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This Mom Had No Idea She Had Myoma Until She Fainted And Brought To The ER
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Architect Angel Abrajano–De Leon, 29, first knew she had submucosal myoma when she was 24 and still single. Four months before her diagnosis, her menstrual cycle was getting longer, and she bled more heavily than usual. She once had her period for 20 days in a month. There were days that her period was so heavy it soaked a sanitary napkin in just an hour.

    One day, Angel lost so much blood during one of her heavy menstrual periods that she passed out and was rushed to the emergency room. Doctors did an ultrasound and told her that it was a large fibroid in her uterus that was causing her bleeding, which led to severe anemia.

    Doctors informed her the fibroid was likely growing in her uterus for several years, and it would continue to grow and cause more problems if it was not removed.

    Before the diagnosis, Angel did not have symptoms — no heavy bleeding, large stomach, or cramping until the myoma was already twice the size of her uterus.

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    It dawned on her that she might never get pregnant if her myoma was not removed. “I was tearfully shocked, confused, and devastated at the same time. As corny as it may sound, one of my biggest dreams in life is to be a mother and to raise a family,” she said.

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    Procedures and treatments to remove myomas

    Angel’s obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Carla Esquivias-Chua, assured Angel there are ways to treat the fibroid while keeping her uterus intact. Her two treatment options were laparoscopic surgery or Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) therapy.

    Laparoscopic surgery involves the use of a long, slender device that is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision, according to the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist (ACOG).

    The Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) therapy uses hormone shots to shrink the fibroid before the woman gets an abdominal myomectomy. The shots are given in six months, putting the woman’s body in early but temporary menopause.

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    Angel opted for the latter. Less than two years later after surgery, she got married and became pregnant.

    Size and type of fibroids matter

    Most women with fibroids can still get pregnant. Myomas usually develop during childbearing years but can happen at any age.

    Myomas or uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths that develop in the wall of the uterus. It’s relatively common for women to have them, but does having myoma affect your chances to conceive?

    According to the Mayo Clinic, myomas usually do not get in the way of pregnancy. However, it depends on the type of fibroid you have.

    It is still unclear, but studies show that fibroids may be a result of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. There are different types and are typically classified by their location.

    Intramural fibroids grow between the muscle of the uterus. Submucosal fibroids develop in the myometrium or the middle muscle layer of the uterus. Both types can cause heavy bleeding. Subserosal myomas, on the other hand, grow outside of the uterus. A large subserosal myoma may interfere with your pregnancy plans.

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    Many women, however, may not even know they have fibroids because they do not experience any pain.

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    You can still get pregnant if you have myoma but...

    After treatment, wellness checkups are necessary every six months to check if any fibroid has grown back. You should get your period as well.

    A fertility specialist can help evaluate if a myoma is hindering the process of conceiving. Several factors wherein myomas can reduce fertility in women. Here are a few:

    • The shape of the cervix and uterus may change due to the myomas. This can influence the number of sperms that can enter the uterus and can get in the way with the sperm or embryo’s movement.
    • Depending on the size of it, myomas may cause blockage to the fallopian tubes.
    • They can affect the size of the lining of the uterine cavity.
    • Blood flow to the uterine cavity can be affected. The capacity of an embryo to develop on the uterine wall can be decreased.

    According to the Reproductivefacts.org, myomas can be found in 2% to 12% of pregnant women. The concern when it comes to myoma in pregnant women is whether it will increase the chance of preterm birth or miscarriage. If your myoma outgrows the blood supply, it can cause severe pain, and hospitalization may be required.

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    Surgery is not often conducted because it may cause to the fetus. (A sizeable fibroid can alter a baby’s position in the uterus, by the way.) The usual recommendations for preggos with myoma is bed rest, proper hydration, and pain relievers. These can aid expectant mothers to manage the symptoms of myoma.

    Having myoma before or during pregnancy is manageable. Treatment is decided on a case-by-case basis, so it’s always best to consult with your doctor.

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