Studies have shown a link between spontaneous miscarriage and uterine fibroids, but before now research hasn’t looked at whether fibroids – non-cancerous growths in the uterus – were linked to recurrent miscarriage (RM), which is defined as the loss of three or more pregnancies at less than 24 weeks’ gestation, a condition that affects about 1 percent of couples. Many women with RM don’t know why they continue to lose pregnancies (what’s called “unexplained RM”).
A new study in the journal Human Reproduction reports on the work of researchers in the U.K. that looked at the possible link between fibroids and RM. In specific, the scientists looked at whether women experiencing RM and who had larger fibroids and who underwent fibroid surgery (myomectomy) to correct the condition were more likely to carry and deliver a baby. They compared that group with women with RM, but who didn’t have larger fibroids, and who had no surgery. (The research didn't include a control group of RM women who had larger fibroids but who didn't have surgery.)
The scientists found what seems to be encouraging news for the group that had an operation to correct large fibroids: After the surgery the miscarriage rate in these women dropped from nearly 22 percent to zero. “This,” the study authors wrote, “translated to an increase in the live birth rate from 23.3 to 52.0%.” For women who had smaller fibroids, the live birth rate was just over 70 percent with no surgery or other treatment.
Have you experienced multiple miscarriages? Has your doctor checked for fibroids as a possible cause?