FIBROIDS AND INFERTILITY
- Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths in the uterus (womb). They are a common cause of infertility, miscarriage and pre-term labor.
- Fibroids are very common. At least 1 in 4 women develop one or more fibroids in their lifetime. They usually develop in women aged 30-50 years and can sometimes run in families. This is thought to be due to the higher levels of estrogen that occur in heavier women.
Symptoms may include:
- Miscarriage or infertility (depending on the size and position of the fibroid) Problems during pregnancy (early labour, risk of having a caesarean section)
Diagnosis Some fibroids can be felt on examining the abdomen if very large. An ultrasound scan is done to confirm the diagnosis
- If your fibroids are not causing any symptoms then treatment is not usually needed. After the menopause, fibroids often shrink and symptoms tend to go or ease.
2. Treatment with medication
- Medication can be used to improve symptoms or to shrink the fibroids. Normally fibroids more than 3cms in size cause symptoms and need treatment.
A) Medication to improve symptoms
- The following medicines are used to treat heavy periods whatever the cause, including heavy periods caused by fibroids. They may not work so well if your fibroids are large.
- Tranexamic acid- reduces bleeding during the period.
- The contraceptive pill may help you to have lighter periods and can often help with period pain too.
B) Medication to shrink the fibroids
- Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue, this is a hormone medicine that reduces the level of estrogen in your body. Fibroids shrink when the level of estrogen falls. This treatment is given for a maximum three to six months.
- For patients with fibroids larger than 3cms Laparoscopic Myomectomy is the best way forward Hysterectomy is commonest treatment for large fibroids which cause symptoms.