Learn why endometriosis can make it harder to get pregnant and find out about fertility treatments
Endometriosis is a painful condition that’s caused by the growth of uterine tissue, or endometrium, outside of the uterus. Up to 50 percent of women with endometriosis may have a hard time getting pregnant, but it’s often still possible to start a family if you receive the proper treatments and support.
Why does endometriosis sometimes cause infertility?
Patches of uterine tissue may grow on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder or other organs with endometriosis. Those tissues bleed each month when you get your period, regardless of where they are in your body. When pockets of blood form without the vagina to escape through, they can cause swelling, inflammation and scarring. Scarring and inflammation may then lead to infertility. For example:
To determine why you’re having trouble getting pregnant, your fertility specialist may complete a fertility evaluation, or a series of tests that could include blood work, a physical exam and a trans-vaginal ultrasound. That information can let him or her know which treatments may work best for you.
Your fertility treatment options
Laparoscopic surgery is the most effective treatment for infertility from endometriosis. It may be used to diagnose the cause of your infertility, determine how widespread your endometriosis is or remove tissue patches that could be blocking pregnancy.
During this procedure, a surgeon will make tiny cuts on your abdomen. He or she will guide a small camera and thin instruments through the cuts. They’ll then use the instruments to find and remove tissue patches.
Many women are able to conceive naturally after surgery, but some require additional treatments. Other treatments include:
If you do get pregnant, having endometriosis won’t hurt the baby. In fact, the symptoms of endometriosis often improve during pregnancy.
What if you’re not ready to get pregnant, but you’d like a family some day?
Taking hormonal birth control pills now can increase your chances of getting pregnant later. These pills decreases the number of times you ovulate and periods each year. Since every period could cause scarring to your ovaries, fallopian tubes or uterus, having fewer periods can boost your odds of getting pregnant in the long run.
If you have endometriosis, talk to your OB/GYN about your plans for starting a family and what treatment options are right for you. To find an OB/GYN, visit our online physician directory at OsceolaRegional.com or call our Consult-A-Nurse® free physician referral line at (800) 447-8206.
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