How Does Fibroids Cause Infertility?
Uterine fibroids can affect your fertility in several different ways based on how their size and location changes your uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes.
- Fallopian tubes can be blocked by fibroids which makes it challenging or impossible for a fertilized egg to implant.
- Changes in the shape of the cervix can affect the number of sperm that can enter the uterus.
- Changes in the shape of the uterus can interfere with the movement of the sperm or embryo.
- Fibroids can impact the thickness of the uterine lining
- Blood flow to the uterine cavity can also be affected. This can decrease the ability of an embryo to implant in the uterine wall or to develop.
Should I Get Treatment for my Fibroids to Improve my Fertility?
Treatment for fibroids should be based on your individual situation such as the severity of your symptoms and whether there may be other explanations for your infertility. You and your partner should both have a thorough fertility evaluation and discuss the issue with your doctor. While there are many different treatment options only surgery, often minimally invasive, can eliminate any given fibroid permanently.
Other treatments that use ultrasound, electrical energy, embolization or medications can often make a given fibroid smaller, but sometimes only temporarily. Furthermore, new fibroids may grow after treatment. There is also disagreement over whether treatment will improve your fertility.
If you are trying to improve your fertility vs. relieving symptoms, research to date only supports treatment for submucosal fibroids as it does result in increased pregnancy and live birth rates.
Research is weak and does not support treatment for other types of fibroids based on comparing outcomes for pregnancy and live birth rates for women receiving treatment and those not receiving treatment.