Between 30-50% of women who have endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant. But there are treatments that can help. At Orange County Fertility Clinic, Dr. Sharon Moayeri and Dr. Nidhee Sachdev have helped many patients with endometriosis understand their condition and what their options are when they are ready to have a baby.
Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible to have endometriosis and not know until you try to conceive. About one in 10 women have endometriosis, but even though it’s so common, it isn't well-understood and is often not diagnosed.
What endometriosis is and what it does
The lining of your uterus is called the endometrium. It’s a thin tissue that normally sheds during your period. If you have endometriosis, the endometrium starts growing in places it doesn’t belong, like your ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and even on your organs like your bladder and intestines.
When you have your menstrual cycle, this misplaced tissue tries to thicken and shed as if it were inside your uterus. But, with nowhere to go, this tissue remains trapped and causes irritation, pain, and scar tissue.
The symptoms of endometriosis
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms with endometriosis. The intensity and severity of symptoms can vary as well. However, neither your symptoms nor their severity indicate the extent of your condition.
Some common symptoms include:
- Painful periods
- Pelvic pain
- Excessive bleeding during menstruation
- Bleeding between periods
- Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or bloating
- Pain during bowel movements or urination
- Pain during or after intercourse
One of the problems with endometriosis is that it can mimic other conditions such as ovarian cysts or pelvic inflammatory disease. This is one of the reasons that many women don’t get a diagnosis until they try to get pregnant.
Your fertility and endometriosis
If you want to get pregnant and you’re struggling, you have company. Between 10-18% of couples have problems conceiving and successfully delivering a baby. In at least some of those cases, endometriosis is to blame.
When you have endometriosis, it may affect your ability to get pregnant in various ways, including:
- Changing the structure or shape of your reproductive organs
- Triggering inflammation in your pelvis or throughout your body
- Reducing the quality of your eggs
- Interfering with egg implantation
- Causing changes in the hormonal environment of your eggs
- Altering how your immune system functions
In addition to making it harder to become pregnant these issues can also increase the chance you’ll have a miscarriage, especially if you have a mild form of endometriosis.
Although endometriosis can impact your fertility, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have children. You may simply need more specialized care and it may take some work. But, we can help.
To learn more about endometriosis and infertility, book an appointment at Orange County Fertility Clinic. You can book online at your convenience, or you can call 949-706-2229 between 7:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, or on Saturday between 8 am and 12 pm.