March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month, which means it’s a good time to consider how endometriosis may affect your chances of getting pregnant.
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue from the lining of your uterus grows in places where it shouldn’t, such as the outside of your uterus or on your fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, intestines, rectum, or elsewhere in your abdomen or pelvic area.
Our care providers at Albany Obstetrics & Gynecology would like to share some important information with you about endometriosis and its potential impact on your ability to become pregnant.
Approximately 10% of women of childbearing age develop endometriosis, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Although it can occur anytime, it typically develops in women during their 30s or 40s.
Although some women with endometriosis have no symptoms, it may cause a range of problems. The most common is premenstrual or menstrual pelvic pain. It may also lead to excessive menstrual bleeding and pain during intercourse, as well as discomfort while urinating or passing bowel movements.
Endometriosis may also interfere with your ability to become pregnant. In fact, about 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis, according to RESOLVE (The National Infertility Association).
Because endometriosis can cause scar tissue adhesions to form on reproductive organs, it can stop pregnancy from occurring. Endometrial adhesions on the ovaries can prevent the release of eggs, for example. Adhesions on the fallopian tubes or uterus may prohibit a fertilized egg from successfully implanting in your uterus.
Having endometriosis may also raise the risk of ectopic pregnancy, a serious condition in which a fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus.
There is no cure for endometriosis. However, treatment helps many women with endometriosis reduce their symptoms and become pregnant.
Surgery can remove endometrial adhesions that are impacting fertility. Whenever possible, your doctor uses minimally invasive surgical techniques that employ smaller incisions than open surgery and result in faster recovery time and fewer potential surgical side effects.
Assisted reproductive techniques provide another treatment option for women with endometriosis and infertility. These include in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure in which your eggs and your partner’s sperm are brought together for fertilization in a laboratory, and one or more fertilized eggs are implanted in your uterus.
If you think you have endometriosis, don’t wait to have an evaluation, because it’s best for your fertility to receive an early diagnosis and treatment. At Albany Obstetrics & Gynecology, we offer a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for endometriosis and other gynecology and infertility conditions. To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, call our office in Albany, New York, at 518-516-6726 or use our contact form to reach us.