Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Endometriosis?

Apr 18, 2024
Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Endometriosis?
Endometriosis makes it more challenging to get pregnant, but it’s not impossible. Learn how endometriosis affects fertility and what you can do to improve your chances of conception.

You can get pregnant if you have endometriosis. However, endometriosis is a common cause of infertility, making it more difficult for you to conceive

At CARE Fertility in Bedford and Fort Worth, Texas, our reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialists are experts at treating female infertility, providing many options that can help you grow your family. In this month’s blog, we address endometriosis, how it affects fertility, and what you can do to improve your chances of pregnancy.

What is endometriosis

More than 10% of women in the United States ages 15-44 have endometriosis, a gynecological condition in which tissue similar to the tissue that forms the lining of the uterus (endometrium), grows in places it shouldn’t. The displaced tissue is often found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and outer surface of the uterus. 

Every month during a woman’s menstrual cycle, the endometrium forms in preparation for pregnancy. When you don’t get pregnant, you shed the lining during your period. 

The displaced endometrial-like tissue grows and sheds like the lining of the uterus, too. However, the tissue is unable to exit the body, causing inflammation and eventually scarring of the reproductive organs.

Pelvic pain that gradually worsens over time is the most common symptom of endometriosis.

Endometriosis and infertility

More than 30% of women with endometriosis struggle with infertility. The more severe the endometriosis, the more likely you are to experience infertility. However, the gynecological condition affects fertility in many ways.

In the early stages of the disease, the inflammation that occurs with endometriosis may damage the egg or sperm or alter movement through the fallopian tube and uterus. These changes may then affect fertilization of the egg or implantation into the uterus. 

As the disease progresses, the inflammation causes scar tissue and adhesions that may block the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg and sperm from meeting. 

It’s also theorized that endometriosis affects immune function, causing an abnormal immune response that affects ovulation, fertilization, and pregnancy. 

Getting pregnant with endometriosis

Getting pregnant with endometriosis isn’t impossible, but it can be more difficult, and you may need assistance from infertility experts like us. Treatment for endometriosis varies and depends on the severity of the disease and may include surgery, hormone therapy, or assisted reproductive technology (ART). 

Surgically destroying or removing the endometrial growths and scar tissue can improve your chances of conception. You may also need to take birth control or estrogen-blocking medication to reduce endometrial growth before trying to get pregnant.

If your ovaries make healthy eggs, you may want to consider in-vitro fertilization (IVF). With IVF, we fertilize the egg in the lab, bypassing the inflammatory environment that makes it harder to get pregnant. We then implant the embryo into the uterus.

Endometriosis causes infertility, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. We offer comprehensive medical care and personalized treatment plans to help our patients with endometriosis have children. Call or request an appointment online at CARE Fertility today.