8 Questions About Fibroids Answered

FIBROID QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Can Uterine Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?

Most women with fibroids have issue-free pregnancies, but they can cause some complications. Some Fibroids can bulge into the uterine cavity, potentially affecting fetal growth. Some others can cause severe pain due to degeneration (dying of the fibroid from a lack of blood supply).

Fibroids are also linked to a 6 x greater risk of needing to deliver via cesarean section and a risk of heavier bleeding after delivery.

Can Uterine Fibroids Affect Fertility?

Depending on their position, in general, the fibroids that are outside the cavity (intramural or subserosal) rarely reduce your chances of getting pregnant.

Woman’s ability to fall pregnant can be affected however when uterine fibroids change size and shape of the uterine cavity.

Uterine cavity fibroids (submucosal fibroids) may decrease the fertility by about 70% particularly when their diameter exceeds 3cm. These uterine cavity fibroids bulge into the cavity potentially affecting embryo implantation.

Research estimate fibroids cause only 1- 2% of infertility cases. On the plus side, the removal of these fibroids increases fertility.

Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Weight Gain?

Yes, if you have added some weight or developed a pouch the cause could be fibroids?

Fibroids can cause weight gain, while these benign tumours can be small and barely detectable, they have the capacity to grow very large, very fast.

Instances that cause fibroids growth spurts can include:

  • Estrogen surges like pre-menopausal hormone swings
  • Diet choices, phytoestrogens (soya beans and soya milk), high-fat high carbohydrates diet
  • Stress may also play a part.

General weight gain causes fibroids to grow larger and heavier not the other way round. This can be attributed to fat being the main source of Oestrogen production outside ovaries.

Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Bloating?

Yes, bloating can be caused by fibroids.

The bloating can cause a sensation of fullness in the abdomen while the fibroid mass itself causes increased pressure in the pelvis.

Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Pain?

While small Fibroids often do not cause symptoms and women with small Fibroids are often unaware of their presence, large fibroids can cause pain.

If the tumours are near the uterine lining, or interfere with the blood flow to the lining, they can cause heavy and painful periods.

Uterine fibroids that are degenerating can sometimes cause severe, localized pain. Fibroids can also cause a number of symptoms depending on their size, location within the uterus, and how close they are to adjacent pelvic organs. Large fibroids can cause:

  • Pelvic pain, including pain during sex,
  • Pressure on the bladder with frequent or even obstructed urination, and
  • Pressure on the rectum with painful or difficult defecation.

Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Cancer?

When you hear the word “a tumour” many associate it with cancer, but the word benign, which means “not cancerous’ means that fibroids are merely extra tissue that grows in your uterus, but are not capable of spreading to other systems or invading other tissue.

Although fibroids can cause some debilitating symptoms, they are rarely as life-threatening or serious to treat as cancer.

In some very rare cases, Fibroids can degenerate into a rare form of sarcoma (cancer), suspicious features include a rapid increase in size.

Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Back Pain?

Some Fibroid, specifically subserosal fibroids can become large and protrude from the back of the uterus into the spine. If this occurs, they can cause back pain.

Back pain can also be caused by the fact that the heavy uterus with fibroids is suspended and kept in place by ligaments called uterosacral ligaments.

On the other hand, submucosal fibroids bulge inwards towards the uterine cavity and thus are unlikely to cause back pain.

An MRI may reveal a fibroid is pressing against the spine, and rule out the possibility of other causes of back pain. Finding the appropriate treatment is key to getting relief from back pain and fibroid symptoms.

Can Uterine Fibroids Dissolve

Fibroids are living tissue, requiring oxygen and nutrients to survive and grow, supplied by blood vessels in an around the uterus. Usually, Oestrogen hormone causes the fibroid to grow while Progesterone hormone causes Fibroids to shrink, but only to some extent. (Fibroids do not disappear with Progesterone treatment).

When fibroids become too large, the blood vessels supplying the fibroid are no longer able to provide enough sustenance to meet the needs of the fibroid.

When this happens, the cells of the fibroid begin to die in a process called degeneration.

There is also a risk that once the blood supply returns to the fibroid, it will begin to grow and eventually reach the point of degeneration again.

Your Next Step

If you are experiencing any problems like irregular or excessive bleeding, pelvic or abdominal pain, or any symptoms of Fibroids or Infertility you may require further investigation.

For patients suffering from Fibroids, we would advise that you see your general practitioner and possibly obtain a referral to see Dr Alexander.

Dr Alexander can offer specialised help, advice on a possible diagnosis, further investigations and suitable treatment. Contact his rooms at http://www.my-obgyn.com.au/contact/