What are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are benign lumps of tissue made up of uterine cell tissues. They can grow around and inside your uterus, and are very common – up to 80% of women have at least one fibroid. They are not cancerous or otherwise harmful to your health.
Symptoms and diagnosis of fibroids
Some symptoms that may indicate the presence of fibroids include heavy periods and physical effects produce by large fibroids such as lower back pain and pelvic pain.
Fibroids can be diagnosed with a simple ultrasound.
Can fibroids affect your fertility?
Whether fibroids affect your fertility, and therefore whether you need them removed, depends on the size of the uterus and where in the uterus, the fibroid is located.
If the fibroid is located on the inside of your uterus (submucosal fibroid) distorting or obstructing the uterine cavity or blocking the fallopian tubes, they are highly likely to be affecting your fertility by interfering with implantation and most specialists would recommend their removal.
However if the fibroid does not affect the lining of the uterus, they have much less effect on your fertility and you may not need to have anything done about them.
How do you treat fibroids?
Fibroids can be removed surgically. Removal of small fibroids located entirely within the uterine cavity is normally straightforward and can be done as a day surgery case using hysteroscopic surgery.
Where the fibroid is larger or located elsewhere in the uterus, removal is more complex and the exact approach should be discussed with your specialist.
Video: Expert advice on fibroids
Having trouble conceiving?
If you suspect you have fibroids and have been trying to conceive for 12 months (6 months if you are over 35 years of age), you might want to consider booking an appointment with a fertility specialist.
Appointments are available in the next couple of weeks and will cost approximately $150 for a couple after the Medicare rebate.