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Pregnancy After Removal of Fibroids: What You Need to Know

Posted on April 14, 2024

If you want to have a pregnancy after removal of fibroids, choosing your best treatment may be challenging. That’s especially true if you have large fibroids, or if you have many of these non-cancerous uterine tumors.

After all, many women with multiple fibroids think hysterectomy is their best—or only—treatment option. But if you want to start or grow your family, or avoid hysterectomy complications, you’ll need a different approach. So, in this article, we’ll explore the differences between two fertility-preserving fibroid treatments: UFE and myomectomy.

Pregnancy After Removal of Fibroids: Fertility Preserving Treatments

Up to 80% of women will develop uterine fibroids before hitting menopause. These growths form from cells in the muscular outer layer of your uterus (called the myometrium) and can leave you with heavy periods, pelvic pain and sexual discomfort, among other disruptive symptoms.

While some women with fibroids never develop symptoms, this large survey reveals that women with fibroids are more likely to experience bladder pressure, cramps and pain between and during periods, along with painful sex.  As a result, almost 43% of the women with fibroids said their tumors took a negative toll on life, affecting intimacy, work performance and even their familial relationships.

Unfortunately, many doctors consider a hysterectomy to be the main—or only—fibroid treatment option. But fertility sparing approaches do exist. (And they’re very effective.) These are the two main options.

UFE and Pregnancy After Removal of FibroidsPregnancy after removal of fibroids

If you choose Uterine Fibroid Embolization, your interventional radiologist will perform this outpatient procedure. Instead of going under anesthesia, you’ll get a small injection in your arm or leg that allows us to insert a catheter. Next, we’ll deliver material to your uterine artery through that catheter. This cuts off blood supply to your fibroids, so they shrink and eventually disappear.

Now, some research suggests that UAE may increase your risk for intrauterine adhesions. And we don’t yet know exactly how they could impact your fertility or ability to carry a baby to term. Still, a recent study comparing UFE and Myomectomy revealed that both procedures delivered similar results.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests many women conceive after UFE. Sheila, a woman who received UFE in Atlanta before conceiving, told the Washington Informer, “What I would say to another woman who has fibroids and wants to get pregnant is to go get the embolization.  I don’t feel the pain that I felt before, I feel great, I have a lot more energy.” She went on to say, "would tell the doctor that told me that the embolization doesn’t work, that I am living proof.  I am actually pregnant, I am fine, and I will be fine.  It’s literally life-changing.”

And patients like Yvette Foy have publicly shared their stories about having a baby after UFE, to help other women know hysterectomy isn't the only way forward. As a result, you should consider both options. Especially if you want to avoid surgery.

Myomectomy: Surgical Fibroid Removal

With this procedure, your surgeon will make one or more small incisions in your abdomen or pelvic region to access and remove your fibroids. While less invasive than a hysterectomy, a myomectomy still requires anasthesia, hospital stays and a more extended recovery period. Recently, Deion Sanders' daughter Deiondra became pregnant after her fourth myomectomy procedure, one in which her doctors were only able to remove a portion of her tumor. Afterward, they told her she might never conceive, yet she is currently expecting her first child.

Now, if you don't remove your fibroids, and choose to become pregnant, you may experience complications while carrying your child. Plus, if you have a pregnancy with fibroids, you may be at higher risk for complications such as a breech birth or a placental abruption in subsequent pregnancies. As such, many women prefer to seek treatment before starting or expanding their families.

If you want to pursue pregnancy after removal of fibroids, you’ll have to choose between these options. And there are many factors to consider. First, you should understand that fibroid location matters when it comes to impact on fertility. So, depending on your situation, you may choose to delay treatment until after your family is complete. (But keep in mind that fibroids can impact your pregnancy, even if they don’t get in the way of conception.) Plus, if you are pregnant with fibroids, you’ll need extra monitoring to make sure the growths don’t limit fetal development.

In other words, choosing to treat fibroids before pregnancy may improve your chances of carrying your baby to term, and avoiding complications. So, if you have fibroids and still want to start or expand your family, we invite you to click here to request an appointment. When you come in, we’ll discuss your fertility-preserving treatment options and help you make a choice that works for your goals.

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