New Delhi, Dec 23: Many of the causes of infertility, including PCOS, ageing, inadequate egg reserves, cancer, among others, may be recognisable to you. Fibroids, which affect about two in three women and are most prevalent in people between the ages of 30 and 50, can also make things more difficult.
A benign growth that forms inside the uterus, where an unborn child develops and matures, is known as uterine fibroids, also known as fibroids. These muscle-and fibrous tissue-filled fibroids may form in the uterus’s muscular wall or cavity.
There are three primary forms of fibroids, which can affect fertility and make it more difficult for a woman to become pregnant and carry a child for the full nine months.
“Early intervention is essential to minimising the potential damage fibroids could have on your pregnancy,” says Dr Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and Infertility Specialist at Mother’s Lap IVF Centre in New Delhi and Vrindavan.
Why do fibroids develop?
Studies have revealed a connection between fibroids and oestrogen levels, despite the fact that the cause and mechanism of their development are still largely unknown.
This indicates that they often emerge between the ages of 16 and 50, which are the years when women are most fertile” Dr Shobha Gupta explains.
“Thereafter, as oestrogen levels fall during menopause, fibroids tend to contract.”
There are a few more elements that are related to fibroids, such as the risk that a woman will experience fibroids at some point in her lifetime may rise if other family members have been diagnosed with them. “Always see your GP or a specialist if you fall into one of these groups and think you could be at a higher risk of getting fibroids or experience any symptoms”.
What can fibroids develop into?
There are three primary fibroid types, and each has a unique set of symptoms. Each person’s symptoms are unique, and some women may have no symptoms at all. Because of this, Dr. Shobha Gupta explains, “fibroids frequently go unnoticed.” She does, however, note that some typical symptoms include dizziness, abdominal pain, heavy periods, painful intercourse, and a need to frequently urinate.
Fibroids can, in rare instances, make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant or carry a child to term. They may make pregnancy more difficult and, in the worst cases, result in infertility. A doctor or fertility specialist can help you approach pregnancy safely if you’re trying to get pregnant and have been told you have fibroids. Raising awareness of the disease is crucial so that women who acquire fibroids can get help and treatment quickly.
There are three primary categories of fibroid:
Intramural: These form within the uterine muscular wall. If you have many, they can strain the lining and expand the region where blood can bleed.
Submucosal: These are located just below the surface of the womb lining and can cause heavy monthly flow and deform the womb cavity.
Subserosal: These are located on the outside of the uterus and can put more pressure on the organ.
Fibroids contributes to infertility
Submucosal fibroids, one of the three forms of fibroid, are most likely to affect fertility because they develop within the uterine lining. A submucosal fibroid may obstruct a woman’s fallopian tube, preventing the release or sperm fertilisation of an egg. This kind of fibroid may also hinder a fertilised egg from adhering to the lining of the womb, depending on its size and location.
“Women who have large fibroids or clusters of fibroids that take up a lot of uterine space may find it challenging to carry a child to term,” added Dr. Shobha Gupta.
Fortunately, there are numerous options for treating fibroids. Women are frequently given prescription drugs or injections to reduce the growths. Keyhole surgery may be an option to remove bigger fibroids if you have the condition. Myomectomy or hysterectomy may be performed in the most severe situations, but this is uncommon and usually a last resort.
Dr. Shobha Gupta adds that in addition to taking the patient’s age, general health, and desire to have children into account when determining the best course of treatment, fibroids’ size and location are also important considerations.
Before beginning any course of treatment, women should always carefully weigh their options and get a professional medical opinion.
Other factors that may affect fertility
Around one in seven couples may have trouble conceiving. Although fibroids may cause problems, these other conditions could also pose difficulties.
. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
. In men, it can lead to a lower sperm count, making it harder to conceive
. Other factors that can impact fertility include a reduced ovarian reserve, reduced egg quality and age.
. In fact, age is the biggest indicator for a woman’s fertility.
Fertility test results showing up OK?
Approximately 30 per cent of couples who are having trouble becoming pregnant will be given the diagnosis of “unexplained infertility.” When you are having trouble becoming pregnant but your fertility test results are normal, doctors will frequently advise lifestyle adjustments and fertility procedures like IVF. Infertility may sound frightening, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never be able to have children.
“Infertility can be brought on by a variety of circumstances, and the cause will determine the therapies your doctor advises,” says Dr Shobha Gupta.
(Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and Infertility Specialist from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre)