Can fibroids recur?

Monday March 22 2021
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The biggest concern in pregnancy is whether the fibroid will increase the chance of preterm birth or miscarriage. PHOTO/FILE/COURTESY

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

In 2016, I had fibroids which were removed through surgery. However, in 2018, I started bleeding a lot and went to another doctor who said I have fibroids. I now bleed a lot and have a brown discharge and pain in the legs, which I did not have before. Was the surgery unsuccessful? Anita

Fibroids are abnormal but non-cancerous growths that happen in the muscle of the womb. Although they can start as seedlings, sometimes they can grow so big as to be mistaken for pregnancy.

Much as a woman can get pregnant when she has fibroids, some women may fail to get pregnant, especially if the fibroids grow into the cavity of the womb. These can also cause other problems including too much bleeding during periods (and sometimes when not in periods) and painful periods, among others.

Although the cause of fibroids is bizarre with female sex hormones (oestrogens and progesterones) blamed, they tend to happen in women of childbearing age, and more in blacks, in certain families and those who have taken long to conceive.

Fibroids in many cases may have no symptoms and many women may get pregnant and deliver well but in a few cases, treatment may be required to ease symptoms and improve chances of fertility.

In your case, surgery may have removed the big fibroids leaving behind the small and sometimes invisible ones which grew fast after the operation, leading to over-bleeding and pressure on the leg nerves which pass through the back of the abdomen, symptoms you did not havebefore the operation. 


Also, after the operation, you may have developed cobweb like structures that pulled the womb together with the fibroids towards the back leading to pressure on the same nerves going to the legs.

The new fibroids are now distorting the inner side of the womb, hence trapping period blood leading to brown discharge after your period.

At 46, you can get pregnant but you require overall health evaluation by your doctor because at that age, pregnancy may come with complications to you, your baby or both. You also need to evaluate your fibroids since they may hinder pregnancy or lead to miscarriages.

At 46, you may be nearing menopause which might make it impossible to get pregnant naturally without IVF. IVF may also fail because you will require eggs from a donor and a healthy womb to carry the baby unless you get another person to carry the pregnancy as a surrogate mother.