Polyps and fibroid tumors are common conditions in women that can contribute to infertility. However, the good news is that they are both treatable.
Polyps are excessive growths in the lining of the endometrial region. In most cases they are benign, but they can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant through fertility treatment. If you are undergoing a fertility evaluation, your doctor will check for polyps. If they are found, then a procedure known as a hysteroscopy will likely be recommended. This procedure involves the use of a small camera and small instruments, and does not result in any scarring. Patients typically recover very quickly, resuming their normal activities as soon as 24 hours after the procedure.
A fibroid is a tumor that forms in the uterine wall. While most women have them, the degree to which fibroids affect the uterus differ. In some instances, fibroids are extremely small and do not impact fertility. In other cases, however, fibroids can be large and numerous, negatively affecting the chances to conceive and reach full-term pregnancy.
The initial examination of the uterus typically includes a check for the presence of fibroids that could negatively impact fertility. If only small ones are found that are not near the uterine cavity, it is very likely that no intervention will be needed. However, if large fibroids are found, or they are close to the uterine cavity, then surgery may be needed.
Two types of procedures are typically performed to eliminate fibroids. One is the aforementioned hysteroscopy, which does not require skin incisions. If fibroids are found in the uterus muscle, then it may be necessary to perform an abdominal surgery. This usually entails making a small incision to reach the uterus, and then another incision to remove the fibroid. There is a less invasive approach available known as uterine artery embolization, but that is not recommended for women who wish to become pregnant at a later date.