Uterine Fibroids & Infertility – Can Fibroids Affect Fertility?
Infertility, fertility and sub-fertility are intricately connected. Frequently, what is thought to be infertility, is actually sub-fertility. One common cause of sub-fertility are the often benign growths in or on the uterus, called uterine fibroids.
It's not unusual to have fibroids, have no symptoms and therefore be unaware that you have them. It's estimated that between 30 and 40 percent of all women have uterine fibroids. Correctly diagnosing uterine fibroids is one more important reason to seek medical treatment from a fertility specialist (board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist).
Uterine Fibroids & Infertility
Looking for uterine fibroids is included in a thorough fertility consultation, via a transvaginal ultrasound. While an ultrasound will almost always confirm the diagnosis of uterine fibroids, sometimes a hysterosalpingogram or a saline sonogram will be done to better confirm exactly where the fibroids are and to give the physician as much information as possible.
In some women fibroids can cause abnormal uterine bleeding, abdominal pain, and pressure. These cases are treated surgically with a myomectomy. There are several surgical options, including an abdominal myomectomy, hysteroscopic myomectomy, and laparoscopic myomectomy. Many fibroids will be removed if there is a history of infertility (lack of pregnancy within one year of properly timed sexual intercourse or the inability to carry a successful pregnancy) or a suspicion that removing them will ease the way for a successful pregnancy.
Fibroid Symptoms That Can Affect Fertility
Symptoms of fibroids include:
- Pain in the abdomen and back.
- Difficulty with bowel movements and increased urination.
- Sub-fertility and miscarriage.
- Heavy bleeding with periods
- Increased pain with periods.
- Spotting throughout the month.
- Anemia or low blood counts.
If you are thirty five or younger and been trying to conceive for one year or thirty five and older and trying to conceive for six months, it's time for a fertility consultation. Remember that many problems conceiving can be corrected easily.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.