Could My Infertility be Caused by Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a much more prevalent issue than many people might think. In fact, fewer than 1/3 of women know what endometriosis is, despite it affecting approximately one out of every ten women in the United States.

Infertility problems caused by endometriosisEndometriosis occurs when uterine tissue begins to grow outside of the uterus. Because this tissue responds to a woman’s menstrual cycle, symptoms can be confused with period pain. Since the tissue has no way of leaving the body, lesions, scar tissue and inflammation can occur. All of these symptoms could potentially lead to infertility.

Do I Have Endometriosis?

If you are having trouble getting pregnant and you experience any of the following symptoms, your infertility could be due to endometriosis.

  • Pain before and during your menstrual cycle.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Painful urination.
  • Pain during bowel movements.
  • Chronic fatigue.

To determine if you have endometriosis, your doctor may perform a laparoscopy. During this procedure, a tiny camera will be inserted into the abdomen and the doctor will examine the internal organs. The goal is to find out if any abnormal endometrial tissue is present, and determine the size and location of the issue.

How Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?

While the reason is widely debated, research shows that women with endometriosis tend to have lower fecundity, or the ability to produce children. This fecundity is similar to that of a woman of an older age, putting someone with endometriosis, regardless of age, at risk of becoming infertile.

Most cases of endometriosis are mild, and many women with a mild form of the condition are still fertile. In women with severe endometriosis, it is more likely that there will be pelvic scarring, damage to the eggs / ovaries and distortion of pelvic anatomy, which can cause infertility.

Can Endometriosis Be Treated?

Treatments vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the severity of the issue, the disease location, the age of the woman and the presence of other symptoms. But, in general, endometriosis will be treated with medication, surgery or a combination of both.

For mild cases, drug treatment can keep symptoms under control and surgical removal of lesions may help temporarily. But unfortunately, no link between these treatments and improved fertility have been found.

For severe cases, studies have found that these treatments can slightly increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.

What are my Options for Becoming Pregnant?

When traditional methods for becoming pregnant fail, there are other options. Ovarian stimulation or intrauterine insemination can be successful for some women with mild endometriosis, but those methods tend to fail when women have severe symptoms. In severe cases, in vitro fertilization is often the right method.


Your Safety and Well-being is our Priority

On behalf of all of us at Women’s Health Partners, in these difficult times, we want to thank you for your support and confidence in our practice.

We want you to personally know that our patients’ health and well-being has and always will be our number one priority. This reminder bears repeating in the face of any challenges and especially now, given concerns posed by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being and that of our staff. To that end, we want to share some of the steps we are taking:

Furthermore, our staff will be asking several screening questions regarding your health. We ask that you do not enter our office if you, or someone in your family, or someone you recently were in contact with, has exhibited flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, shaking chills, or recent loss of taste or smell, or recently diagnosed with COVID19.

In order to help us participate with our social distancing effort, we are asking patients to enter the office without any visitors, including children.

You will also have the option of waiting in your car instead of the waiting room after you have checked in. The front desk staff will call your cell phone when we are ready for you to come in for your visit.

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