Endometriosis is a painful disorder that affects women. It occurs when tissues that are similar to those in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) instead grow outside of the uterus. Most often, endometriosis affects the tissues lining the pelvis, the ovaries, and the fallopian tubes.
For normal women, the endometrial-like tissue often thickens, breaks, and bleeds during their menstrual cycle but for women with endometriosis, the tissue gets trapped in them and eventually results in scarring and adhesion. The result is often pain, which could range from mild to severe, depending on each individual.
There are, however indications that endometriosis could affect fertility. According to research, healthy couples are more likely to get pregnant than those suffering from endometriosis. The reason is that endometriosis affects the ovaries and fallopian tubes, making it challenging for the egg to travel through the fallopian tube, where it is fertilized. There is also a school of thought that endometriosis can damage an egg or sperm but doctors and researchers are still investigating to know why this often happens.
Although endometriosis affects fertility, women can still conceive with the condition. If you have tried in vain to conceive with endometriosis for about six months, then it’s about time you meet a doctor for help. There are a variety of endometriosis treatments that can improve fertility and also help women conceive. Some of such treatment options include;
- In vitro fertilization: This is simply a process where doctors remove eggs from a woman and fertilize it with sperm to form an embryo in the laboratory. After fertilization, the egg is then implanted in the woman. Couples who have challenges getting pregnant as a result of endometriosis could successfully have a baby through this means.
- Egg freezing: This process involves getting eggs from the woman and preserving them in the laboratory. Because endometriosis affects the reproductive organs including the ovarian reserve, it becomes logical to preserve your eggs if you are not ready to get pregnant immediately.
- Superovulation and intrauterine insemination: This procedure is recommended for women with mild endometriosis and whose fallopian tubes are still intact. The process involves placing washed sperms directly into the uterus around the ovulation period.
- Medications: Certain medications such as Clomiphene or progestin injections may also be prescribed to help women with endometriosis conceive. Such medications are specially manufactured to help women produce at least two matured eggs.
- Ultrasound: Above all, women going through fertility issues caused by endometriosis may undergo ultrasounds regularly for doctors to determine when their eggs are matured.
Endometriosis may result in infertility issues but fortunately, there exists medical interventions and procedures to help women with the condition to increase their chances of conceiving.