Fibroid tumors are non-cancerous growths that develop in and on a woman’s uterus. While not a life threatening condition, because of their location, they can cause many negative symptoms, including problems with fertility, menstruation, and your bowel and bladder function.
Women who have fibroids but still want to have children are often told surgery is their only option. The surgical removal of a fibroid tumor (myomectomy) was thought to be a woman’s best option if she wanted to get pregnant. Now, new research is changing everything.
Myomectomies Don’t Improve Fertility
A new review in the Cochrane journal says: “one study…that examined the effect of myomectomy on fertility and it found no significant benefit.” In other words, even if you have surgery to remove your fibroid tumors, your chances of getting or staying pregnant may not improve.
Of course, this is just one stud; more research is needed to really prove the effect of fibroid surgery on fertility. It does, however, mean that women should carefully consider all their treatment options before rushing into surgery just to preserve their fertility dreams.
UFE and Pregnancy
Patients with fibroids who hope to get pregnant may also consider uterine fibroid embolization, a minimally invasive procedure that effectively kills fibroids by cutting off their blood supply. Many patients wishing to avoid myomectomy want to know if they can become pregnant after uterine fibroid embolization. There have been reports of many successful pregnancies in patients after UFE. Many studies show that fertility rates and miscarriage rates in UFE patients are no different than patients of the same age with fibroids who have had no treatment. That being said, patients may be better off having a myomectomy if they are a good candidate and are willing to undergo surgery.
Although the findings are not clear cut, a few studies have shown that pregnancy complications may be slightly more common after UFE compared with myomectomy. These pregnancy complications can include pre-term labor and pregnancy induced hypertension, also known as pre eclampsia. UFE might still be an option in patients who are not good candidates for myomectomy or who do not want to have surgery. All this will be especially true if it turns out that myomectomy really can’t improve your fertility.