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Does Endometriosis Impact Fertility?

Each part of your body has a specific function and highly specialized cells that enable them to perform that function. So, what happens if cells from one location go rogue and invade another body part?That’s exactly what happened if you have endometriosis. Your uterine lining cells left your womb and wandered out of bounds, attaching themselves to other structures, such as your ovaries, pelvic ligaments, fallopian tubes, bladder, intestines, or peritoneal surfaces.

At IVFMD in Arlington, Irving, and Grapevine, Texas, our team of fertility experts treats women who suffer from endometriosis, helping them reduce the often-debilitating symptoms of pelvic and abdominal pain, severe menstrual bleeding, and painful sexual intercourse. But for many women, these problems pale in comparison to the one symptom they fear most — infertility.

Here, our team discusses how endometriosis may affect your fertility and what we can do about it.

Does endometriosis impact fertility?

Yes, it can. While many women become pregnant despite their condition, up to half of infertile women have endometriosis. Your ability to conceive depends on a variety of factors, and may also be linked to the stage of your condition and the location of the rogue endometrial tissues.

When examining you to diagnose or rule out endometriosis, we use transvaginal ultrasound, which gives us a visual tool to evaluate the severity of your condition. The criteria take into account the amount of endometrial tissue and scarring as well as its location, but not so much your pain level or amount of bleeding.

We score endometriosis as follows: stage 1 (minimal), stage 2 (mild), stage 3 (moderate), and stage 4 (severe). Generally speaking, the higher the stage, the lower your chance of conception.

Why does endometriosis affect fertility?

To get pregnant, your reproductive system must be firing on all cylinders. That means every aspect of the process has to occur without interference. Endometriosis has the ability to spoil the whole process at any point along the egg’s journey from the ovary to the uterine lining.

Although the exact correlation between endometriosis and infertility is unclear, we do know that endometriosis triggers several issues that inhibit fertility, such as:

  • Scar tissue buildup
  • Distorted pelvic anatomy
  • Adhesions
  • Inflammation
  • Altered immune system
  • Hormonal changes that affect the eggs
  • Decreased egg quality
  • Implantation impairment

If you have endometriosis and have been unable to get pregnant, it’s time to seek the help of our caring and experienced professionals here at IVFMD.

Hope for pregnancy despite endometriosis

One of the procedures we perform to evaluate the severity of your endometriosis is laparoscopy, an outpatient exploratory surgical procedure that allows us to get a better view of the adhesions, including their size and locations.

Often, we can excise the implanted tissues during the laparoscopy procedure, which may be all it takes to clear the way so you can get pregnant.

If you only have stage 1 or stage 2 endometriosis and haven’t succeeded in getting pregnant, the next step may be ovulation induction followed by intrauterine insemination. This shortens the time between ovulation and conception and may increase your chances of conceiving.

For stage 3 and stage 4 endometriosis, your best bet is in vitro fertilization.

If you live in or near the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, you have access to IVFMD, one of the leading fertility facilities in the state. We use the most advanced technology in a warm and caring environment to help make your family-building dreams come true. We’ve helped thousands of women and men with a wide range of fertility issues — and we can help you, too.

To schedule a consultation, contact us at any of our three Texas centers or book your appointment online today.

Sy Le, M.D.
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