Postpartum factors and natural fibroid regression

Shannon K. Laughlin, Katherine E. Hartmann, Donna D. Baird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective: Many fibroids regress with pregnancy or postpartum involution. We sought to identify factors that might inhibit or enhance this natural regression. Study Design: We used a prospective cohort of women with fibroids (n = 494) determined by ultrasound screening during the early first trimester identified from the Right from the Start study. Ultrasounds were repeated 3-6 months postpartum (n = 279). Logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with fibroid regression (>50% reduction in volume). Results: Postpartum progestin users had significantly less fibroid regression (P = .01), whereas there was no association for combined estrogen-progestin use. Cesarean delivery and fever (hypothesized to inhibit regression) and breast feeding (hypothesized to enhance regression) were not associated with fibroid regression. Conclusion: Progestin use in the postpartum period may limit regression of fibroids, consistent with prior literature on progesterone's role in fibroid development. Research into progestin-only treatments in critical reproductive periods is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496.e1-496.e6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • breastfeeding
  • leiomyoma
  • pregnancy
  • progesterone
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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