Infertility, fertility and sub-fertility are intricately connected. Frequently, what is thought to be infertility, is actually sub-fertility. One common cause of sub-fertility are the often benign growths in or on the uterus, called uterine fibroids.
It's not unusual to have fibroids, have no symptoms and therefore be unaware that you have them. It's estimated that between 30 and 40 percent of all women have uterine fibroids. Correctly diagnosing uterine fibroids is one more important reason to seek medical treatment from a fertility specialist (board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist).
Uterine Fibroids & Infertility
Looking for uterine fibroids is included in a thorough fertility consultation, via a transvaginal ultrasound. While an ultrasound will almost always confirm the diagnosis of uterine fibroids, sometimes a hysterosalpingogram or a saline sonogram will be done to better confirm exactly where the fibroids are and to give the physician as much information as possible.
In some women fibroids can cause abnormal uterine bleeding, abdominal pain, and pressure. These cases are treated surgically with a myomectomy. There are several surgical options, including an abdominal myomectomy, hysteroscopic myomectomy, and laparoscopic myomectomy. Many fibroids will be removed if there is a history of infertility (lack of pregnancy within one year of properly timed sexual intercourse or the inability to carry a successful pregnancy) or a suspicion that removing them will ease the way for a successful pregnancy.
Fibroid Symptoms That Can Affect Fertility
Symptoms of fibroids include:
- Pain in the abdomen and back.
- Difficulty with bowel movements and increased urination.
- Sub-fertility and miscarriage.
- Heavy bleeding with periods
- Increased pain with periods.
- Spotting throughout the month.
- Anemia or low blood counts.
If you are thirty five or younger and been trying to conceive for one year or thirty five and older and trying to conceive for six months, it's time for a fertility consultation. Remember that many problems conceiving can be corrected easily.
We're here to help. Start your family building today by making an appointment.