Can Fibroids Affect Infertility?
What are Fibroids?
Fibroids are benign tumors that are made up of fibrous connective tissue and smooth muscle cells. Fibroids are basically non-cancerous growths in the uterus that develop in or around the womb. They are also known as uterine myomas or leiomyomas. These fibroids usually develop during childbearing years of a woman and thus affect woman’s fertility. The reasons for fibroids are still unknown but it is usually due to combination of hormonal, environmental and genetic factors.
Are Fibroids common?
Around 20 to 50% of women of childbearing age have fibroids in their uterus. However they generally affect African-American women. More than 60% of African-American women have this problem and thus may have difficulty in conceiving.
How Fibroids affect fertility?
There are many ways in which fibroids can affect the fertility of a woman.
i) Fibroids can alter the shape of the uterus and cervix which can affect the number and motility of sperms that can enter the uterus.
ii) Furthermore, fibroids can cause the blockage of the fallopian tubes which will prevent fertilization to occur.
iii) Fibroids can also affect the blood flow to the uterine cavity which decreases the ability of an embryo to implant to the uterine wall.
iv) These fibroids can also impact the thickness of the uterine lining which causes infertility among women.
Types of Fibroids
There are three types of fibroids namely:
- Subserosal Fibroids
These fibroids are present in the outer wall of the uterus. These fibroids can be easily removed either through an abdominal myomectomy or a laparoscopic approach.
- Intramural Fibroids
This type of fibroids grows within the muscle of uterine wall. Intramural fibroids are the most common type of fibroids.
- Submucosal Fibroids
Submucosal fibroids develop in the middle muscle layer of the uterus and grow inwards into the uterine cavity.
Can Fibroids be treated?
Yes, of course, fibroids can be easily treated. However, the treatment varies individual to individual and the severity of the symptoms. Medical and surgical options are available and depending on the individual’s needs, the treatment is offered which can help the lady to conceive.