Endometriosis is a common health issue that affects about 11% of women between the ages of 15 and 44. While not all women who have endometriosis experience infertility, many with the condition often do.
In fact, as many as half of the women with endometriosis will experience infertility. Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after trying to conceive for about 12 months. It also refers to women who become pregnant but suffer repeated miscarriages. Infertility is one of the many symptoms of endometriosis.
At Advanced Endometriosis Center, with two locations in Hackensack, New Jersey, and New York City, our OB/GYN specialist, Dr. Ulas Bozdogan, can help, but first, here’s some background information about endometriosis and fertility.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium, the tissue that lines your uterus, grows outside your uterus. This tissue may grow on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic organs.
When you menstruate, the tissue inside your uterus thickens in preparation for the egg and then breaks down and exits your body if the egg is not fertilized. When the endometrium grows where it doesn’t belong, there is no escape route for the tissue.
In addition to infertility, other symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pain with menstruation
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Pain during a bowel movement
Bleeding between menstrual cycles and gastrointestinal issues are also common symptoms.
How can endometriosis affect fertility?
Having endometriosis does not mean you will have fertility problems, but your chances of infertility are higher than if you didn’t have the condition. About 50% of women who experience fertility problems have endometriosis. And about 30-50% of women with endometriosis have fertility problems.
Often women don’t learn that they have endometriosis until they have trouble getting pregnant. Endometriosis can affect your fertility in a few ways. One way is that tissue growth in your pelvic area can block your fallopian tubes, making it difficult for the egg and sperm to unite.
The broken-down tissue that can’t exit your body can build up and irritate your pelvic organs. This irritation can lead to inflammation or cysts and adhesions, all of which can make it difficult for you to conceive or carry your baby to full term. Endometriosis can also change the hormonal environment and, subsequently, damage your eggs or the impair embryo implantation.
Endometriosis fertility treatment options
Fortunately, the majority of women with endometriosis go on to have healthy full-term pregnancies. Depending on your issues, there are many options to help treat the pain of endometriosis and also help you get pregnant. Some options include surgery, assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as in-vitro fertilization, and hormone medication.
If you’re having problems getting pregnant, call us at Advanced Endometriosis Center to make an appointment with our OB/GYN specialist Dr. Ulas Bozdogan. You can also make an appointment online through this website.