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  » Infertility  »  Uterine problems causing infertility or miscarriage

Uterine Fibroids (proper medical terminology is myoma or leiomyoma)

Fibroids are very common - they are benign (noncancerous) tumors of the uterine muscle. The size and location of the fibroid are important. The large majority of them are very small or located in an area of the uterus such that they will not have any impact on reproductive function. 

There are 3 general locations for fibroids:

1. Subserosal - on the outside surface of the uterus
2. Intramural - within the muscular wall of the uterus
3. Submucous - bulging in to the uterine cavity

The only type that will have any impact on reproductive function (unless it is very large) is the submucous type that pushes in to the uterine cavity. These are much less common than the other 2 types of fibroids. Because of their location inside the uterine cavity, submucous fibroids can cause infertility or miscarriages.

Subserosal myoma

Laparoscopic view of a uterus with a pedunculated posterior myoma (fibroid). This is a subserosal myoma. A fibroid in this location should not affect chances for pregnancy or miscarriage.

Laparoscopy is a surgery that uses a narrow scope that is put in through the belly button area

Intramural myoma

Ultrasound view of a uterus with an intramural (within the uterine wall) myoma. Image on right shows uterus outlined in blue, uterine lining in red, myoma in green. A fibroid in this location should not affect chances for pregnancy or miscarriage.



For comparison; ultrasound images of a uterus with a normal endometrial lining and no myomas visible. Image on right shows the uterus outlined in blue and the "triple stripe" uterine lining (landing pad for the embryos) outlined in yellow.

Submucous myoma

Hysterosalpingogram showing a uterus with a myoma that is pushing in to the cavity. Another myoma on the outside of the uterus is circumscribed by dye along the red line. The myoma inside the cavity might cause reproductive problems.