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Fibroids in pregnancy

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Pregnancy may be the first occasion on which fibroids are detected. A large for dates uterus may be due to co-existent fibroids. Fibroids are oestrogen-dependent - they increase in size in 15-20% of patients.

Fibroids are associated with some possible complications:

  • pain - red degeneration may occur in large fibroids (when the blood supply is insufficient to support growth of the fibroid) - patients present with a history of pain and uterine tenderness; torsion of pedunculated fibroids may occur
  • may cause malpresentation
  • rarely cause obstructed labour
  • postpartum haemorrhage
  • recurrent abortion may be associated with submucous fibroids that cause distortion of the uterine cavity
  • rarely fibroids are associated with polycythaemia

It is very rare for surgical treatment to be undertaken during pregnancy. However the exception is the case of fibroid torsion.

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