I am pregnant but have a sub-serosal fibroid

Monday December 16 2019

 

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

Dr, I recently found out that I am two months pregnant. However, I have a sub-serosal fibroid 2.3x2.8 cm. I had tried to get pregnant in vain. Won’t this affect my pregnancy? What can I do to carry my pregnancy to term? Jennie Akiring

The uterus is made up of three layers, the outer serosa, middle, muscle and inner endometrium which is partly shed every month as a period.

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous swellings or growths that may appear just under the outside covering of the womb (sub-serosal), in the muscle of the womb (intramural) and just inside the inner lining of the womb (submucosal or sub-endometrial).

Fibroids appear during a woman’s, childbearing years, and in a few cases may affect fertility, or pregnancy and the pregnancy may also affect the fibroids.

Many women especially those who have never got pregnant or those who have taken long without getting pregnant, may have uterine fibroids but because they mostly cause no symptoms, they may be discovered accidentally during routine ultrasound checks.

The location of fibroids (if submucosal) and if the fibroids are large hence distorting the womb can affect both fertility and pregnancy making it difficult to get pregnant and if one gets pregnant one may have complications.

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Although in many cases fibroids may not interfere with fertility and pregnancy, the sub endometrial ones are known to affect fertility and if one gets pregnant may lead to pregnancy complications.

The pregnancy complications may include, bleeding on and off, uterine pain, reduced growth of the foetus, premature delivery or miscarriages, placenta peeling off the uterus (abruptio placentae), and the requirement of caesarean section because the fibroid can change the position of the baby or close off the path of delivery.

Most fibroids do not change in size during pregnancy, although some may grow bigger due to increased female hormones while in other women they may shrink during pregnancy or after delivery.

Although your kind of fibroids are unlikely to cause any pregnancy complications, you still need to attend antenatal care where further advice and addressing of complications if at all they occur, can be carried out. You also need to avoid self-medication because painkillers like Brufen may cause miscarriages if they are given in the first and last three months of pregnancy.

Women who take long to get pregnant may be found with fibroids and for these instead of blaming fibroids for infertility require a thorough check for the cause of infertility so that it is dealt with at the same time together with addressing the presence of fibroids.

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