Fibroids1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Register
 Login
 Main Page
 Fibroids1 News
Feature Story
 Education Center
Conditions
Treatments
Diagnostics

Find a Physician

Dr. Lauren Streicher  Fibroids
 Hero™

Dr. Lauren Streicher:
Educating Patients on their Options
About Heroes 
 Join the Discussion  in  Our Forums
 Community
Fibroids1 Forums
Patient Stories
One Question Poll
    Archive

 Reference

Online Resources
Patient Brochures
Locate a Specialist
Office Visits
Frequently
    Asked Questions

Video Library

  
advertisement
Search the Body1 Network
May 27, 2019  
FIBROIDS1 NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • Links/Reprints
  • Small Fibroids Increase Risk of Miscarriage

    Small Fibroids Increase Risk of Miscarriage


    April 26, 2004

    By Stephanie Riesenman

    New research on uterine fibroids and miscarriage suggests that smaller fibroids, which are often not considered by doctors to be troubling, may actually pose a greater risk of miscarriage to women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. But researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say more studies on how size and location of fibroids affects pregnancy is still needed.

    The study was led by Dr. Katherine Hartmann, Director of the Center for Women’s’ Health Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She said early in the study experts asked, "Why are they messing around with those little fibroids, they just don’t matter? Our reply was you have no evidence anywhere that they don’t matter, nobody’s ever studied them before," said Hartmann.

    For their study, Hartmann’s team recruited more than 1,600 women, who were at least 18 years old, from 3 cities in North Carolina who were no more than 12 weeks along in their pregnancies, or who were still trying to become pregnant. All the women were given ultrasounds 3 times during the course of their pregnancies to look for fibroids.

    Unlike earlier studies that only looked for fibroids 3cm or larger in diameter — which is roughly the size of a golf ball — this study included fibroids as small as half a centimeter and larger, or about the size of a jelly bean.

    "Of all the fibroids that we measured, the median diameter was 2.4cm, so more than half would not have been counted as fibroids in previous studies," said Dr. Hartmann.

    The average age of women in the study was 28 years. Women with fibroids tended to be older and heavier. There were 167 women diagnosed with fibroids. About 41% of their fibroids were intramural, which means they were small enough not to distort the surface of the uterus. Those that tend to distort the external contour of the uterus — called subserous fibroids — made up 37% and 14% were submucuous — which are those that stick into the uterine cavity.

    The results of Dr. Hartmann’s study show that women with fibroids have a 55% increased risk of miscarriage regardless of their age, weight, smoking status, or ethnicity. Fibroids that were less than 3cm carried with them a 4-fold increase in risk. Dr. Hartmann explained that most of these smaller fibroids were adjacent to the uterine cavity, and it may be that they’re activity in the uterus disrupts the environment for the fetus.

    "For the larger fibroids we don’t see any effect at all, which suggests the larger ones don’t really have any effect and this is where we need a whole bunch more data," said Dr. Hartmann.

    But she added that it’s probably not the case that the larger ones have no effect at all—they just may be less active. She said she plans to study more women in order to see how fibroids of all sizes and locations impact a woman’s risk for miscarriage. She hopes the research will provide clarity on whether it’s actually the size of a fibroid—versus the location in the uterus—that increases miscarriage risk.

    And while 55% sounds like a big number, Dr. Hartmann wants to reassure women that it’s really not that much of an increase over the risk carried by women with no fibroids.

    "The odds are still overwhelmingly in your favor that you’re going to have a fine pregnancy," she said. "It’s by no means a sentence to crummy reproductive performance that you have fibroids," said Dr. Hartmann.

    Last updated: 26-Apr-04

    Comments

  • Add Comment
  •    
    Interact on Fibroids1

    Discuss this topic with others.
     
    Feature Archives

    Uterine Fibroids: If in Doubt Always Ask for a Second Opinion

    With Flip of Wrist, Interventional Radiologists Treat Uterine Fibroids

    Fibroids Have Significant Impact on Workplace Performance

    Uterine fibroids have greater impact in African American women

    Should Women with Fibroids have a Hysterectomy?

    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
       
     
    Related Multimedia

    Interview with James Spies, M.D. about Treatments for Fibroids

    Pregnancy after Fibroids Treatment

    Treating Professional Athletes - Interview with Dr. Andrews

    More Features ...
     
    Related Content
    Pregnancy Possible After UFE Procedure

    Fibroids Update: Who is At Risk

    GnRH Agonists Play Role in Bone Loss

    Reimbursement Support is Available to Fibroid Patients

    UFE Offers Patients Relief and Results

    More Features ...
     
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    advertisement
    © 2019 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.