Uterine Fibroids During Pregnancy

Wondering about uterine fibroids and if they're cancerous? Read on. We tell you how uterine fibroids can affect your pregnancy and if they're dangerous to baby.
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ByPaula Kashtan and Sarah Yang
Jan 2017
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What are uterine fibroids during pregnancy?

They’re noncancerous (phew!) growths that appear in your uterus. Good news: They don’t increase your chances of getting uterine cancer, and fibroids usually don’t become cancerous.

What are the signs of uterine fibroids?

You might have pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urinationconstipation and  backaches or leg pains. Before you were pregnant, you may have had heavy or longer periods. In many cases, you might not experience any symptoms.

Are there any tests for uterine fibroids?

Your doctor might find them during a pelvic exam — larger uterine fibroids cause your uterus to change shape. Also, an  ultrasound can be used to tell if you have fibroids.

How common are uterine fibroids?

According to the US National Library of Medicine, as many as one in five women get fibroids during their childbearing years. Most women don’t even know they have them because they have no symptoms!

How did I get uterine fibroids?

There is no known cause of uterine fibroids, but genetics, hormones and chemicals in your body may affect your chances of getting them.

How will uterine fibroids affect my baby?

Luckily, they usually don’t interfere with pregnancy. It’s possible that uterine fibroids can change the shape of or block your fallopian tubes, which can affect future pregnancies. In some cases, doctors may recommend removing problematic fibroids before you get pregnant. You might experience some pain in your lower abdomen — if you do, ask your doctor what you should do. Most of the time, you can take medication for the pain. In some cases, uterine fibroids can increase the risk of miscarriagepreterm birth or breech birth. You could also have a greater chance of getting a  c-section or heavy bleeding after labor.

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What’s the best way to treat uterine fibroids?

More often than not, fibroids are nothing more than a pain in the belly, so don’t let them worry you too much unless your symptoms grow problematic.

What can I do to prevent uterine fibroids?

There’s no specific way to prevent fibroids, but don’t worry — most fibroids are harmless and won’t need treatment.

What do other pregnant moms do when they have uterine fibroids?

“I had one with my last pregnancy. My OB told me that they’re very common and tend to grow owing to all the pregnancy hormones. Fortunately, it didn’t interfere with the pregnancy.”

"My doctor told me I had one with my second ultrasound. He told me not to freak out about it and not to go home and search on the Internet, because it shouldn’t be a big deal.”

"I have a few; the largest is three centimeters. My doctor isn’t worried at all about them. She says they aren’t a big deal at all and a lot of women have them and they’re totally fine. They might grow, but they’ll shrink after pregnancy.”

Are there any other resources for uterine fibroids?
National Uterine Fibroids Foundation

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