In a nutshell
This study explored the impact of fibroids on pregnancy rates during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. The study concluded that fibroids which change the shape of the uterus may impact pregnancy rates. Otherwise, fibroids do not affect pregnancy rates in patients undergoing IVF fertility treatment.
IVF is a fertility treatment in which the egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body. The fertilized egg is then implanted into the woman’s uterus to grow. Uterine fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterus) are a very common disorder in women of reproductive age, with 20% to 50% of women having fibroids. They can contribute to reduced fertility in up to 10% of cases. Factors such as the size, location, and number of fibroids can affect a woman’s fertility. Fibroids can distort the shape of the uterus or alter blood flow from the arteries leading into the uterus. Some women undergoing IVF also have uterine fibroids. The effect of fibroids on IVF pregnancy rates is unclear.
Methods & findings
This study included 86 women who were having IVF treatment. 43 women had fibroids, and 43 women did not.
The pregnancy rates were similar in both groups (48.8% in the fibroid group and 53.4% in the non-fibroid group), even where the patient had more than one fibroid. Blood flow in the arteries in the uterus was similar in the two groups.
Clinical pregnancy rates (a positive pregnancy test) were lower in patients with fibroids that distorted the shape of the uterus. The rate in the patients with no cavity distortion was 57%, compared to 20% in the patients with cavity distortion.
The bottom line
The study concluded that there was no significant difference in pregnancy rates between the fibroid group and the non-fibroid group, except for when the fibroids changed the shape of the uterine cavity. In these cases, pregnancy rates were significantly lower.
The fine print
This was a small, retrospective study.
Published By :
Clinical and experimental reproductive medicine
Dec 01, 2015