If you’re a woman, you’ve probably heard the word endometriosis at some point. Even though it’s a common gynecological condition, though, it’s often poorly understood and underdiagnosed. In fact, at least 1 in 10 women has this common issue during their reproductive years, but many don’t know until they have problems getting pregnant.
At The Association for Women's Health Care, our experienced team can help you recognize the signs of endometriosis and protect your fertility. Here’s how endometriosis can affect your ability to get pregnant.
When you have endometriosis, the endometrium — the tissue lining the inside of your uterus — starts growing in other areas. These places can include your ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic lining, and even organs, like your bladder and intestines.
Having displaced endometrial tissue causes problems because, even though it no longer grows inside your uterus, it still responds to estrogen. That means it continues having a menstrual cycle each month, with thickening and shedding endometrial tissue. But, with nowhere to go, this discharged tissue can remain trapped in your abdomen, causing irritation, pain, and scar tissue to develop.
When you have endometriosis, your symptoms can vary from mild to severe, but they don’t indicate the extent of your condition. So, even if you have mild symptoms with minimal pain, you could have extensive endometriosis.
Common symptoms of endometriosis include:
Unfortunately, because endometriosis can resemble other conditions, including ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease, many women don’t receive a diagnosis until they experience fertility problems.
Between 10-18% of couples struggle to become pregnant or deliver successfully. For many women, endometriosis is to blame.
When you have endometriosis, it can affect your ability to become pregnant in several ways, including:
These issues not only affect your ability to conceive; they can also increase your chances of miscarriage, especially if you have mild forms of endometriosis.
While endometriosis can affect your fertility, it doesn’t exclude you from having children. However, it’s important to know that it could take more work and specialized care, but we can help.
To learn more about endometriosis, schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois, by calling or booking online today. You can also send our team a message here on our website.