Endometriosis doesn’t just cause heavy periods and pelvic pain. While its symptoms can be bothersome, additional challenges that come with having endometriosis can affect you in other ways.
Around 30-50% of women with endometriosis have trouble getting pregnant. In fact, endometriosis is among the top causes of infertility in women.
The condition is the result of the endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, growing where it isn’t supposed to. Along with swelling and adhesions, endometriosis can affect the function of your fallopian tubes, uterus, or ovaries.
Getting pregnant may not be entirely impossible, but it will be more challenging.
Our expert team at The Association for Women’s Health Care in The Loop in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois, provide minimally invasive laparoscopy surgery to diagnose and evaluate endometriosis and can use the technique to surgically remove the tissue if you’re a candidate for treatment.
We can also discuss options for fertility treatment if you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Do you want to know more about endometriosis and what you can do to increase your fertility? Here’s our brief guide.
Know the signs of endometriosis
Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes endometriosis, but they understand the damage it causes can be extensive.
When you have endometriosis, your endometrial tissue (the tissue lining the inside of your uterus) doesn’t just grow within the confines of your uterus. It can appear on various other organs and tissues in your abdominal cavity, becoming inflamed and shedding every month during your menstrual cycle, but with nowhere to go.
Symptoms can be severe but not always. In fact, severe symptoms don’t always indicate extensive endometriosis growth. While experiences with endometriosis vary, some of the most common signs are:
- Pain during periods
- Pain while using the restroom
- Pain during sex
- Heavy periods
- Chronic pelvic pain
You might not realize you have endometriosis until you visit a specialist for fertility treatments.
How endometriosis affects fertility
Endometrial tissue can grow anywhere in your abdominal cavity, and your reproductive organs aren’t immune. When endometrial tissue grows around your ovaries or inside your fallopian tubes, it can affect their function within the reproductive process.
Beyond the physical blockages that can occur from endometriosis, the condition can also alter your immune system and hormones. This makes conditions less viable for an embryo.
Surgically removing endometrial tissue can increase your likelihood of getting pregnant by breaking down these barriers.
Treatments to consider
We can use minimally invasive laparoscopy to remove the endometrial tissue along with any adhesions that have formed. Minimally invasive surgery requires less recovery time than open surgery and less postoperative pain. The scars will be smaller and less noticeable, too.
At The Association for Women’s Health Care, we provide assistive fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination and medications to increase egg production to further increase your likelihood of getting pregnant.
Simply come in for an evaluation so we can select treatments based on your medical history, needs, symptoms, and age. Medications, hormone therapy, and other treatments for managing symptoms are available, too.
Whether or not you’re aware you have endometriosis, our specialists can discuss fertility treatments with you and provide a detailed evaluation to explore the underlying cause of your infertility.
Call us or book a visit online today to learn more about the connection between endometriosis and infertility.