Can Bad Menstrual Cramps Affect Your Fertility?
If you suffer from painful periods, the thought of having difficulty conceiving has most likely crossed your mind. While any pregnancy can have complications, women who experience painful periods may have unaddressed underlying issues that can affect their chances of pregnancy.
Menstruation may be innately painful but should not affect your daily life. While there are many factors contributing to fertility difficulties, informing yourself on the root of the problem can aid in addressing the issue more swiftly. To give you a head start in learning about possible causes of painful menstruation, Anthony Quartell, M.D. and Associates have put together a list of 5 conditions commonly associated with infertility.
Underlying Causes Of Painful Periods
With nearly 3 out of 4 women developing one in their lifetime, uterine fibroids are extremely common growths that develop on the smooth muscle of the uterus. Although noncancerous, these abnormal masses may cause heavy cramping and prolonged bleeding. Many women never realize they have fibroids due to their ability to “pass” during a menstrual cycle. Extreme cases of uterine fibroids occasionally can cause lower fertility and increased risk of having a miscarriage; surgical removal of a fibroid growth or hormone treatment may be required.
Another commonly undiagnosed condition that can affect pregnancy is endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when the formation of endometrium – the mucous membrane that lines the uterus – develops elsewhere in the body. This spread of endometrium is believed to travel through the fallopian tubes to areas such as the pelvic floor, ovaries and even your bowels. This causes extreme pain during menstrual cycles and has been linked to cases of infertility. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis in their lifetime, with up to 50% of those cases resulting with difficulty conceiving.
Similar to endometriosis, adenomyosis occurs when endometrium grows in the uterine wall. It is currently unclear if adenomyosis directly affects fertility, but adenomyosis often causes heavy bleeding, severe cramping and painful intercourse. While there are certain medications available to treat the discomfort, adenomyosis can only be completely eradicated through a hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus.
PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is another possible cause of painful menstrual cramps and typically associated with an untreated medical disease. Caused by an infection in the reproductive organs, PID leads to the formation of scar tissue. This web-like scarring between the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus causes increased discomfort during a menstrual cycle and is the most common cause of blocked fallopian tubes. Fortunately, pelvic inflammatory disease can be diagnosed through a routine pelvic exam and be treated with antibiotics from a doctor.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that occur on the surface of an ovary. Cysts can originate from unreleased eggs (if ovulation does not occur) or if the sac in which the egg forms does not completely dissolve. Although usually benign, ovarian cysts have the potential to become cancerous. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition defined by the accumulation of small cysts on your ovaries, high levels of certain hormones, and irregular menstruation– all of which may contribute to future issues with fertility. Most women will develop a cyst on their ovaries at least once in their lifetime, which is why it is important to mention any discomfort during a pelvic exam.
Menstrual Cramp Relief in New Jersey
Infertility affects about 15% of couples in the U.S. with many more experiencing difficulties conceiving. If you or someone you know is suffering from painful menstrual cramps do not hesitate scheduling your appointment with the professionals at Anthony Quartell, M.D. and Associates. Let our dedicated team help you explore treatment options for fertility-related issues. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (973) 968-4611 today!