Uterine Fibroids & Infertility

The uterus is composed of a thick layer called ‘myometrium’ surrounding a thin lining called ‘endometrium’ into which the embryo implants and which serves to protect and nourish a growing pregnancy. It is the endometrium which is shed each month during the menstruation.
It is very common condition and, approximately, 50% of all reproductive age women will develop benign growths of the myometrium, called fibroid tumors. These tumors are rarely malignant. They can be located in the wall of the uterus, on the outside surface of the uterus or within the uterine cavity.
Most fibroids start as very small lesions and they can grow to large size.


Fibroids, even large ones, can occur without producing any symptoms at all. However, they can also cause a variety of symptoms depending on their size and location. The most common symptoms are heavy menstrual bleeding accompanied by menstrual pain if fibroid is protruding into the uterine cavity. Some fibroids are large and causing pressure symptoms on the adjacent organs like bladder or colon, pain with deep penetration during sexual intercourse, bladder irritability, rectal pressure, constipation and painful bowel movements.


Effect of uterine fibroids on fertility

Most uterine fibroids don’t affect fertility, only those fibroids that protrude into the uterine cavity affect fertility. Exceptions include large intramural fibroids that block the openings of the fallopian tubes into the uterus.


The diagnosis

The diagnosis can be easily made by ultrasound examination of the pelvis. However, sometimes it is difficult to tell if the fibroid is affecting the uterine cavity. Therefore, many women seeking fertility treatment need to make sure that the uterine cavity is intact if the ultrasound examination is inconclusive. To make sure that the uterine cavity is intact, a minor procedure called hysteroscopy is recommended.


Most women are advised to surgically remove the affected fibroid. However, there are other non-surgical treatments that are either not effective or relatively more harmful than surgery.

If you suffer infertility and fibroid, fertility experts are the best physicians to consult. They, often, discuss informed choices and which surgical intervention works better for your condition.