How Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?
Image via Pexels
Exploring Endometriosis and Fertility
Infertility is a serious condition that sadly affects both women and men, defined as the inability to conceive after a year or longer of having unprotected sex. Although fertility issues can be brought on by a variety of factors, some of which are unpreventable, women with an endometriosis diagnosis are even more likely to experience infertility problems in life.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. When a woman has endometriosis, the endometrium is located outside of the uterus. In various cases of endometriosis, the endometrium has been found on the abdomen, ovaries, pelvic cavity and even inside the fallopian tubes. Since the endometrium is misplaced, the tissue actually builds up more so than usual, breaks down and ultimately sheds. While this is a very normal and routine occurrence for the endometrium tissue properly located within the uterus, the misplaced tissue has no other way to leave the body—which leads to tell-tale signs of endometriosis, like internal bleeding and inflammation.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease that doesn’t always show symptoms or signs to the women who have it. For those women who do experience the signs of endometriosis, symptoms could range from mild to severe. Symptoms of endometriosis include painful cramping throughout a menstrual cycle, extreme pelvic pain that gradually worsens, lower back pain, painful intercourse, excessive bleeding, painful bowel movements, painful urination, constipation and nausea. And although it might not be a physically felt sign, infertility is also a symptom of endometriosis.
Endometriosis and Fertility
Endometriosis can affect different parts of a woman’s reproductive system, depending on where the endometrium tissue is located outside of the uterus. Due to the fact that endometriosis causes severe inflammation and irritation to multiple parts of a woman’s body, it can significantly affect fertility—and decrease the chances of a woman becoming pregnant. In some cases, the fimbria may be tampered with, leading to infertility. The fimbria allows the egg to be transported into the fallopian tube; when endometriosis cause swelling and brings about damage to the egg, it makes it more difficult for the egg to travel to its end location successfully. The inflammation brought on by endometriosis can also heavily influence the sperm and eggs as well, since they are existing in a damaged environment that makes it almost impossible for successful fertility circumstances to occur. In rarer occasions, endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes or lead to adhesions in a woman’s body, causing the pelvic organs to stick together; this makes the pelvic organs function at a much lower rate.
Becoming Pregnant with Endometriosis
For those women with diagnosed endometriosis and ongoing infertility issues as a result, an experienced obstetrician or gynecologist can perform a laparoscopy to treat the endometriosis and increase the chances of her becoming pregnant. Laparoscopy is a minor outpatient surgery that inserts a scope through a woman’s umbilicus, into her abdomen. Throughout the procedure, the medical doctor can remove lesions caused by endometriosis with scissors, a laser or some other type of approved, medical removal process. Once the laparoscopy is finished, women have the best chance of conceiving within the first few months. In the event that a woman does become pregnant and can successfully carry a baby to term while living with endometriosis, pregnancy has the ability to improve symptoms greatly; the pregnancy hormones naturally counteract the endometriosis.
Get Tested for Endometriosis at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates
Getting diagnosed with endometriosis and increasing the chances of becoming pregnant all start with proper general obstetric care. At Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates, Dr. Quartell and his dedicated staff specialize in minimally invasive gynecological surgery and treat conditions like endometriosis on a daily basis, helping women decrease their infertility rate and become the healthiest they can possibly be. Women who think they might have endometriosis can become tested, diagnosed and possibly even treated at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates’ convenient location at 316 Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston, New Jersey. Please contact the office by calling 973-716-9600 to schedule an appointment today.