Endometriosis: Does It Cause Infertility?

Endometriosis: Does It Cause Infertility?

Women who have a hard time trying to conceive might have reasons to suspect endometriosis. Many times, endometriosis is the cause of infertility, and, unfortunately, this medical condition is not a rare one. Roughly 6-10% of women suffer from endometriosis, and most of them experience related infertility problems. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis refers to the appearance of cells from the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) outside the uterus, most of the times, on the ovaries. The cells from the uterus lining are influenced by the hormonal changes caused by the menstrual cycle. The same way, endometrium cells which flourish outside the uterus are affected by hormones and respond in similar ways to those in the uterus. That is why the symptoms of endometriosis usually get worse with menstruation. Sometimes, the outside cells might bleed at the time of menstruation.

Endometriosis symptoms

The most common and obvious symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain can occur in the abdomen, lower back, or rectal area. Some women also experience leg pain. The intensity of the cramps varies from mild to severe, and the extent of endometriosis is not necessary correlated with the severity of the pain. Some women don’t feel much pain, despite the advanced stage of their disease.

Other related symptoms are dysmenorrhea, which refers to painful cramps experienced during menstruation, dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), chronic pelvic pain, or frequent and painful urination. In severe cases of endometriosis, women also complain about very intense rectal pain. Some even say they experience a feeling of their insides being pulled out.

How it causes infertility

In most of the cases, endometriosis is associated with infertility, no matter the extent of the illness. The lesions caused by endometriosis might affect embryos and prevent their normal development.

Causes of endometriosis

Endometriosis is said to have genetic causes, and to worsen with aging. However, the way endometriosis is formed is not yet well known, although there are several theories.

Endometriosis diagnosis

In case you experience any of the symptoms of endometriosis, you should visit your healthcare provider immediately. Endometriosis can be diagnosed through physical examination and patient history. For an accurate diagnosis, the doctor might perform a laparoscopy, or use imaging tests like MRI and ultrasounds.

Treatments for endometriosis

The treatment for endometriosis depends on the severity of the disease and the desire of the patient to get pregnant or not. Patients who wish to become mothers can undergo surgery, because it has been shown that surgery doubles pregnancy rates in women with endometriosis. Fertility medication, IVF or intrauterine insemination might increase the chances of pregnancy even more.

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Monica Scott, BS, RN
Monica Scott, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.