Fibroids

Fibroids are benign growths - made up of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue - that can form in and around your uterus. The growths are generally non-threatening, but they can sometimes have a big impact on a woman’s ability to conceive.

Happily - in most cases - fibroids won’t affect your fertility. If you’re trying for a baby, your specialist may simply elect to monitor their size and growth.

Common questions

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What are the symptoms of fibroids?

The symptoms of fibroids can vary greatly. Some women may have fibroids their entire life and experience only mild symptoms—or none at all. Other women may experience a raft of symptoms.

We explore the symptoms of fibroids in more detail below.

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Can fibroids affect my fertility?

In most cases, fibroids won’t affect your fertility.

However, if you are trying to conceive and have experienced one or more of the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to see a fertility specialist to check for fibroids.

If you do have fibroids, it depends on their size and location as to whether or not they will affect your fertility.

Usually, when the sperm fertilises the egg and forms an embryo, this embryo will then travel to your uterus. But if fibroids are causing issues, the embryo may try to implant on top of the growth. Alternatively, it may struggle to implant in the uterus, as the fibroids may have changed the uterus’s shape.

If your fibroids aren’t affecting the lining of the uterus, they may have little impact on your ability to conceive.

Diagnosis and treatment for fibroids

Fibroids can be symptomless, so they’re most often found during a routine pelvic exam. Your specialist will confirm the diagnosis with an ultrasound.

If you’re not trying for a baby and the fibroids aren’t causing you any pain or discomfort, your specialist may elect simply to monitor their growth.

If you are trying for a baby, your fertility specialist will assess whether or not your fibroids may affect your ability to conceive. If the fibroids aren’t causing you any discomfort - or their position is unlikely to prevent an embryo from implanting - then generally they don’t require treatment. However, your specialist will monitor them regularly for size and growth.

If the fibroids are in the cavity and your specialist decides the fibroids are affecting your ability to conceive, they may elect for a small surgery to remove the fibroids. Once they’re removed, you can discuss the best way for you to achieve a successful pregnancy. You may be able to conceive naturally, or you may require some extra assistance. In this case, IUI (Intrauterine insemination) or IVF may be the best option.

In rare cases, a fibroid may be located outside the cavity of the uterus. In this instance, removing it is a bit more complicated (myomectomy), so you’ll need to discuss your options in detail with your fertility specialist.

Remember - in most cases, fibroids won’t affect your fertility. So it’s simply a matter of monitoring their size and growth.

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