Endometriosis is a painful and complex condition causing tissue to grow outside of the uterus. While it can lead to issues with fertility, it is possible for sufferers to undergo a healthy pregnancy. However, this will largely depend upon the severity of the condition, alongside the symptoms it presents.
Here, you will discover everything you need to know about getting pregnant with endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful and debilitating condition that can affect women of all ages. It causes tissue that is similar to the womb lining to grow throughout different areas of the body. This causes the nearby organs to stick together, leading to often severe pain in the affected area.
It is a long-term condition that has a high recurrence rate. Common symptoms include:
Pelvic pain that worsens during the menstrual cycle
Pain after sex
Severe menstrual pain that prevents daily activities
Nausea and vomiting
Difficulty getting pregnant
These are the most common symptoms associated with endometriosis. The trouble is, that the condition often goes undiagnosed, even when women do visit the doctor. This is because the symptoms can often point to other, less severe issues. Therefore, if you do have symptoms, it is always a good idea to have a gynaecology scan to aid a diagnosis.
How easy is it to get pregnant with endometriosis?
While it is possible to undergo a healthy pregnancy, many women suffering from endometriosis find it difficult to conceive. So, how does the condition impact fertility?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, around 24-50% of women who struggle with infertility have endometriosis. It isn’t known why the condition causes potential issues with fertility, but there are theories.
It could be down to scar tissue and adhesions that make it difficult for the ovaries to release eggs. There is also some evidence to suggest that endometriosis can lead to fewer mature eggs being fertilised. Or it could potentially be down to the inflammation caused by the condition. It can lead to an inhospitable environment, reducing the likelihood of implantation and fertilisation.
Whatever the cause, the good news is there are treatments that can help. So, what treatment options are available to help women with endometriosis to conceive?
Treatment options available
Like many conditions, endometriosis is easier to treat the earlier it is diagnosed. Women with mild to moderate forms of the condition are likely to experience a normal, healthy pregnancy without any treatment. However, those experiencing severe symptoms have a choice of hormonal and non-hormonal treatments alongside surgery. Many women also choose to freeze their eggs to use at a later date. Endometriosis worsens over time, potentially reducing the number of eggs available. So, freezing eggs is a good option for younger endometriosis patients.
If you are worried your endometriosis might be preventing you from getting pregnant, book a fertility health check with SureScan today. This service is recommended for women or couples that are struggling to conceive after a year of trying.