Women who have gone to their gynecologists for a routine pelvic and/or ultrasound examination discover that they have a myoma inside their uterus. This is a cause for concern. Can the myoma interfere with their chances of getting pregnant with a baby?
What are Myomas?
Myomas are more commonly known by the medical term “uterine fibroids” because they are masses in the uterus which are made up of fibrous tissue. Although they are benign (meaning “non-cancerous), they can grow to large sizes so that they distort the size and shape of the womb. Typical myomas range in size from between a few centimeters up to 15 centimeters, although the largest fibroid extracted on record weighed in excess of 100 pounds. These fibroids grow in clusters like grapes. If only one myoma was found on ultrasound, surgery would probably reveal more.
Uterine fibroids are actually very common, with 50 to 80 percent of women having at least one myoma during their lifetime. Most of the time, these myomas are asymptomatic; only 20 percent of women will experience symptoms related to the mass. Around 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have myomas. This statistic alone will tell you that it is possible to get pregnant even with a myoma, although it can be problematic.
Uterine fibroids will not usually present with symptoms. However, if they grow large enough, a woman can expect to experience the following…
- Longer menstrual periods
- Heavy bleeding
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bloatedness or constipation
- Back or legs pain
- Pressure or pain in the pelvis
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you might want to get an appointment with your doctor.
Getting Pregnant with A Myoma
Even with the presence of a myoma, it is still possible for a woman to get pregnant. In fact, it is common for myomas to grow in size inside the uterus together with the baby. There will be some minor symptoms, such as light spotting and pelvic pain, especially if the myoma is growing on a thin stalk which gets twisted (a condition known as “fibroid torsion”).
If the uterine fibroid is small, there are very few instances of complications, although there is a higher risk for miscarriage or preterm labor. With constant monitoring, however, most women are able to carry their babies to term.
However, if the fibroids are large, there is a higher chance of complications occurring, which include…
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Fetal malpresentation (the baby is in an unusual position because it is displaced by the myoma)
- Labor obstruction or stalled labor (because the fibroid is growing into the cervix, thus blocking the exit of the baby)
In these cases, birth by cesarean section is a must.
Fibroids are not treated while a woman is pregnant. Instead, she is carefully monitored for possible complications. Usually, the myomas shrink in size after giving birth. But in the case of persistent masses, surgery is indicated, which may include ablation, surgical removal, or, if the fibroid is too large, hysterectomy.
Learn more about how to get pregnant with myomas today!