Endometriosis affects about 11% of women in the United States during their reproductive years (between the ages of 15 and 44) and the incidence of infertility in this group is considerably heightened. Looking at it from another perspective, 30-50% of women who struggle with infertility also have endometriosis.
From either direction, the link between endometriosis and infertility is a clear one and we want to explore this connection a little more deeply. In the following, endometriosis expert Dr. Ulas Bozdogan and the team here at Advanced Endometriosis Center explain why endometriosis can make it difficult to build the family of your dreams — and what we can do to help.
The connection between endometriosis and your fertility is a complex one, and to best understand it, we need to first review how endometriosis affects your reproductive organs.
With endometriosis, tissue that normally lines your uterus grows outside of your uterus, often covering neighboring organs, such as your fallopian tubes and ovaries. The patches of misplaced tissue — called implants — respond to hormonal changes each month, just as they would if they were inside your uterus, except they have no place to shed out.
This lack of egress can cause scar tissue to form, which can impede the function of your reproductive organs, such as blocking your fallopian tubes or interfering with the release of eggs from your ovaries.
There are four stages of endometriosis and, with each stage, the potential for infertility rises. These stages are:
There’s a good reason why women with endometriosis tend to encounter infertility in their 30s and 40s. This is because their endometriosis has advanced into later stages of the disease.
Unfortunately, two of the frontline treatments for endometriosis also prevent pregnancy — hormonal medications and endometrial ablation.
To relieve your endometriosis and preserve your fertility at the same time, our team has extensive experience with minimally invasive laparoscopic removal of problematic implants and scar tissue. In fact, we take this procedure a step further with our advanced da Vinci robotic system, which allows us to remove the unwanted tissues with far more accuracy and precision.
Once we remove the tissue, this should allow your reproductive organs to function freely and enable you to work on building your family.
If you’d like to figure out if your fertility issues are related to endometriosis and if treatment could help you, book an appointment online or over the phone at one of our two offices in New York City or Hackensack, New Jersey today.