I was raised in the South, and when I was in medical school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, I received a dictionary of Southern Medical Jargon. Basically, this was a guide on how to translate a southerner’s poor pronunciation of medical terms.
After being a bit offended (since I was one of those Southerners with poor pronunciation) I got quite a chuckle out of some of the jargon. One I was quite fond of was FIRE BALLS. The translation for FIRE BALLS is FIBROIDS, also known as myomas, a usually benign growth of the uterine muscle.
Fibroids are quite common in certain ethnicities, especially folks of African ancestry. And they are also more common as women age. The older a woman is when she tries to conceive, the more likely she is to have fibroids that may cause problems with conception and pregnancy. Fibroid location and size play a significant factor.A new study presented at the Annual American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting showed just how dangerous these FIRE BALLS can be. 152 women with fibroids were compared retrospectively with 165 women without fibroids in Michigan. Here is what the researchers found:
- Preterm Labor: Women with fibroids were more likely to have preterm labor (16% compared to 2%).
- Preterm delivery: Women with fibroids were more likely to deliver their baby before the 37-week mark (33% compared to 10%).
- Premature Ruptures of the Membranes (PROM): Women with fibroids were more likely to have their bag of water break prematurely (16% compared to 4%).
- Fetal Malpresentation: Women with fibroids were more likely to have a pregnancy where the baby was not in the safest position for delivery (22% compared to 6%).
- Pregnancy loss (miscarriages) also showed a trend of being more common in the group with fibroids.
If you have a family history of fibroids or have been told by your gynecologist that you have fibroids, they should be checked annually. Additionally, you should have a conversation with your doctor about fibroids and other causes of infertility.
Dr. Mary Hinckley is a leading reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area. She has extensively published articles in peer-reviewed journals on blastocyst transfer, avoiding triplet pregnancies, monozygotic twinning, operative hysteroscopy, correction of uterine anomalies, and biochemical pathways involved in ovulation and fertilization. She serves as a member of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinologists, the Christian Medical and Dental Society and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Her areas of interest include laparoscopic surgery, premature ovarian failure, oocyte freezing, and recurrent pregnancy loss. Dr. Hinckley offers infertility education on YouTube.