Many women living with endometriosis have difficulty conceiving. While some women with mild endometriosis may easily get pregnant, others may find it difficult without medical intervention. Fertility treatment can help those struggling with endometriosis and infertility realize their dreams of parenthood. If endometriosis is impacting your ability to conceive, fertility treatment may help. For more information about fertility treatment and endometriosis, schedule a consultation with the Dallas, TX Center for Assisted Reproduction.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disorder in which the endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, grows on the outside of the uterus. With endometriosis, the endometrium outside of the uterus continues to act as it would inside the uterus, thickening and shedding with each menstrual cycle. When the endometrial tissue outside of the uterus sheds, it cannot exit the body, often resulting in abdominal pain and potentially causing fertility problems. Endometriosis can also cause cysts to develop around the ovaries or cause the surrounding tissue to scar and form adhesions.
The Symptoms of Endometriosis
The most common symptom of endometriosis is severe pelvic pain that may increase over time. This pain is worse than the general cramping felt during menstruation. Other possible symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Heavy bleeding during menstruation
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain with intercourse
- Pain with bowel movements or urination
Endometriosis and Infertility
It is possible for women with endometriosis to conceive naturally; however, as many as 50 percent of women with endometriosis will have difficulty getting pregnant. This is because endometriosis can obstruct the fallopian tubes and interfere with conception. In addition to preventing pregnancy by blocking the sperm cell from the egg, endometriosis can cause damage to the sperm cell or egg, further impacting fertility.
Fertility Treatments for Endometriosis
For many women with endometriosis, conceiving may not be possible without medical intervention. Fortunately, fertility treatments are available to help women with endometriosis conceive. These treatments include intrauterine insemination, or IUI, and in vitro fertilization, or IVF.
- IUI: Women with mild to moderate endometriosis may successfully conceive through IUI treatment. With IUI treatment, semen is inserted into the uterus via a small tube placed through the cervix at the time of ovulation.
- IVF: IVF treatment can help women with mild to severe endometriosis become pregnant. IVF treatment can be successful even when the fallopian tubes are blocked, which is common in women with endometriosis. With IVF treatment, the woman's eggs are harvested and mixed with the man's sperm, resulting in a fertilized egg. The fertilized egg is then placed into the uterus through the cervix.
Is Fertility Treatment Right for You?
Fertility treatment has helped many patients’ dream of parenthood become reality. If you and your partner are struggling with infertility, treatment from the Center for Assisted Reproduction may help. For more information about fertility treatment, please contact our team today.