Fibroid Tumors: How Does This Affect My Pregnancy?

I am currently 23 weeks pregnant and I have several fibroid tumors. The largest tumor is about 10 centimeters. My last ultrasound showed a 10 growth growth rate over five weeks and showed that part of this large tumor is degenerating. I feel great but have occasional sharp pains in my lower left side where the tumor is. The baby has moved every day for three weeks and the ultrasound showed normal growth. What can happen with a degenerating fibroid during pregnancy?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

This is hard to answer because it depends upon the exact type of myoma and precisely what structures are involved. In general, fibroids that are degenerating have been known to cause bleeding called "red degeneration" in which the mother can experience fever, pain, abdominal pain similar to appendicitis or a kidney stone. This lasts about three to five days and then usually resolves. The baby is rarely affected unless there is substantial bleeding or the myoma's growth or separation causes placental abruption or tearing. If the myoma is on a stalk or breaks away, it can present at the cervix and cause the mother great pain as the cervix tries to push it out. This often requires emergency surgery.

The fact that the myoma is growing can be a cause for concern, but they have been known to stop and cause no more difficulty. One concern with a fibroid so close to the cervix is that it has the potential to block the cervix from dilating efficiently or may impede the progress of the baby through the cervix. Also, babies sometimes present differently (breech or transverse) in order to accommodate to the tumor in the uterus.

The fact that the baby is growing on schedule is reassuring, and they are apparently watching you closely with ultrasound. They should pick up any change right away. It might be a good idea to start biophysical profile studies (non-stress testing, ultrasound, fetal "breathing" and tone and amniotic fluid volume); you should be doing fetal movement counts at home as well.

I hope all continues to go well and I hope this helps answer some of your questions.


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