Q: Will fibroids cause complications during pregnancy? How are they treated?

A: Most women who have fibroids during pregnancy don't face any complications because of them. Fibroids, which are benign tumors that grow in the uterus, range from the size of a pea to that of a grapefruit and are actually very common. It's estimated that about 25 percent of women will develop them at some point, but most don't even know it because they often don't have any symptoms. Fibroids are usually detected during an ultrasound or pelvic exam.

But for some women, shifting levels of hormones like estrogen can cause fibroids to change size during pregnancy, which may lead to abdominal pain or light vaginal bleeding. If your symptoms are causing you a lot of pain or discomfort, your doctor may recommend bed rest or, if necessary, medication. (If your symptoms continue after pregnancy, there are a number of treatments available to shrink or surgically remove fibroids.)

Even if you do experience some symptoms during pregnancy, they most likely won't affect your baby. In rare cases, fibroids can increase your risk of serious complications like miscarriage, preterm delivery, having a baby in the breech position, or other complications that may lead to a c-section or heavy bleeding after delivery. But trust that your doctor will be monitoring your pregnancy closely to help you avoid these risks and deliver a healthy, full-term baby.

Copyright 2009

Answered by Parents.com-Team

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