In the past it has been felt that fibroids may increase a woman’s risk of having a miscarriage, but two recent pieces of research should reassure women affected by fibroids who may be thinking of starting a family. Their work has shown that there is no link between fibroids and an increase in the risk of having a miscarriage.
Study on Fibroids and Miscarriage Risk by Women’s Health Research at Vanderbilt
Researchers at Women’s Health Research at Vanderbilt published their first piece of research in November 2017, although the data was made available in June. Their research was part of the Right from the Start study which explored how a women’s diet, health behaviours, medical history, fibroids and other factors may affect her pregnancy. It included 5, 512 women from eight cities in the US from 2000-2012 who were 18 or over and were either trying to get pregnant or were less than 12 weeks into their pregnancy. During the course of the study participants had an initial interview, an ultrasound scan, a telephone interview and a follow-up assessment.
They found that of the 5,512 women who took part in the study, 10.4% of them had at least one fibroid and 89.6% didn’t have fibroids. When they compared the rate of miscarriages in the group who had fibroids to the group of women who didn’t have fibroids, their rate was the same – 11%.
The researchers explained that other studies have reported a link between fibroids and miscarriages but this was because previous studies hadn’t taken into account other reasons for miscarriages.
To learn more about this work you can view their videos below.
The Women’s Health Research Centre at Vanderbilt published another study in November exploring the same issue – fibroids and miscarriage risk. They reviewed all research papers on this topic from January 1970 to December 2016 and vetted them, this gave them data from 21,829 pregnancies. Of these women 1,394 had fibroids and 20,435 did not. They carried out statistical analysis on this data and found that there was no difference in the rate of miscarriages in women with fibroids compared to women without fibroids.
Their team have put together a really useful infographic that explains their findings (please click on the image below to see a larger copy of it)
What Does This Mean for Women with Fibroids?
As Prof Katherine Hartman stated in the above video, this is good news as this is one less thing that women with fibroids have to worry about. Although she does caution that there may be rare types of fibroids or locations of fibroids that may cause a miscarriage but the risk is lower than previously thought.