The numbers surrounding endometriosis are eye-opening. In the United States, 10-15% of women have the condition, and up to half of women with endometriosis have problems with fertility. While fertility problems clearly exist among women with endometriosis, the condition doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get pregnant.
If you have endometriosis and you’re struggling to get pregnant, you should seek the help of the highly trained and experienced team at Advanced Endometriosis Center. Under the direction of Ulas Bozdogan, MD, we’ve helped scores of women overcome infertility despite their endometriosis diagnosis.
Here’s a look at the role endometriosis can play in your ability to get pregnant and what we can do about it.
The connection between endometriosis and pregnancy issues
While we’ve already discussed that up to 50% of women with endometriosis have problems getting pregnant, it may be helpful to dive a little deeper into the numbers.
Studies show that women with mild endometriosis have a lower probability of getting pregnant over a three-year period than women with unexplained infertility — 36% vs. 55% respectively. Additionally, studies suggest that women with advanced endometriosis have poor ovarian reserve, poor egg quality, and difficulty with implantation.
While the numbers may show a correlation between endometriosis and infertility, the fact is that the direct cause and effect has yet to be firmly established.
With endometriosis, the tissue that normally grows inside your uterus grows outside of it, such as on your ovaries or fallopian tubes. The cause of this condition is still unknown, but researchers believe that retrograde menstruation, immunity issues, or genetics may play a role.
While research is ongoing as to why endometriosis develops, we’re left to deal with the consequences of the condition, which include:
- Painful periods
- Abnormal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain during urination or bowel movements
Again, the relationship between endometriosis and infertility is well established, but we have yet to find the exact mechanism behind the pregnancy problems.
Helping women with endometriosis get pregnant
One of the problems with endometriosis and fertility is that many of the solutions for endometriosis interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Treatments that alter the release of your eggs through hormones or ablation techniques can remedy the discomfort, but they can also prevent you from getting pregnant.
If we diagnose you with mild-to-moderate endometriosis, our goal will be to relieve your symptoms and preserve your fertility at the same time.
For symptoms, we may recommend medications and lifestyle changes. To help with your fertility, we may recommend ovarian hyperstimulation combined with intrauterine insemination or laparoscopic adhesion removal.
We also know that advanced cases of endometriosis can cause adhesions on the reproductive organs, which can prevent pregnancy. As an example, scarring can block your fallopian tubes, preventing sperm from reaching your eggs. If this is the case, we may recommend in vitro fertilization.
The bottom line is there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for women who have endometriosis and fertility issues. But whatever your case is, we’ll do everything we can to help you finally realize the family of your dreams.
To learn more about pregnancy and endometriosis, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today.