How Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?

It’s estimated that endometriosis affects more than 11% of women of childbearing age in the United States. While the link between endometriosis and infertility hasn’t been firmly established, the numbers show us that endometriosis likely plays a significant role in a woman’s ability to conceive. In fact, experts suspect that up to half of all women with fertility issues may have endometriosis.

At Cross Roads Hormonal Health & Wellness, our team of gynecologic experts understands how endometriosis can wreak havoc on the lives of our patients in Cross Roads, Texas. From painful periods to fertility problems, endometriosis can have a widespread impact on a woman’s health.

To understand how endometriosis may affect your fertility, let’s take a look at what we know about the condition and what we can do about it.

Endometriosis basics

As we mentioned, endometriosis affects more than one in five women between the ages of 15 and 44, and it’s especially prevalent in women in their 30s and 40s. The condition is one in which the lining of your uterus grows outside your uterus, often draping over nearby organs and tissue, such as your:

The problem with this tissue is that it acts as if it were inside your uterus, thickening with your menstrual cycle in order to receive an egg. But instead of shedding out normally through your vagina when an egg doesn’t arrive, the endometrial tissue is trapped inside with nowhere to exit, and it can form adhesions on your reproductive organs and pelvic tissue.

The primary symptoms of endometriosis include painful and heavy periods, but fertility issues have been reported in up to half of women with endometriosis.

Endometriosis and fertility

The link between endometriosis and infertility is one that researchers are trying to establish. Some experts believe that the adhesions created by the endometriosis may discourage pregnancy. For example, in some cases, the adhesions can block your fallopian tubes, but this isn’t terribly common. 

Another theory is that if your endometrial tissue attaches to your ovaries, this may affect your ovulation. 

Yet another possibility is that the inflammation associated with endometriosis may cause an increase in your production of cytokines, a chemical that could interfere with sperm and egg cells.

The bottom line is that the numbers bear out in confirming a link between endometriosis and infertility, for whatever reason, but many women with endometriosis can, and do, have children.

Tackling fertility issues related to endometriosis

If we’ve ruled out other possibilities behind your difficulty to conceive, and you have endometriosis, our goal is to help with the side effects of this condition while addressing your fertility issues. 

Hormonal solutions for endometriosis may interfere with your ability to get pregnant, since we have to disrupt your ovulation, so this avenue may not be ideal.

In many cases, we use laparoscopy to take a look inside (and outside) your uterus to spot any adhesions or tissue that may be causing problems. If we find such tissue, we may remove it laparoscopically to better your chances of conceiving.

At the same time, you may want to undergo fertility treatments to improve your chances of fertility success.

Fertility issues are tricky under any circumstances, but if yours are related to endometriosis, rest assured that we work with you to find an appropriate solution. Simply give us a call at 940-213-2713 to get started.

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