I was browing around on thebabywearer.com today, and bumped into a thread about uterine fibroids and pregnancy. I remembered that a few years back, a family member had had fibroids during her pregnancy, and so I was curious to find out more about the fibroids. The thread itself wasn’t all that informative . . . a mom was asking for tips on how to deal with the discomfort. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t get many responses. A quick Google search popped up a bunch of websites, and here’s what I gleaned.
Fibroids happen to as many as 1 in 5 women. They are growths on the uterus that are benign. They can either be inside the uterine wall, or outside the uterine wall. Some of the symptoms of fibroids are heavy menstrual flow, discomfort during sex, back ache, urinary frequency, and infertility. Of course, the smaller fibroids can be present for quite some time as they often don’t present with any symptoms.
As they relate to pregnancy, fibroids can cause all sorts of problems, especially if they are located close to the cervix, or if they are crowding out the fetus. They can also be present during a pregnancy and not really cause any problems. In my research, I read that a midwife once delivered a baby, and the woman had a fibroid that was the same size as her child! That poor woman must have been HUGE and VERY uncomfortable! In any case, it’s possible to carry a baby to full term and have no complications. But sometimes, a C-section is necessary (when the fibroid is too close to the cervix), and fibroids can be the cause of preterm labor.
All of the sites I saw stated that fibroids are not treated during pregnancy, as the risk of treating them is greater than the risk of leaving them intact. If I recall correctly, the family member that had fibroids had them removed, but maybe it was after delivery? I don’t remember.
Again, I’m amazed at the things that are totally new to me in relation to my body. I’d heard of fibroids before, but had no idea they were so common. Makes me wonder what other things I’ll be learning about the human body!