibroids. The ultra sound machines are either moved over the abdomen eternally or inserted through the vaginal canal for observation. Once they have been spotted, the doctor gives the best options for eliminating them.

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Two main treatment options of fibroids are myomectomies and hysterectomies. They are both forms of surgeries that help to remove these growths depending on size and position.

In myomectomies, small incisions are made where the growths are and they are surgically removed. When this procedure is done, patients are able to make a quick recovery.

A hysterectomy is a more serious form of surgery that involves removal of the entire uterus. Women who opt for this procedure have to be sure that they don’t want to have children in future.

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