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Are All Fibroids Dangerous For Pregnancy?

Fibroids can cause major problems during pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. Get to know how are fibroids treated during pregnancy.

Fibroids grow abnormally in and around women's uterus. It can be called a tumor and sometimes it grows quite large which can lead to consequences like severe pain in abdomen and heavy periods. The cause of why fibroids start to grow abnormally is still unknown. They can grow as a single nodule or in a cluster and their size can range from 1mm to more than 8 inches or even larger in diameter. It can grow within the walls of the uterus, inside the main cavity or even outside the uterus wall. The growth is mostly non-cancerous. And in some of the cases, they show no symptoms which can make it difficult to get it cured at the initial stage.

Types of Fibroids

The fibroid condition mainly occurs in women within the age of 35-54. It can cause major problems during pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. There are different types of fibroids that you should know about and how they affect you during pregnancy.

The types of fibroids include:

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Intramural Fibroids

These are the most common fibroids which grow within the muscular walls of the uterus and can stretch the womb if they grow large enough.

Subserosal Fibroids

These fibroids tend to grow outside the uterus wall which is called serosa. When they grow, they make the womb look bigger from one side.

Pedunculated fibroids

Sometimes Subserosal Fibroids grow a stem to support the tumor and when they do it, they are called Pedunculated fibroids.

Submucosal fibroids

When the tumors grow in inner layer of your uterus. These types of fibroids are rare. They can lead to bleeding abnormalities

How it affects during Pregnancy?

Most women experience no effects from fibroids during their pregnancy. The most common complication that fibroids cause is pain, which is seen most often in women who have fibroids larger than 5 cm in diameter.

Fibroids can lead to some complications during pregnancy which includes:

Fetal growth: Large fibroids can prevent fetus from growing fully as they decrease the room in the womb for baby. They also eat away the nutrition of the baby and can cause growth restriction in the baby.

Preterm Delivery: Uterine contraction can happen because of fibroids, which often lead to early delivery. Sometimes women have to opt for cesarean delivery.

Abruption of Placenta: If a fibroid blocks the space between placenta and the uterine wall, placenta breaks from the uterine wall. This makes it difficult for the fetus to receive vital oxygen and nutrients.

Miscarriage: Due to all the complications that happen due to fibroid growth in uterus, it increases the chances of miscarriage.

How are fibroids treated during pregnancy?

Since the fetus is at risk, the cure of fibroids during pregnancy is limited. In most of the cases, doctors prescribe pain relievers to mothers along with bed rest and hydration to manage the symptoms of fibroids.

But in very rare case, myomectomy can be performed in women who are in the second half of their pregnancies. In this procedure, the fibroid is removed from outside or within the walls of uterus while leaving the uterus intact. But fibroids in the uterine cavity remain untouched as it can harm the fetus. This is a slightly risky option to go for.

Other treatments are available for women who want to get fibroids treated before they get pregnant. Each treatment carries risk, and you should consult your doctor before going for a certain treatment. It's a serious condition and a number of factors are to be considered before going for any treatment. The medical or surgical options can be explored. For larger fibroids, it is better to remove the fibroids through a surgery called Myomectomy and then plan the pregnancy.

The article is written by Dr. Shefali Tyagi, Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bangalore.

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