A uterine fibroid is a benign or noncancerous growth of the muscle portion of the uterus. While common, they may cause pain and excessive bleeding, and concerns about fertility and pregnancy for some.
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Fibroids can go undetected in many healthy pregnancies.
"But depending on their size or location, they may affect a person's ability to get pregnant, or stay pregnant or have a healthy pregnancy," says Dr. Louie.
Fibroids are usually classified based on their location in the uterus, for instance.
"A submucosal fibroid is most likely to affect a future pregnancy or affect a person's ability to get pregnant or conceive; whereas, intramural fibroids, especially if they're small, would probably have no effect on a future pregnancy or person's ability to get pregnant," she says.
An ultrasound or MRI may be ordered to assess treatment options.
"The traditional surgery that's evidence-based for people who are wanting future pregnancy is a myomectomy."
Dr. Louie says fibroids may complicate pregnancy for some. "Fibroid specialists may be very much able to guide them to the variety of treatment options that we have — both to allow treatment of their symptoms and to allow future childbearing if that's one of their goals."