If you are having difficulties becoming pregnant, you may be considering pursuing fertility treatments in order to conceive. Before you choose a fertility treatment, your health care provider will want to examine you in order to determine any health issues that may be interfering with your fertility.
Upon examination, many women discover that they have uterine fibroids. These are growths inside the uterus, and they can sometimes interfere with fertility. If you think you have uterine fibroids, get them checked out by your health care provider, in order to ensure that they are not at the bottom of your fertility woes.
What are Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are tumors that grow in and around your uterus. These tumors are made of up large masses of tissue cells from your uterus. They are not cancerous but they can sometimes cause a variety of complications, including infertility.
Fibroid tumors can come in any shape and size, ranging from pea-sized to grapefruit-sized. They often grow in clusters throughout the uterus.
Who Gets Fibroids?
Fibroids are not a rare occurrence. Actually, the large majority of women have uterine fibroids. Between 50% and 80% of women develop at least one fibroid throughout their reproductive lives.
Most women are unaware of these fibroids because they tend to be small in size and produce few symptoms. However, uterine fibroids can be problematic for up to 20% of women, causing various symptoms and even fertility issues.
Types of Fibroids
There are actually a few different types of fibroids. These different fibroids grow in certain locations throughout your uterus. Some fibroids are more common than others.
- Intramural: Intramural fibroids are the most commonly occurring fibroids. They grow on the inside layer of your uterus.
- Subserosal Fibroids: Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside portion of your uterus. They often grow on long stalks, which allow the fibroids to push out towards other areas of the body. They sometimes grow to very large sizes.
- Submucosal: Submucosal fibroids grow inside the different layers of the uterus. They are rare, accounting for only 5% of all uterine fibroids.
What Causes Uterine Fibroids?
Unfortunately, researchers aren’t entirely sure why uterine fibroids grow. Fibroids may be the result of overactive hormones, stimulating excess cell growth in the uterus. Or, certain women may just have a genetic predisposition to getting fibroids.