Endometriosis is a medical condition caused when the tissue that lines the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus, most commonly on the outside of the uterus or on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or intestines. It affects about 10% of women in the United States.
Unfortunately, endometriosis can impact a woman’s ability to get pregnant and is a primary cause of infertility in women. As many as 40% of women with endometriosis experience some degree of infertility.
However, there’s hope for women with endometriosis who want to get pregnant. Here at Advanced Endometriosis Center, Dr. Ulas Bozdogan uses advanced treatment approaches for women suffering from endometriosis, including nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical techniques.
How endometriosis impacts fertility
Endometriosis can interfere with pregnancy in several ways.
It may cause cysts to form in the ovaries, which can inhibit their ability to produce healthy eggs.
In addition, endometriosis may trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals that could impact egg quality, attack and kill sperm, and interfere with fertilization and implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.
When endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, it can lead to the formation of scar tissue, known as adhesions, within the pelvis. When adhesions develop on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, they can interfere with the normal fertilization and implantation processes necessary for successful pregnancy.
Adhesions may also lead to ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg gets lodged in a fallopian tube rather than traveling to the uterus for implantation. Ectopic pregnancies end in miscarriage and can be dangerous for the mother.
Early diagnosis may help fertility
If you think you may have endometriosis, early diagnosis and treatment could help preserve your fertility in the future. Call Dr. Bozdogan for an appointment if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- pelvic pain
- severe cramping during or before menstruation
- low back pain during or before menstruation
- abnormal periods, including spotting between periods
- painful intercourse or vaginal bleeding following intercourse
- unusual pain during bowel movements
- blood in the urine or bowels
- trouble getting pregnant
In many women, hormone-based medications help shrink endometrial adhesions. Although you can’t get pregnant while you’re taking these medications, they may help relieve symptoms and protect your reproductive organs from distortions that could lead to fertility problems later.
Taking steps to treat endometriosis may make it easier for you to get pregnant. Although your treatment options depend on the severity and extent of your endometriosis, they may include laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial lesions or to drain or remove ovarian cysts.
In most cases, Dr. Bozdogan can perform endometriosis surgery using minimally invasive techniques or robot-assisted surgery with the state-of-the-art da VinciⓇ Surgical System.
Women with endometriosis who can’t get pregnant on their own may find success using assisted reproductive techniques, which include:
- Ovulation induction: Oral medications or injections can help your ovaries release eggs.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This is a procedure in which healthy sperm (fresh or frozen) from your partner or a donor is placed in your uterus around your ovulation time. Ovulation induction drugs may be used with IUI.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): This is a procedure in which eggs and sperm (from you and your partner or donors) are combined in the laboratory. After fertilization, the resulting embryo or embryos are implanted in your uterus.
Although there is no cure for endometriosis, we can work with you to relieve your symptoms and optimize your fertility. To learn more, call the Advanced Endometriosis Center in New York City or Bergen County, New Jersey. Or you can book an appointment while you’re here on the website by clicking the “request appointment” button.