Understanding Fibroids and Infertility


Infertility is a complex issue that affects many couples around the world. It can be caused by various factors, including fibroids, which are noncancerous growths that develop in the uterus. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between infertility and fibroids, how fibroids can impact fertility, and treatment options available for those struggling with both conditions.

What Are Fibroids?

Fibroids, also known as uterine fibroids or leiomyomas, are noncancerous growths that develop in the uterus. They are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and can vary in size, ranging from small seedlings to large masses that can distort the shape of the uterus. Fibroids can grow on the outer surface of the uterus (subserosal), within the muscular wall of the uterus (intramural), or into the uterine cavity (submucosal). The exact cause is unknown, but hormonal factors, genetic predisposition, obesity, diet, and ethnicity may play a role.

Symptoms of Fibroids

Fibroids may or may not cause symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary depending on factors such as size, number, and location of the fibroids. Common symptoms of fibroids include:

  • Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
  • Pelvic Pain and Pressure
  • Frequent Urination
  • Constipation
  • Backache or Leg Pain

What Are Fibroids?

Types of Fibroids

There are several types of fibroids that can develop in the uterus:

1. Subserosal Fibroids: These fibroids develop on the outer surface of the uterus, which is called the serosa. They may grow outward, potentially causing pressure on surrounding organs like the bladder or rectum. Subserosal fibroids typically do not affect menstrual flow unless they grow large enough to press against other organs.

2. Intramural Fibroids: These fibroids develop within the muscular wall of the uterus itself. They can cause the uterus to enlarge, leading to symptoms such as pelvic pain and pressure. Intramural fibroids can also distort the shape of the uterine cavity, potentially affecting fertility and pregnancy.

3. Submucosal Fibroids: These fibroids develop just underneath the inner lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium. They can protrude into the uterine cavity and may lead to heavy menstrual bleeding and fertility issues. Submucosal fibroids can interfere with the implantation of a fertilized egg and increase the risk of miscarriage.

4. Pedunculated Fibroids: These fibroids grow on a stalk, called a peduncle, that is attached to the uterus. Pedunculated fibroids can be subserosal or submucosal in nature. Depending on their size and location, they may cause symptoms similar to other types of fibroids.

Diagnosis Of Fibroids

Diagnosing fibroids typically involves a combination of medical history and imaging tests. Here’s an overview of the diagnostic process:
Medical History: Your Doctor will ask about your symptoms, menstrual cycle, and any other relevant medical history.
Imaging Tests:

  •  Ultrasound: This is the most common test used to diagnose fibroids. It uses sound waves to create images of the uterus and can help determine the size, number, and location of fibroids.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): An MRI may be used to get a more detailed image of the uterus and fibroids, especially if the ultrasound results are unclear or if further information is needed for treatment planning.
  • Hysterosonography: This involves injecting saline into the uterus through the cervix and then performing an ultrasound to get a clearer image of the uterine cavity. It is often used to detect submucosal fibroids.

Other Tests: In some cases, other tests such as a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or hysteroscopy may be performed to evaluate the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes.
Blood Tests: Blood tests to check for anemia (due to heavy menstrual bleeding) or hormonal imbalances may also be done.

Blood Tests

How Do Fibroids Affect Fertility?

The impact of fibroids on fertility depends on their size, number, and location within the uterus. Fibroids can affect fertility in several ways:
Interfering with Implantation: Fibroids can distort the uterine cavity or block the fallopian tubes, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.

Distorting the Uterine Cavity: Large fibroids can change the shape of the uterus, affecting the movement of sperm and embryos and making it harder for a pregnancy to occur
Blockage of the Fallopian Tubes: Large fibroids can press against or block the fallopian tubes, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg or the fertilized egg from traveling to the uterus

Reducing Blood Flow: Fibroids can interfere with the blood supply to the uterine lining, which may impact embryo implantation and growth.

Causing Hormonal Imbalance: Fibroids can alter hormonal balance in the body, which can affect ovulation and menstrual cycles, making it harder to conceive.

Causing Hormonal Imbalance

Treatment Options of Fibroids

The treatment of fibroids depends on various factors such as the size, number, location of the fibroids, the severity of symptoms, and the patient’s age and desire for future fertility. Treatment options include:

Watchful Waiting: If fibroids are small and not causing symptoms, your doctor may recommend monitoring them regularly without any treatment.

Medications: Hormonal medications, such as birth control pills or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, can help shrink fibroids and control symptoms.

Surgery: If fibroids are large or causing severe symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Options include myomectomy (removal of the fibroids while preserving the uterus) or hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE): This minimally invasive procedure involves blocking the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and die.


Fibroids are a common condition that can affect fertility, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, many women with fibroids are able to conceive and have healthy pregnancies. If you are experiencing symptoms of fibroids or struggling with infertility, consult with a Fertility Specialist to discuss your options.

Understanding the relationship between fibroids and infertility is the first step towards managing these conditions and achieving your dream of parenthood