Fibroids & Fertility – What Does That Mean?
Infertility affects all races, genders and backgrounds, some races have shown higher rates of infertility paired with a lower likelihood of seeking or accessing fertility treatment. Research has shown that black, indigenous and women of color experience infertility at higher rates than their white counterparts. More specifically, African American women have a greater lifetime incidence of fibroids and are three times more likely than white women to have uterine fibroids.
Despite higher rates of infertility, African American women are less likely to seek fertility treatment when trying to conceive. While specific reasons vary from person to person, research has speculated why those affected by infertility delay seeking fertility treatment or don’t seek it at all.
It could be due to the assumption that black women are hyper-fertile, less willing to share private pregnancy struggles, less trusting of medical providers, don’t have access to insurance coverage for treatment and more. As a black-owned fertility practice, Laurel Fertility Care strives to help raise awareness about reproductive health in these communities.
What are fibroids and What are the symptoms?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop around the uterus and vary in size. Many women are unaware they have fibroids because they experience no symptoms, other women will seek treatment for symptoms like heavy or painful periods, bloating, back pain, abdominal pain, frequent need to urinate, pain or discomfort during sex, constipation and infertility resulting from (rare) fibroid complications.
The symptoms can cause stress and have a significant impact on one’s quality of life if left untreated.
- Fibroids are found in 20% of women of reproductive age.
- The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unclear, but there is evidence that it may be a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors.
- Women with fibroids and their partners should be thoroughly evaluated to find other problems with fertility before fibroids are treated.
- A fertility specialist can help assess if fibroids might be hampering conception.
How do fibroids cause infertility?
- Changes in the shape of the cervix and uterus.
- Fallopian tubes can be blocked by fibroids.
- They can impact the size of the lining of the uterine cavity.
- Blood flow to the uterine cavity can be affected. This can decrease the ability of an embryo to stick (implant) to the uterine wall or to develop.
There are fibroid support communities and expert fertility doctors at Laurel Fertility Care who can guide you through the fertility treatment process with fibroids.
If you’re concerned about how fibroids affect your fertility and to discuss fertility treatment options, book a consult with Laurel Fertility Care today!