Difficulty becoming pregnant or infertility
Occasionally, fibroids can lead to problems with becoming pregnant or infertility (the inability to become pregnant).
For most healthy couples, 95% of women will become pregnant within two years of having regular unprotected sex. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a couple is said to be infertile if the woman has not managed to become pregnant after 12 months of regular unprotected sex.
Infertility can happen if fibroids are very large or submucosal, where they grow into the cavity of the womb. Depending on their type and size, fibroids can sometimes prevent a fertilised egg from attaching itself to the lining of the womb, or they may block the fallopian tube, making pregnancy difficult.
In some cases, fibroids may also lead to complications during pregnancy for both the mother and child, increasing the risk of miscarriage and can cause problems during labour.
Fibroids can cause heavy or painful bleeding during periods as they can irritate the womb (uterus) and make it bigger.
Age of first period
The age of the first period varies greatly depending on regions, race, genetic factors, etc, but a rough average age is 13 years. There is a slightly higher risk of developing fibroids if the first period happened at an early age.
Women who were 10 years old or younger when they had their first period have a higher risk of fibroids when compared with women who were 12 years old at the time of their first period. Women whose periods began at age 16 or older have a lower risk of developing fibroids.
The early onset of periods can slightly increase the risk of developing fibroids because the womb (uterus) wall (the myometrium) goes through more changes; called cell divisions, increasing the chance of an error being introduced into the process of cell divisions.