Around 5 million women in the United States share your diagnosis of endometriosis, with its potential symptoms of pelvic and lower back pain, heavy bleeding, fatigue and severe menstrual cramping. A condition that occurs when uterine lining grows elsewhere in the body, endometriosis is the most commonly reported obstacle to conception. This problem doesn’t close the door to pregnancy, but it does present special challenges. Your doctor can determine the best treatment choices to help you to achieve your dream of becoming a mom.
Causes of Infertility
Moderate to severe endometriosis can cause adhesions that
prevent your egg from leaving your ovary to be fertilized. In minimal to mild
endometriosis, inflammation in the pelvis triggers cells to attack the sperm,
and the body produces poor eggs. The National Institutes of Health notes that
patches of endometriosis may distort the pelvic anatomy, making the travel of
sperm and egg difficult, or problems with the endometrium may hamper the
attachment of the embryo to the uterus.
Pregnancy may require more time for women with endometriosis.
Since women find it easier to get pregnant in their 20s than women in their 30s
or 40s, women with endometriosis may want to think about pregnancy early.
Safeguard your reproductive health by maintaining a healthy body with
nutritious foods, exercise and adequate rest. Consult a fertility specialist if
you don’t become pregnant after six months.
Infertility related to endometriosis can be treated with
assisted reproductive technologies such as intra-uterine insemination, or IUI,
and in-vitro fertilization, or IVF. IUI involves artificially placing the
partner’s or a donor’s sperm into the women’s uterus after hormonal drugs
stimulate the ovaries to release additional eggs. Your doctor may recommend a
IVF if you doesn’t become pregnant after three to four treatment cycles with
IUI. Your doctor can determine if you are a candidate for assisted reproductive
Surgery may be a treatment option when endometriosis damages an
organ or changes an organ’s position. For example, an egg may not enter the
Fallopian tube if adhesions cause the ovaries or Fallopian tubes to become
stuck in an abnormal manner. Laparoscopic surgery may be more likely to
increase the chances of pregnancy for women with minimal to mild endometriosis
better than diagnosis with laparoscopy alone. For moderate to severe
endometriosis, surgery is less likely to be effective.