Q- What are Fibroids?
A- Fibroids also known as myomas are benign (non -cancerous) growths in the uterine wall. These are very common among females after the age of 30, though it can appear on the first periods as well. Though causes of fibroids are not certain it is believed these multiply under the influence of Estrogen.
Depending upon their location fibroids are categorized into four types:
- Intramural- Present within the muscular walls of the uterus. These can grow large in size resulting in stretching of the womb
- Subserosal Fibroids – These are present on the outside of the uterus membrane, known as serosa
- Pedunculated fibroids – these fibroids grown on a stalk inside or outside of the uterus
- Submucosal Fibroids – These develop in the uterine cavity. These are significantly dangerous to conception and pregnancy.
Since it bulges into the uterine cavity, it affects embryo implantation and growth of fetus as well. Thankfully it is very rare, though.
Q- Who are at the risk?
- Pregnant lady
- Person with family history
- Obese or overweight are at greater risk of developing fibroids.
Q- What are the symptoms of the Fibroids?
- Heavy bleeding
- Prolonged periods
- Pain in lower back
- Swelling and cramps in abdomen
Q- How Fibroids are diagnosed?
A- Transvaginal ultrasound and Pelvic MRI can help detect the presence of fibroids. These produce pictures of uterus, ovaries and other organs.
Q- What is the treatment available of Fibroids?
A- Medications to keep a check on hormones such as Lupron can drop Estrogen and progesterone hormones levels in the body. Fibroids can be removed from the body via surgery known as myomectomy.
Q- Do fibroids affect IVF success rate?
A- Fibroids are mostly harmless fertility wise. As stated earlier in this article Submucosal fibroids can complicate conception and might cause a problem to the embryo’s growth and health.
Q- What characteristics of fibroids affect the IVF success rate?
A- Size and position of fibroids matter. Most are microscopic in size. Fibroids with more than 4 cm in size and if located inside the uterine cavity can hamper the IVF success rate. Studies have shown that presence of intramural or submucosal fibroids can bring changes in the inner wall of the uterus. The Higher rate of miscarriages is associated with uterine fibroids, specifically when implantation occur in relation to the submucosal fibroid.
Q- Does removal of such fibroids returns the IVF success rate back to normal?
A- The results of Myomectomy before IVF is controversial. There is no positive correlation between Myomectomy and increase in success of IVF. It has been seen in few patients, myomectomy could have improved fertility whereas in others there are no positive results.