By: Diana Barnes Brown for Fibroids1
New research indicates that women with fibroids may have better reproductive technology outcomes if they have their fibroids removed before seeking treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
|Learn the symptoms of fibroids:|
Uterine or abdominal pain at other times of the month
Unexplained or off-cycle bleeding
Urinary or bowel symptoms (such as frequent urination or feelings of pressure in the intestinal area)
Lower back pain
Anemia (due to increased bleeding)
Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia)
Reproductive problems (including infertility, miscarriage or premature labor)
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Uterine fibroids are benign (noncancerous) tumors that grow in the uterus or uterine wall. The complications they cause can vary with their size and location. Some fibroids are as small as a pea, while others can grow to the size of a grapefruit; also, fibroids may be located inside the uterine cavity or may grow where they disturb the uterine wall or surrounding structures. Medical scientists don’t know the cause of fibroids, but they are found more frequently in women over 35, as well as those who are obese or have a family history of fibroids.
The May issue of Fertility and Sterility printed a report on how fibroids affect the outcome of IVF, completed by Eric Surrey, M.D. and colleagues at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.
Surrey and fellow researchers compiled data on women who visited the Center for IVF or donated eggs in hopes of having a successful pregnancy. They checked women’s medical records after the fact and compared the outcomes of women who had been treated for fibroids to those who had not.
They found that the 100 women who had undergone the procedures after fibroid removal had similar success rates with IVF and/or egg donation reproductive technologies to the 1,400 women who had no fibroids.
Because fibroids that take up a significant amount of space or impinge on certain structures may interfere with a successful pregnancy, women may want to rule them out or have them removed, if necessary, before seeking IVF or egg donation procedures.
The researchers noted that while further research, including a controlled, randomized clinical trial was needed before the results could be seen as conclusive, their findings underline the importance of evaluating the uterus before reproductive technologies can be used.