In a nutshell
This study investigated if fibroids have an effect on the blood supply to the uterus in women with fertility issues. They found that women with fibroids have increased blood supply to the uterus wall and lining.
Fibroids are masses of tissue that form on the along the uterus. They can cause pain, infertility and complications during pregnancy. Many women who are finding it difficult to conceive have fibroids and there is evidence to suggest they may negatively impact fertility treatment.
How this may happen is unknown. One possible way may be by altering the blood supply to the uterine wall. Blood supply is very important in order to conceive and maintain a pregnancy in the uterus. Blood supply can be assessed using a technique called 3D Doppler ultrasound.
Methods & findings
This study investigated if fibroids affect the blood supply to the uterus and endometrium (uterine lining) in women about to undergo fertility treatment.
This study included 182 women with uterine fibroids who were about to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) and 182 women without fibroids for comparison. 3D Doppler ultrasound was performed to assess the blood supply to the uterus and endometrium. It was also used to measure the size of the fibroids in the uterine wall.
The thickness of the endometrium was not different between patients with and without fibroids. There was a greater level of vasculature (blood supply) in the uterine wall of patients with fibroids. There was also increased vasculature in the endometrium of the fibroid group. Women with fibroids larger than 4 cm had a significantly greater blood supply and flow in the endometrium.
The bottom line
This study concluded that women with fibroids have increased blood supply to the uterus wall and lining.
The fine print
This study does not report any fertility outcomes so the effects of increased blood supply in patients with fibroids remains unknown.
If you have any concerns regarding fertility treatment, please discuss this with your physician.
Published By :
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Dec 14, 2017