Uterine fibroids are benign (noncancerous) growths of the muscular wall of the uterus. The growths, which may appear singly or in groups, range from the size of a pea to the size of a grapefruit. They may either be confined to the uterine wall or grow outward on thin stalks. Fibroids often cause no symptoms, unless they grow large enough to press painfully on other organs or even distort the shape of the abdomen.
Fibroids can impact fertility if they grow inside of the uterus. They change the environment of the uterus in a way that can interfere with embryo implantation or predispose a woman to have early miscarriages. Fibroids have a tendency to grow during pregnancy and may cause deformity of the arms and legs of the baby if they press on the fetus.
If fibroids are found, doctors may recommend removing them prior to any IVF procedure if required.