04:05 9th October 2013 | IVF Treatment Factors
In the previous article, I started discussing factors affecting treatment outcome. This article concludes the first and discusses the remaining factors i.e. Fibroids, Fibroids and Infertility and Hydrosalpinx.
Fibroids are tumours that grow from the muscle tissue in the uterus. They are the most common kind of growths of the uterus and are generally benign, that is they are not cancerous . A woman may have just one fibroid or many. They can be as small as a pea or as large as a basketball. No one knows for sure what causes uterine fibroids, but evidence suggests that their growth is related to the hormone called Oestrogen and possibly other hormones. Although it is not certain what causes fibroids and why some women have them and others don’t, there seem to be factors that may play a role such as age, race, weight as well as size, number and location of the fibroid. About one quarter of women of reproductive age have uterine fibroids (most commonly 30-50 years old). It has also been established that “blacks” are up to three times more likely to develop fibroids than other women. Many times, fibroids don’t cause symptoms or create any problems. However, for some women, the size, location or number of fibroids can cause symptoms and a need for medical help. Particularly large fibroid or a cluster of fibroids growing on the outside of your uterine wall can push the uterus aside or force it to grow abnormally. This can also put pressure on the bladder or intestine causing symptoms such as frequent urination, constipation, pelvic pain or heavy menstrual bleeding. On rare occasions, a large fibroid may block the cervix (opening to the uterus) making a caesarean delivery necessary if pregnant and or difficulty conceiving if otherwise.
Fibroids & Infertility
Although up to 30% of women with infertility have fibroids, the fibroids are thought to be the cause of infertility in less than 5%. Most women with fibroids will conceive and deliver their babies, but we recommend removal of fibroids, when the fibroids are greater than 5 cm in diameter or when the lining of the uterus is distorted by the fibroid. Hysteroscopy aids in the assessment of cavity distortion and may also play a role in the removal of the fibroid.
A hydrosalpinx is a distally blocked fallopian tube filled with fluid. The blocked tube may become substantially swollen giving the tube a characteristic sausage-like or retort-like shape. The condition is often bilateral and the affected tubes may reach several centimeters in diameter. The blocked tubes cause with swelling of the tubes are thought to have a reduced chance of achieving pregnancy.
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