You asked

Can fibroids affect my pregnancy?

Uterine fibroids are benign tumours that originate from the cells forming the muscle of the uterus and are also called leiomyoma or myoma of the uterus. They may grow inside the uterine wall or may grow on narrow stalks that project into the uterine cavity. They may protrude out into the bladder or intestines. Fibroids can start out as small as a pea and grow into something as large as a football. Having fibroids does not increase your risk of uterine cancer. On very rare occasions, a large fibroid may grow to block the opening of the uterus. In a case such as this, a caesarean delivery is needed.

There is evidence that fibroids cause reduced fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. They have also been associated with reduced success rates of fertility treatments and increase the risk of premature delivery.

Some women never know they have uterine fibroids. Most fibroids are found during a routine internal examination. If you are experiencing pain or have recurring symptoms, your gynaecologist may recommend an ultrasound to differentiate fibroids from cysts, tumours and other pelvic masses. Most fibroids don't need treatment unless the symptoms are causing severe problems. In rare cases fibroids can contribute to infertility and some surgery treatments can cause sterility.

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