There are many conditions that can interfere with a woman’s chances of achieving a successful pregnancy. One such condition is endometriosis. In fact, this medical condition is so serious that it can cause infertility in a woman.
What is Endometriosis?
If you will recall your human anatomy, the uterus is the reproductive organ in which the woman will carry her baby throughout pregnancy. When a mature egg is fertilized, it implants itself on the uterine wall, which is composed of two layers namely the endometrium and the myometrium. During the early phases of the menstrual cycle, endometrium starts to grow new cells and thicken in preparation for pregnancy. If implantation does not occur, the cells are shed off during menstruation.
In endometriosis, there is an abnormal growth of endometrial cells outside the uterus. Because they grow within the pelvic cavity, these cells are not shed off during menses and instead attach themselves to other reproductive organs, including the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and behind the uterus. This abnormal growth will eventually interfere with the woman’s chances of getting pregnant. There are a small percentage of patients with endometriosis who have achieved successful conception. However, majority will not be able to conceive despite medical intervention.
Women who are suffering from endometriosis may present with a number of symptoms, which includes the following…
- Cramping pelvic pain prior to or during menstruation
- Heavy menstrual flow
- Painful intercourse
If not treated promptly, it may lead to development of masses, cysts or lesions that will interfere with vital reproductive processes, including ovulation, sperm and ovum fertilization, and fertilized egg implantation in the uterus.
Getting Pregnant with Endometriosis
It is unfortunate that endometriosis symptoms can be so severe that it warrants intake of synthetic hormones and birth control pills which may further hinder pregnancy. If you want to get pregnant, it is strongly advised that you be thoroughly examined by your doctor.
The main treatment for endometriosis is surgical removal of the abnormal cells. However, because there is a high probability of these abnormal tissues growing back, it is vital that the couple attempt conception immediately after surgery.
In order to induce ovulation, a woman may be prescribed fertility drugs, such as Clomid or Serophene, as well as Zoladex, Synarel or Lupron. If conception cannot be achieved naturally, fertility treatments may need to be performed. One such treatment is in vitro fertilization or IVF, wherein the eggs are removed from the ovary and mixed with sperm in a laboratory dish. The fertilized egg is then injected directly into the uterus. The other recommended procedure is intrauterine insemination. Here, the chosen sperm are injected directly into the woman’s reproductive tract (either through the vagina, cervix or Fallopian tube) when ovulation has been detected. This will shorten the distance the sperm has to travel in order to fertilize the egg. Either of these two procedures may require additional treatment with fertility drugs to ensure a successful conception. Fertility experts have been found these combination treatments to be very effective in helping women diagnosed with endometriosis to conceive a child.
Learn more about how to get pregnant with endometriosis today!