Not all women desire to have children, but for those who do, fertility can be a big worry. Even if you’ve never had any gynecological issues, the moment you start trying to have a baby, you start to wonder, “Will I be able to get pregnant?” For women who have suffered from gynecological issues like fibroids, this worry might evolve into a fear.
Fibroids can disrupt so many parts of your life. The pain and heavy bleeding fibroids cause can mean missed days of work, missed friends’ birthday parties and even trouble with your partner. Thinking about how fibroids affect fertility can be upsetting and frightening if you want to have a child.
Can I Get Pregnant with Fibroids?
You might already know that fibroids are the most common noncancerous tumors that women have. But you might be surprised to find out that up to 10% of women discover that they have fibroids during pregnancy. So, yes, you can get pregnant if you have fibroids, but how will it affect your pregnancy?
Fibroids in Pregnancy
If it is discovered that you have fibroids during your pregnancy, your OBGYN will take some special precautions to make sure your pregnancy goes as planned. This could mean a change in your birth plan if you were planning on a home birth or birth center birth with a midwife – you will now be considered high risk and need the care of an OBGYN.
Fibroids in pregnancy can cause some complications. The fibroid(s) might take up some room in your uterus that would normal be taken up by your baby. This could cause your baby to be in a less-than-perfect position like breech (feet down) or OP (baby’s back is facing your back). However, babies are born in unideal positions all the time, even to women who have no other complications. A poor position won’t affect your baby, but could make your labor difficult or require that you have a c-section.
Since the fibroid is taking up space in your uterus, your baby could also be smaller than average. You could also go into labor before the full 40 weeks. This is called preterm labor. The ideal time for a baby to be born is between 37 and 40 weeks gestation.
The position of your fibroid could cause problems with your placenta, the organ that feeds your baby oxygen. Because of this, your placenta could become detached. This could cause serious complications, so you will be monitored more closely by your OBGYN.
What Happens if I Get Pregnant After a Myomectomy?
If you’ve had myomectomy surgery for fibroids, it is possible that you can have a healthy baby without complications, but there are some risks. The major risk is uterine rupture before or during labor. This is because your uterus has been operated on before and it might be weaker where there was an incision.
You might need a c-section or induction based on the extent of your surgery. However, not all myomectomies warrant special intervention during labor. If a natural birth is important to you, find an OBGYN who is natural birth friendly, but keep in mind that your birth plan will need to be tailored to your specific situation.
Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine. (2015). Fibroids in pregnancy: What you need to know. Retrieved from https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.smfm.org/media/526/fibroids_in_pregnancy.pdf