Endometriosis is a condition in which a tissue called the endometrium grows outside of the uterus, often leading to pain and fertility problems. While endometriosis can make it more difficult to become pregnant, it is still possible to conceive. Today we’re walking through the statistics, stages, and fertility options involved with getting pregnant with endometriosis.
Introduction to Endometriosis
Though there is still a lot more to learn about endometriosis, this disorder is a lot more common than people think. It is estimated that endometriosis occurs in one out of every ten women in their reproductive age, though it is typically not diagnosed until they reach their 30s or 40s. Because endometriosis can have different effects on different women, a staging system has been developed to help doctors and patients understand the severity of the condition. Stage one is the less severe and is generally characterized by a few small clumps of overgrown tissues, commonly referred to as implants. Stage two is defined by more prevalent, deeper implants. By stage three, there is typically scarring and adhesions in addition to numerous deep implants. The most severe form of endometriosis, stage four, is characterized by widespread implants, thick scarring, and cysts on the ovaries.
Women who have endometriosis stage one or two may be able to become pregnant on their own without treatment or surgery. There is some evidence to suggest that removing signs of overgrown tissues in women who are 35 or younger improves fertility, but for women over the age of 35, or for women with stage 3 or 4 endometriosis, other fertility options such as In vitro fertilization (IVF) may be the best option.
How Endometriosis Affects Fertility
Endometriosis can affect fertility in a variety of ways. Depending on the extent and severity, endometriosis can impact hormones, egg quality, implantation, and the anatomy of the pelvis and fallopian tubes. Treatments to help improve fertility depends on what part of the reproductive system is being affected by endometriosis.
Getting Pregnant with Endometriosis
Working out a plan with your doctor is the first step in getting pregnant with endometriosis. If you’re younger than 35 and have been trying to conceive for over one year or older than 35 and have been trying to become pregnant for over six months, consult your OBGYN. Tracking ovulation, taking medication, or undergoing certain surgeries may all increase your chances of conceiving. In some cases, your doctor may suggest that you move straight towards fertility treatment, like IVF.
Talk to A Fertility Expert
If you have endometriosis that has been affecting your fertility, reach out to Carolinas Fertility Institute today. Our knowledgeable and dedicated staff can help answer any questions you may have about fertility testing. We also offer a wide variety of services, from fertility evaluations to In Vitro fertilization. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation by calling our Charlotte office at (844) 686-2233 or our office in the Triad at (336) 448-9100.