How Can Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?

How Can Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?

You want everything to go as smoothly as possible during your pregnancy, and you’re worried whether common conditions like uterine fibroids can interfere. Yes, they can, but it doesn’t happen often.

Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your third, you don’t want any complications during the nine short months that you carry your unborn child before they enter the world and join your family.

So, when you hear statistics like 26 million American women between the ages of 15 and 50 have uterine fibroids and that more than 15 million of these women will develop symptoms or complications, you’re understandably concerned.

Here at Bay Area Physicians for Women’s Health, our team of board-certified OB/GYNs helps scores of women through their pregnancies, and we understand some of the more common risks. The good news is that uterine fibroids aren’t one of the common ones, but they can pose issues for some women during pregnancy. Let’s take a look.

Uterine fibroids basics

Let’s first take a look at what uterine fibroids are, which starts with the fact that they’re noncancerous growths in the walls of your uterus. Most women develop fibroids during their reproductive lifespan and, in most cases, they are unaware that these growths even exist.

Once you pass through menopause, the fibroids tend to shrink and disappear without incident.

For some women, however, the size, location, and number of fibroids can have an impact. For example, a uterine fibroid can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger. Or some women develop enough fibroids that they can cause symptoms.

Fibroids and your pregnancy

Given the sheer number of women who have fibroids and successfully navigate pregnancy, your odds of developing fibroid-related pregnancy issues aren’t high, but they do exist.

In the unlikely case that complications develop because of fibroids, they might include:


This is the most common complaint, especially for women who have a growth that measures more than 5 centimeters or who have multiple fibroids. This pain usually crops up during the second and third trimesters.

Cesarean section

The risk for needing a Cesarean section (C-section) for delivery increases six fold when you have fibroids.

Pregnancy loss

For women with problematic fibroids, their chances for msicarriage are doubled.

Outside of the above, other pregnancy complications associated with uterine fibroids include:

  • Preterm delivery
  • Placental abruption
  • Breech position
  • Restriction of fetal growth

Despite the seemingly frightening numbers, such as being six times more likely to need a C-section, your overall risk for pregnancy complications due to fibroids is only slightly elevated. In most cases, the complications develop when you have fibroids that are large, multiple, or are located in a problematic area.

If you’re concerned about fibroids and their potential impact on your pregnancy, we invite you to come in and sit down with one of our obstetric specialists

Get started by contacting our office in Mobile, Alabama, to set up an appointment.