How Do Fibroids Impact Fertility?
Fibroids are a common finding amongst reproductive age women. Some, but not all, fibroids may be associated with infertility and miscarriages. Patients experiencing fibroids often ask how do fibroids impact fertility?
Do I Have Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroid size and location are very important factors that help us determine the potential impact of a given fibroid. When trying to assess a fibroid, a transvaginal ultrasound is typically our first screening tool. Frequently, an MRI is also ordered to help map out the position of a fibroid relative to the inside of the uterine cavity (where a pregnancy would grow). When a fibroid appears to be close to the uterine cavity, a sonohysterogram (saline test) or hysteroscopy (camera inside the uterus) may help determine whether the fibroid is actually impinging upon the uterine cavity.
Do Fibroids Need to Be Treated?
Submucosal fibroids (on the inside of the uterine cavity) clearly have an adverse impact on fertility and should be removed surgically. Subserosal fibroids (on the outside of the uterine cavity) are less concerning and less likely to impact a woman’s ability to conceive. Intramural fibroids (within the muscle wall of the uterus) fall into a grey zone where some, but not all, are likely have an adverse effect on a woman’s fertility and her ability to sustain a pregnancy. In general, larger intramural fibroids (> 4-5 cm) should be considered for removal, especially if they are in close proximity to the uterine cavity.
Uterine fibroids may be amenable to surgery, medical management, or treatment through interventional radiology. For women who are hoping to conceive, surgical removal is preferred over medical and radiologic treatment options.
Getting the Help and Support You Need
If you have questions about other treatment options available for those with fibroids or have more questions like ‘how do fibroids impact fertility’, Fertility Centers of New England is here to help. If you are having trouble conceiving and have questions about the best path for you, contact us today to set up your first consultation with our team of trusted, caring fertility doctors. Initial consultations are free for those without fertility insurance.