Kat Keough is a leading fertility and prenatal nutritionist, she has been interviewed by publications such as Australians Women’s Health.
Kat Keough is a leading fertility and prenatal nutritionist, she has been interviewed by publications such as Australians Women’s Health. She has a true passion about helping people optimise their fertility, prepare for pregnancy and conceive a healthy baby. She provides tailored online fertility diet courses as well as one on one counselling.
Uterine fibroids (also known as leiomyomas or myomas) are incredibly common – in fact, it’s estimated that as many as 77% of women of reproductive age could have them. And this statistics may be even higher, considering not all women with fibroids have symptoms, leaving you none-the-wiser.
Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps of tissue found in the uterus. While you can have just a single fibroid, it’s most common to have more than one. They occur when a single muscle cell in the wall of the uterus multiplies and grows. They can change the shape or size of the uterus and sometimes the cervix.
It’s important to note that not all fibroids affect fertility, it really depends on where they’re located and how big they grow.
Fibroids can harm your fertility in the following ways:
Sperm and egg can’t meet, due to:
The embryo can’t implant, due to:
Unfortunately fibroids may also increase your risk for complications if you do fall pregnant. These include:
The good news is, research on uterine fibroids has revealed a number of things we can do to reduce our risk of developing fibroids, as well as halting and even decreasing their growth.
Firstly, what should we be avoiding?
The exact cause of fibroids is unclear, but research suggests it might be a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. While we can’t change our genetics, or our hormones to a large extent, there are certain diet and lifestyle factors that have been linked to increased fibroid risk that we do have control over. These include:
Besides avoiding the things we just mentioned, research also shows that there are certain foods that can help reduce our risk, like:
Yes, it is possible that fibroids can harm your fertility and impact on your ability to carry a pregnancy successfully, but…keep in mind that most women won’t experience any effect.
If you’ve been struggling with your fertility for a while, have discomfort, heavy bleeding or painful periods, we recommended seeing your GP and having a routine ultrasound to investigate whether fibroids might be the cause.
While fibroids can’t be prevented, these tips may lower your risk and boost your fertility regardless!
Until next time,
The team at Ovitae xo
* This article is intended for general purposes only. Please see your doctor for individualised advice.
Ovitae is proud to be Australian Made and offically endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives.