Her baby had a 50 per cent chance of survival

SINGAPORE - Fibroids are a common problem among women of child-bearing age. Up to one in five women have this non-cancerous tumour that grows in the womb.

However, it is unwise to ignore a fibroid, as 31-year-old Leng Leng (not her real name) found out in a most painful way.

Leng Leng had been married for over three years and been trying to conceive a child without success. Shortly after her marriage, she found out that she had a fibroid in her womb, but she did not think much about it.

However, fibroids can sometimes affect fertility, and Leng Leng remained childless for several years. When she finally became pregnant, she found out to her horror during her first visit to the gynaecologist that there were two fibroids in her womb, and both threatened her baby's survival. Leng Leng's doctor advised her to wait until her next visit and hope that the fibroids would stop growing.

However, the next visit three months later showed that the fibroids had grown. Leng Leng was offered the option of 'pricking' the fibroids to shrink them, using minimally invasive surgery. However, her unborn baby would have only a 50 per cent chance of surviving the procedure. Leng Leng and her husband were devastated by the likelihood that they could lose their long-awaited first-born.

"Had I known from the beginning that a fibroid could cause so many problems, I would have removed it as soon as I found out about it," she told YourHealth.

Fortunately, Leng Leng's baby survived the procedure, and she eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Pregnancy can sometimes be a frightening journey, especially for first-time mothers. To equip expectant mothers with the knowledge they need for a safe and healthy pregnancy, the Obstetrical and Gynecological Society of Singapore (OGSS) will be hosting a public forum titled "Victorious Living - Empowering Pregnancy" at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre on September 1 from 2 to 5pm.

Speakers at the forum include Dr Tony Tan Yew Teck from Raffles Hospital, Dr Lim Min Yu from National University Hospital, breastfeeding expert Mrs Wong Boh Boi from Thomson Medical Centre, and Mr Leong Sow Hoe from Prudential Assurance Company. All experts in their respective fields, these speakers will address topics such as fibroids, iron deficiency, breastfeeding and even financial planning for expecting mothers.

The public forum is held in conjunction with OGSS' Asia and Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Regional Meeting for obstetrics and gynaecologists from around the region.

Those interested in attending 'Victorious Living - Empowering Pregnancy' may call 6250 5998 for more information. A $10 registration fee applies.