Up to 80% of women will get fibroids by the time they reach the age of 50. These non-cancerous growths can be found growing on and around the uterus and are composed of fibrous tissue and smooth muscle cells.
It is not understood what causes fibroid growth, but several factors can increase the risk that a woman will develop fibroids. These include age, race, genetics, hormones, obesity, the onset of early menses, vitamin D deficiency, lifestyle choices, and more. Fibroids can cause many unpleasant symptoms, such as heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than normal, pressure and pain in the pelvic area, pain during sex, and even affect fertility.
Most symptoms that women experience are caused by fibroids that have grown large, and there are many misconceptions surrounding what makes fibroids grow. There are some who believe that sperm can cause fibroids to grow, and others believe sperm shrinks fibroids.
Today we are going to talk about the relationship between sperm and fibroids and separate the facts from the fiction so you will be better informed.
Does Sperm Make Fibroids Grow?
No, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, and it is what we call a myth. There is also no known origin for this myth, with the exception that sperm is necessary to conceive and fibroids can inhibit conception.
There is much we still do not know about fibroids, but research has revealed that fibroids grow large in response to estrogen exposure. Often, women with fibroids who become pregnant experience a rapid phase of fibroid growth due to the significant increase in hormones. Additionally, sources of excess estrogen can be found in many processed foods and health and beauty products.
Is There Any Association Between Fibroids And Sperm?
Questions such as “Can sperm shrink fibroids?” “Can sperm cause fibroids?” is sometimes raised by misinformed individuals, as sperm does not have any effect on fibroids. It is quite the opposite; fibroids can have an impact on sperm and prevent it from doing its job.
The relationship between sperm and fibroids is simple. Fibroids can potentially complicate the process of starting a family. The size, location, and number of uterine fibroids can impact your ability to conceive and give birth.
Can Fibroids Affect Fertility And Pregnancy?
Fibroids can have a significant impact on fertility and can even prevent a successful pregnancy. Depending on their size, placement, or how numerous they are, they may interfere with conception and a healthy pregnancy.
Fibroids can hinder the successful joining of sperm and egg. They may cause changes in the shape of your cervix or uterus, potentially preventing sperm from entering and resulting in successful conception or implantation. If fibroids obstruct your fallopian tubes, it can prevent sperm from reaching the egg or an embryo from reaching your uterus.
During pregnancy, the production of estrogen in your body increases, which can cause fibroids to grow larger. This can harm a developing fetus or alter the position of the baby within the uterus, which may necessitate a cesarean section or an earlier delivery than originally planned. Having a large fibroid during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage.
The effects of fibroids on pregnancy can vary depending on their size, location, and number. Some potential ways uterine fibroids can affect pregnancy include:
- Increased risk of miscarriage: Large fibroids or fibroids located near the cervix may increase the risk of miscarriage, especially during the first trimester;
- Preterm labor: Fibroids can irritate the uterine lining, potentially leading to contractions and preterm labor;
- Placental abruption: A large fibroid located near the placenta may increase the risk of placental abruption, where the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before delivery;
- Malpresentation of the baby: Large fibroids can distort the shape of the uterus, which might result in the baby assuming a breech position or other abnormal presentations, making vaginal delivery more challenging;
- Obstructed labor: Depending on their size and location, fibroids may obstruct the birth canal, complicating the delivery process;
- Increased risk of cesarean section (C-section): Fibroids may make it difficult for the baby to pass through the birth canal, necessitating a C-section delivery;
- Postpartum hemorrhage: The presence of large fibroids may increase the risk of excessive bleeding after childbirth.
Not all women with uterine fibroids will experience pregnancy complications, and many have normal pregnancies and give birth without any issues.
If you have been diagnosed with fibroids and are planning to become pregnant or are already pregnant, it’s crucial to work closely with your obstetrician and gynecologist. They can monitor the fibroids throughout pregnancy and determine if any interventions or treatments are necessary to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Where Can I Go For Help To Get Rid Of Fibroids So I Can Conceive?
Women come from all over the country for treatment by Dr. Lipman and Dr. Ermentrout, who have over 35 years of experience safely and effectively eliminating fibroids through non-surgical uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
This outpatient procedure can eliminate all fibroids, even those that may be deeply embedded in the uterine wall. Unlike during a myomectomy, which is a surgery that is done to cut fibroids out of the uterus one at a time, UFE does not compromise or weaken your uterus, so a vaginal birth is still possible. Often, after a myomectomy, women are required to undergo a C-section because their uterus has been weakened by the surgery.
If you are suffering from painful symptoms or are concerned that fibroids may be affecting your fertility or may complicate a pregnancy, set up an appointment today and let us help!