Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which the cells that line the uterus begin to grow outside of the uterine lining and along the pelvic wall. Women who have endometriosis may experience symptoms such as frequent pelvic pain and severe menstrual cramps. A woman who is experiencing these symptoms and is hoping to conceive may want to contact an endometriosis specialist at our office, as this condition can impact a woman's ability to become pregnant.
How Does Endometriosis Impact Fertility?
Women who have been diagnosed with endometriosis are not considered to be infertile, but according to HealthyWomen.org, there is data that indicates that women with endometriosis may be less fertile than women without this condition. The inflamed uterine lining can make it difficult for the sperm and egg to meet, which is why some researchers believe that endometriosis can contribute to infertility.
Fortunately for women who have been diagnosed with endometriosis, fertility treatments are a viable option. Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is a procedure in which the male sperm is injected into the uterus around the time of ovulation. This significantly increases the chances of conception, as the timing is ideal. In addition, women with endometriosis can consider in vitro fertilization, or IVF. This procedure requires an OB/GYN to transfer a fertilized embryo into the uterus. Women who have been struggling to conceive and who have been diagnosed with endometriosis should work with their endometriosis specialist in order to develop a personalized plan to help them conceive.
What are the Treatment Options for Endometriosis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several treatment options for endometriosis, including:
Women who suffer from severe menstrual cramps as a result of endometriosis may want to consider pain medication in order to manage their discomfort. Prescription pain medications are available for women suffering from chronic pain.
Hormone treatment can be used in order to regulate menstrual cycles and limit the endometrial growth outside of the uterus.
A hysterectomy can be performed in order to eliminate the endometriosis, but this is not a viable option for women who want to conceive.
Women who have been previously diagnosed with endometriosis and are now considering starting a family will want to talk with their OB/GYN prior to trying to conceive. This will give them the insight they need into the challenges that they may face, and also can give them more information about the options that are available. Women who have been struggling to conceive and are experiencing the signs and symptoms of endometriosis also can work with an endometriosis specialist in order to create a plan for moving forward.
To find out more information about endometriosis and how it impacts fertility as well as pregnancy, contact an endometriosis specialist at our Houston OB/GYN office today.