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Common Problems That May Delay Conception: Endometriosis

Common Problems That May Delay Conception: Endometriosis

endometriosis-and-fertility

This is a disorder of the tissue lining the uterus that causes it to grow outside the uterine cavity. It attaches itself to other organs and swells with blood during menstruation. Since the blood can’t escape these tissues cysts, scar tissue or adhesions take place, this cause pain and prevent the fallopian tubes from functioning properly. This directly affects pregnancy.

Endometriosis cells secrete substances that affect the sperms and eggs. It also causes progesterone deficiency in women thus preventing normal implantation. It can be treated both with medicines (stopping periods for four to six months) or with laparoscopy to remove the affected tissue to stop further damage, this will put a stop to endometriosis.

 endometriosis-and-fertility

HOW DOES ENDOMETRIOSIS CAUSE INFERTILITY?
If you have endometriosis, it may be more difficult for you to become pregnant. Up to 30% to 50% of women with endometriosis may experience infertility. Endometriosis can influence fertility in several ways: distorted anatomy of the pelvis, adhesions, scarred fallopian tubes, inflammation of the pelvic structures, altered immune system functioning, changes in the hormonal environment of the eggs, impaired implantation of a pregnancy, and altered egg quality.

At the time of surgery, your doctor may evaluate the amount, location, and depth of endometriosis and give you a “score.” This score determines whether your endometriosis is considered minimal (Stage 1), mild (Stage 2), moderate (Stage 3), or severe (Stage 4). This scoring system correlates with pregnancy success. Women with severe (Stage 4) endometriosis, which causes considerable scarring, blocked fallopian tubes, and damaged ovaries, experience the most difficulty becoming pregnant and often require advanced fertility treatment.

HOW IS ENDOMETRIOSIS TREATED?
Endometriosis needs the female hormone estrogen to develop and grow. Birth control pills and other drugs that lower or block estrogen can be effective in improving pain symptoms. For patients who wish to become pregnant, medical therapy may be considered prior to attempts at conception, but this treatment usually does not improve pregnancy rates.

If endometriosis is seen at the time of surgery, your doctor will surgically destroy or remove the endometriosis and remove the scar tissue. This treatment will restore your normal anatomy and will allow your reproductive organs to function more normally. Your chances of becoming pregnant are improved after surgical treatment, especially if your endometriosis is in the moderate or severe range. The combination of surgical and medical therapy may be beneficial in patients attempting to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Overall, treatment is highly individualized for each patient.

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