What Are The Dangers Of Having Uterine Fibroids?
The dangers or the complications that can occur with fibroids depend on the size, number and location of the fibroids. Fibroids can cause some acute (immediate) complications and long term complications as well.
The classification of fibroids by site will help you to understand the dangers of uterine fibroids, as the site plays an important role.
Fibroids are classified as
- Intramural Fibroids – common type of fibroids which develops in the uterine (womb) muscle wall.
- Subserosal Fibroids – develops outside the wall of the uterus. Can grow into the peritoneum and can become very large.
- Submucosal Fibroids – fibroids which develop in the inner lining of the uterus and grow into the cavity of the uterus.
- Cervical Fibroids – fibroids that develop from the cervix.
So, let’s see what complications that can arise when you have uterine fibroids.
The Dangers Of Having Uterine Fibroids Are As Follows:
- Menstrual Problems: Uterine fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and abdominal pain with menstrual bleeding. There can be bleeding between the menstrual periods and this can be painful too. Bleeding is mainly caused by submucosal fibroids because the superficial blood vessels of the fibroids rupture during time of menses and can bleed heavily.
- Infertility: Infertility is the inability to become pregnant. Submucosal uterine fibroids and intramural uterine fibroids can grow into the cavity and become very large and block the fallopian tube. This will prevent sperms reaching the egg and prevent a fertilized egg coming towards the uterus. If the fibroid distort the uterine cavity this will prevent an embryo (fertilized egg and sperm) attaching itself to the uterus. This will make harder for you to become pregnant.
- Pelvic Pain: The subserosal uterine fibroids can grow outside the uterus in a stalk-like projection. If the fibroid is twisted and blood supply is cut off, this will cause sudden sharp pain in the lower abdomen.
Dangers Of Having Uterine Fibroids That Can Occur During Pregnancy Are As Follows:
It is a very painful situation. Fibroids can undergo red degeneration due to the high concentration of estrogen. Fibroid cells grow rapidly and the blood supply becomes inadequate, so the cells die and this causes severe pain, nausea and vomiting.
The submucus fibroids and the intramural fibroids that grow into the cavity can cause miscarriages by blocking the implantation site (the place where fertilized egg attached) in the uterus. Also the fibroids are very vascular, so it can take the blood away from the fetus.
The pain associated with red degeneration may cause preterm labor.
Displacement of the Placenta
The placenta is usually attached to the fundus of the uterus (at the top of the uterus). If a fibroid is blocking the fundus or attached to the fundus the placenta will attach to lower uterus. This is called placenta previa and this can cause painless bleeding. If not identified early can cause significant harm to the mother and baby. If the placenta is very low you will not be able to undergo a normal vaginal delivery, as it will cause severe bleeding.
Abnormal Fetal Positions
The normal fetal position suitable for delivery is head down and the buttocks up in the uterus. If the fibroid is in the lower uterus, the baby will not be able to turn and the head will not be in the lower uterus. If the head is not down, then it will be hard for you to go through a normal vaginal delivery. Then, you will have to go for a cesarean section. This is one of the common dangers of having uterine fibroids.
Acute Urinary Retention
If a cervical fibroid press on the bladder neck it can block the urine passage can cause accumulation of urine in the bladder. This is called acute urinary retention. It is a serious condition, if not treated properly can even go into kidney failure.
The dangers of having uterine fibroids depend on the size, number and site of the fibroids. The complications are heavy menstrual bleeding and abdominal pain, infertility, pelvic pain. The dangers that can occur during pregnancy due to uterine fibroids are red degeneration, repeated miscarriages, preterm labor, abnormal fetal positions and acute urinary retention.
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