Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecologic conditions that affects women during their childbearing years. It causes symptoms like heavy periods and pelvic pain, but many women don’t know they have it until they have trouble getting pregnant.
If you received an endometriosis diagnosis, you probably have a lot of questions. How does endometriosis affect fertility? Can I still get pregnant if I have endometriosis? What are my infertility treatment options?
Endometriosis is indeed a leading cause of female infertility, but it doesn’t mean pregnancy is impossible. OB-GYN Associates of Marietta in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia offers compassionate endometriosis and infertility care. We’re here to help you get the treatment you need.
Why endometriosis impacts your fertility
Endometrial tissue lines the walls of your uterus. It naturally thickens during your menstrual cycle, then sheds during your period. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue starts growing outside your uterus.
The tissue can grow anywhere, and it’s most common on other reproductive organs like your ovaries and fallopian tubes. If you’re trying to get pregnant, this excessive tissue growth may pose a problem.
A lot of steps go into successfully getting pregnant. Your ovaries must release a mature egg and the egg must travel into your fallopian tubes. There, it must meet with sperm, and the fertilized egg must implant into the wall of your uterus.
Endometriosis makes the process much more difficult. Clumps of endometriosis tissue can distort or block your ovaries, your fallopian tubes, and other parts of your reproductive system and make fertilization impossible.
If fertilization occurs, inflammation can make it more difficult for the fertilized egg to implant successfully. For some women, endometriosis is linked to decreased egg quality.
Getting pregnant when you have endometriosis
Some women with endometriosis get pregnant naturally. But if you have endometriosis and you’ve been trying to get pregnant for six months or longer, you could benefit from fertility care.
Our team offers personalized evaluations and care for women with endometriosis. We review your medical history, do a pelvic exam, and discuss your goals for getting pregnant. Then, we recommend a treatment plan.
Depending on your health and other factors, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive surgery to remove endometriosis. Surgery can help reduce blockages and inflammation to increase your chances of conceiving naturally.
Other options may include intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). If you have endometriosis, IUI combined with fertility drugs can triple your chances of getting pregnant. With IVF, your chance of pregnancy is about 22% if you have endometriosis.
Endometriosis makes getting pregnant harder, but you’re not out of options. Find expert care at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia. Call the office nearest you to schedule your appointment.