Hello, my name is Simon. I am a 59-year-old man who lives alone in downtown Perth. I am pleased to say that I have never had to spend a night in a hospital. This is because I know how to take care of myself. When I was growing up my grandpa often used to tell me that if you eat well and exercise, you will live a long life. He died aged 95, so he must have known something. However, it was only when I became friends with a doctor, that I discovered all the other things I could do to stay healthy. I decided to start this blog to encourage others to look after their health.
If you're experiencing unexplained problems getting pregnant, the solution may be easier than you think. For a small percentage of women, infertility is caused by a common gynecological problem: uterine fibroids. Thankfully, uterine fibroids can be treated with minimally-invasive surgery, which could solve your infertility. Here's everything you need to know about uterine fibroids if you're trying to conceive.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths onand around your uterus. They're surprisingly common, affecting around 30% of women of childbearing age. Many women with fibroids aren't aware they even have them because they're asymptomatic. Doctors are still unsure about what causes fibroids to grow, though some have suggested they may be linked to oestrogen levels, blood vessel abnormalities, or changes in tissue growth chemicals. However, women who are over 40, obese, have high blood pressure or low vitamin D, or are of African descent are at a higher risk of developing fibroids. Women who have never been pregnant are also more likely to have fibroids, so it's unsurprising that they're thought to be a potential cause of infertility.
How Do Fibroids Affect Fertility?
Fibroids don't directly cause infertility, but they can interfere with a woman's ability to get pregnant and carry a baby to full term. Fibroids can block the fallopian tubes and distort the uterine cavity, preventing sperm or fertilised eggs from traveling to where they need to be. For women who have managed to get pregnant, fibroids can still interfere with the pregnancy. Sometimes they block the circulation of blood to the placenta or grow so large that they don't allow your baby enough space to grow. These problems can lead to miscarriage or early delivery.
How Can You Tell If Have Fibroids?
As uterine fibroids can be asymptomatic, it can be hard to tell if they're a potential cause of your infertility. Women who do experience symptoms may find that they have painful, heavy periods, pain in their back and abdomen, pain during intercourse, or persistent constipation. Even if you don't have these symptoms, it's still a good idea to get tested if you're experiencing fertility problems. A gynecologist can use pelvic examination, ultrasound scans, and hysteroscopy or laproscopy (scans carried out with tiny cameras or telescopes) to determine the presence of fibroids in your uterus.
What Should You Do If You Have Them?
While it's important to note that fibroids only affect 5 to 10% of infertile women and are thought to be the sole cause of infertility in up to 2.4%, it's entirely possible that you are part of that small percentage. If you're diagnosed with uterine fibroids and you're struggling to get pregnant, it's a good idea to consider having them treated. Some women opt for medications that shrink fibroids, but for women who are trying to conceive as soon as possible and have fibroids that are severe enough to cause infertility, surgical removal may be a more preferable choice.
Nowadays, surgeons can remove fibroids with a minimally-invasive procedure called a laparoscopic myomectomy. During a a myomectomy, the doctor will use a laparoscope (very thin telescopic camera instrument) to see your uterus and make narrow incisions to remove the fibroids. This surgery only requires one night in hospital and a few weeks of recovery time, and women can begin trying to conceive again 3 to 6 months after surgery.Share
19 May 2017