It is estimated that as many as one in five women may develop uterine fibroids. These tumors that grow on either the inside or outside wall of the uterus are comprised of muscle and fibrous tissues. A fibroid may be very small, like a pea, or it may grow quite large. The good news is that fibroids are typically not indicative of cancer, nor do they increase the risk for that disease. However, it is important to know how to manage uterine fibroids during pregnancy. In our Katy office, Dr. Jenkins performs comprehensive diagnostics to assess uterine health as early as possible after conception.
Signs that you may have a uterine fibroid
- You need to urinate frequently
- You sense pressure in the pelvic area
- Constipation is a chronic problem
- Abdominal pain occurs for no apparent reason
- Your periods tend to be heavy
Vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain that occur away from menstruation should be evaluated by your doctor.
How fibroids may affect a healthy pregnancy
A fibroid typically develops before pregnancy. However, it is possible that a tumor will go undetected until an ultrasound is performed. Depending on the position of the fibroid, it may also be detected during a pelvic exam. If you know that you have a fibroid tumor before you plan to become pregnant, you can talk with your doctor about the potential complications your particular situation may present.
In most cases, fibroids do not cause pregnancy complications. Of the cases that do, the most common is abdominal pain. Sometimes, mild vaginal bleeding may accompany pain. Neither of these conditions pose a significant risk to the fetus, or to Mom.
What to do about fibroids
During pregnancy, Dr. Jenkins performs thorough assessments as needed to follow the progression of fetal development. If fibroids have been detected, additional monitoring may take place in the form of ultrasounds, which measure the size and location of the growth. This allows proper planning for the safest possible delivery. Depending on the size or position of a fibroid tumor, a Cesarean section may be planned. If symptoms such as pain and bleeding occur at some point during the pregnancy, medication or bed rest, or both, may be ordered.
Every pregnancy is different. Uterine fibroids present only a minor issue that can be managed with routine care from your experienced obstetrician. For more information, call Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine at 855-346-8610.
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