October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
Living with fibroids can cause heavy bleeding and significant pain — a pain that may be heightened if pregnancy complications occur. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and if you’re planning on starting a family, fibroids can seem like a scary diagnosis — but it doesn’t have to be. You’re not alone. About 30 percent of women will get fibroids by age 35, and between 70 percent and 80 percent will do so by age 50 — and that number is even higher for African America women. But, there are treatment options available to ensure a successful pregnancy and a pain-free life.
While many doctors still tell their patients to watch and wait, advanced technologies have made this practice unnecessary. The risks of waiting to see what happens with your fibroids far outweighs any benefit, specifically when planning a pregnancy.
Risks Of Fibroids During Pregnancy
If you do find yourself pregnant with fibroids, you may face an array of increased risks. While pain is the most commonly reported problem, you could be more susceptible to miscarriage, premature labor and delivery, abnormal fetal position, and placental abruption — and that risk increases even further if you find yourself with multiple fibroids. Size and location are also significant factors for pregnancy complications, and large fibroids can become even more problematic, contributing to fetal growth restriction and hemorrhage during pregnancy.
Once pregnant, surgical intervention and large fibroid removal is rarely an option because of the risk of significant bleeding and the increased risk of miscarriage. Cesarean delivery will almost always be performed if a fibroid is obstructing the birth canal. A myomectomy will only be performed during an active pregnancy if the procedure cannot safely be delayed because of risks to either the mother or the baby.
Large Fibroids Can Be Removed Laparoscopically
The presence of fibroids can lead to major problems when it comes to getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term. They can grow very large and very fast, distorting the uterus. Once this happens, it is essential to speak to an advanced-trained laparoscopic GYN specialist. Many non-specialists, including OB/GYNs, will not perform a myomectomy (fibroid removal) on a patient with a large fibroid and may only recommend a hysterectomy. As the only real cure for fibroids, a hysterectomy takes the possibility of having children off the table and is often performed as an open, painful procedure with a long recovery.
Women of child-bearing age who would like to become pregnant may be candidates for The Center for Innovative GYN Care LAAM® fibroid removal for fertility procedure. The LAAM technique acts as a hybrid of laparoscopic and open surgery resulting in a more thorough removal process with a faster recovery.
Choosing The Best Fibroid Removal Procedure
Robotic or standard laparoscopic myomectomy techniques are limited in their ability to treat fibroids successfully for fertility, and have higher risks of complications during and after the procedure. The LAAM fibroid removal technique allows the surgeons to feel all of the fibroids, remove them thoroughly, and repair the uterus by hand to ensure it is strong enough to carry a child to term. LAAM also allows the surgeon to protect all of the delicate structures within the pelvis to ensure the ureter, bladder, bowels, and blood vessels are not damaged during the procedure. Without these advantages, other techniques like robotic or standard laparoscopic fibroid removal procedures can increase risks during pregnancy due to the surgeon’s inability to actually feel all of the fibroids, repair the uterus completely, or to see the entire pelvic cavity to avoid injuries. To ensure the uterus can withstand carrying a baby to term, the uterus must be repaired by hand with strong sutures.
Choosing A Fibroid Removal Specialist
If you have fibroids and are thinking about pregnancy, seeking out a specialist — or two — will give you a better understanding of your options. This Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, ask about how you can remove risks from fibroids for your future pregnancy. To see if you are a candidate for LAAM minimally invasive fibroid removal, book a consultation with The Center for Innovative GYN Care.
BOOK A CONSULTATION
The CIGC state-of-the-art specialists are available at three locations in the DC metro area. Virginia patients can visit the Reston, VA location, and Saturday appointments are available. Maryland offices are located in Rockville, MD and Annapolis, MD.
CIGC is dedicated to providing information and materials for women to help navigate the complicated healthcare system. The CIGC founders, minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD, developed their advanced GYN surgical techniques using only two small incisions with patients’ well-being in mind.
Their personalized approach to care helps patients understand their condition and the recommended treatment so that they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed over 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients.