Endometriosis is a complicated medical disease that affects millions of women around the world and is often misunderstood. It happens when tissue that looks like the lining of the uterus (called endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, usually in the pelvic area. People with endometriosis worry a lot about how it might affect their ability to have children. In this blog, we’ll talk about what endometriosis is, how it can show up in different ways, and how it can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.
Endometriosis happens when tissue that looks like the endometrial, which usually lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. This tissue, called endometrial implants, can connect to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the lining of the pelvic cavity. The endometrium sheds during menstruation, but the uterine tissue outside of the uterus doesn’t have a natural way to leave the body. This can cause inflammation, scarring, and adhesions.
Endometriosis: Signs and Symptoms
Endometriosis often has a number of signs and symptoms, such as:
- Pelvic Pain: One of the main signs of endometriosis is constant pain in the pelvis, especially during menstruation. The pain can be very bad and make it hard to do normal things.
- Painful Menstruation: Women with endometriosis often have more painful cramps than women who don’t have the disease.
- Painful Intercourse: Pain during sexual activity is a common sign that can make intimacy harder to achieve.
- Pain When Going to the Bathroom or Urinating: In some cases, endometrial implants can affect the bowel or bladder, causing pain when going to the bathroom or urinating, especially during menstruation.
- Infertility: Many people with endometriosis have trouble getting pregnant, which makes infertility one of the biggest worries about the disease.
Endometriosis and Becoming Pregnant
People who are trying to get pregnant need to know how endometriosis affects pregnancy. Here’s how the disease can affect getting pregnant:
- Pelvic Inflammation: Endometriosis causes chronic inflammation in the pelvic area, which can affect the way reproductive systems like the ovaries and fallopian tubes work. This inflammation can make it hard for a woman to ovulate normally.
- Adhesions and Scarring: Over time, endometrial implants can cause adhesions or scar tissue to form, which can connect the reproductive systems. Adhesions can make it hard for the eggs to leave the ovaries or for sperm to move through the fallopian tubes, making it hard for a woman to get pregnant.
- Changes in Hormone Levels: Endometriosis can also cause changes in hormone levels, especially those that affect the menstrual period. Hormonal changes can also make it hard to ovulate and get pregnant.
- Damage to Eggs and Embryos: Endometriosis can damage eggs and embryos in serious cases, making it less likely that they will implant and grow into a baby.
Choices for treatments
If you have endometriosis and are having trouble getting pregnant, you have a few treatment options:
- Laparoscopic Surgery: When endometriosis is moderate to extreme, endometrial implants, adhesions, and scar tissue can be taken out through laparoscopic surgery. This can make it easier for some people to get pregnant.
- Hormone treatment: Hormone treatment, like birth control pills or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, can help control symptoms and slow the growth of endometrial tissue. But it could briefly make it harder to get pregnant.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): People who can’t get pregnant because of endometriosis are often told to try IVF. It gets around many of the problems that come with endometriosis by taking out the eggs, fertilizing them in the lab, and putting the babies back in the uterus.
Endometriosis is a complicated disease that can make it hard to get pregnant, but that doesn’t mean that parenthood is out of reach. People with endometriosis can look into different ways to improve their chances of getting pregnant with the help of a skilled medical team. Endometriosis can make it hard to get pregnant, but you can still have a healthy baby if you understand the condition, deal with the symptoms, and get the right medical care.
Every step of the way, our center is here to help you. If you have endometriosis and are looking for pain relief, answers to your questions, or help with fertility issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are committed to giving you personalized care and answers that are made just for you. Contact us today to set up a consultation and take the first step toward a better, more comfortable future.