A lot of women of childbearing age have uterine fibroids. Many don’t even know it until they get pregnant. Most women don’t have any symptoms, but in some cases, fibroids can complicate pregnancy.

Fibroids are growths of smooth muscle tissue in the uterus. They can grow as one or in clusters and can form in the uterine wall, the uterine cavity, or the outside of the uterus.

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Potential Risks of Becoming Pregnant

Infertility because of uterine fibroids is rare. However, the presence of these growths can make it tougher to become pregnant.

Depending on their location and size, the growths can block the fallopian tubes or interfere with embryo implantation in the womb. Fibroids can also change the shape of your uterus, which adds to the difficulty of getting pregnant.

If you experience multiple miscarriages, you may want to talk to your doctor about a myomectomy or other fibroid treatments to remove or shrink the growths. A myomectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the fibroids, without removing your uterus.

Fibroids During Pregnancy

If you already have small fibroids that aren’t causing symptoms when you get pregnant, you don’t need to worry. Pregnancy increases the estrogen in your body, which may cause them to grow. They are not likely to cause trouble and will shrink back down after delivery.

Most women will have a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. However, fibroids can raise your risk of some pregnancy troubles. You are at a higher risk of needing a C-section.

Fibroid-related pregnancy complication

Other pregnancy complications include:

  • Breech baby, meaning it is not positioned right for birth
  • Stalled labor
  • Placental abruption, a condition when the placenta breaks away from the uterine wall before the baby is delivered. This requires immediate delivery.
  • Preterm labor

Having fibroids does not mean you have a high-risk pregnancy. Be sure to work closely with your obstetrician to be looking out for signs of serious problems.

For more information on uterine fibroids, please contact the Magee Fibroid Treatment Center at 412-641-4435.

About UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. More than 9,000 babies are born each year at Magee. The hospital also treats men for a variety of conditions, including surgical treatment. The Magee-Womens Research Institute was the first center to focus research only on conditions involving women and their infants.