Porsha is having pregnancy complications! The ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star was hospitalized on Nov. 4 because of large fibroids. But what does that mean? We spoke to a fertility expert to get all the details!

Porsha Williams, 37, ended up in the hospital less than two months after announcing that she and her fiance Dennis McKinley were expecting, which left Real Housewives of Atlanta fans really worried! So was the reality star okay? “She’s going to be fine. She does have to stay overnight,” her co-star NeNe Leakes, 50, revealed on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “She’s been in a little pain.” Porsha reportedly was suffering from complications because of her uterine fibroids. This is not a new condition for the mom-to-be, who has previously had a myomectomy to remove them. Dr. Zaher Merhi, Director of IVF Research and Development at New Hope Fertility Center in Manhattan, spoke to usEXCLUSIVELY about what it means to have gestational uterine fibroids.

These benign tumors are actually quite a mystery in the medical world! While it is unclear what causes them to grow, it is known that up to 50 percent of African American women have them, as well as 40 percent of Caucasian women — and they can have extremely negative effects on pregnancies. “Fibroids can create implantation issues and infertility ultimately, but can also cause miscarriages when the embryo sticks,” Merhi explained. “Because the fibroid is there, the pregnancy may not hold well. It can also cause space problems for the baby’s growth and lead to early pre-term birth.”

That’s why doctors like to assess women who are trying to get pregnant before they’ve got a baby on the way! Otherwise, once they’re expecting, it is too dangerous to remove the fibroids no matter where they’re located. “You don’t want to manipulate the uterus and cause problems during pregnancy,” Merhi said.

But because of the increase of hormones that occur when a woman is expecting, her fibroids can grow faster and frequently double in size. So even though Porsha had a myomectomy to remove her fibroids before, it is very possible that they grew back. “While a woman can have a fibroid that stays at one centimeter for the rest of her life, another woman can have ten that grow back again and again,” Merhi said. They can even return within a couple weeks of removal!

So how can these growths be prevented? While doctors don’t know for sure, Merhi recommends vitamin D to his patients since deficiencies in the vitamin have been linked to fibroids. Better safe than sorry!

As scary and unpredictable as gestational uterine fibroids sound, we’re wishing Porsha all the best during the rest of her pregnancy.

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