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Does Endometriosis Cause Infertility?

Between 25-50% of women dealing with infertility have endometriosis, a condition that affects more than 11% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44. If you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect that you have endometriosis, it’s normal to have concerns about how the condition affects your ability to become pregnant.

At our Hoboken, New Jersey office, Dr. George Guirguis offers women the latest treatment options to manage symptoms of endometriosis and improve the chances of getting pregnant.

What is endometriosis?

A diagnosis of endometriosis often brings mixed feelings. Many women feel a sense of relief to have an answer for their symptoms, but have concerns about what the diagnosis means for their future fertility.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines your womb grows in other parts of your body. For most women with endometriosis, the tissue that makes up the uterine lining is found in the lower abdomen, or pelvis.

Why does endometriosis cause pain?

Menstruation stimulates the extra tissue growing outside of the womb, causing it to swell and shed. The problem is unlike the tissue shed from the uterus that exits the vaginal canal, the body can have trouble expelling the extra tissue growing elsewhere.  

A small percentage of women with endometriosis have no symptoms, though most experience:

Some women also notice other symptoms, such as:

Endometriosis and fertility 

Endometriosis can interfere with severity in various ways. Most commonly we notice that in some women, endometriosis can cause scar tissue to form. Inflammation and scar tissue can make it harder for your reproductive system to function as intended. For instance, scar tissue can grow into the ovaries, or it can block the Fallopian tubes.

Even a small amount of scar tissue can partially block the Fallopian tubes, preventing the successful passage of an egg and making it harder to become pregnant.

Dr. Guirguis can provide evaluate you for endometriosis, as well as fertility problems and discuss the best next steps in creating a plan of action to improve your fertility and manage your symptoms.

The severity of endometriosis impacts fertility

Having endometriosis doesn’t automatically mean that you will have trouble becoming pregnant. We define fertility problems as trouble getting pregnant within 6-12 months of trying. We find, and research confirms, that the risk of infertility rises with the severity of endometriosis.

Women with mild endometriosis may have no trouble becoming pregnant. Scarring usually isn’t seen in very mild to mild (stages 1 and 2) cases of endometriosis.

To evaluate severity of endometriosis, we use the following staging system:

Stages 3 and 4 are associated with scar tissue and ovarian cysts, making it easier to understand why pregnancy may become more difficult.

Improving your fertility

In women moderate-to-severe endometriosis, Dr. Guirguis may recommend surgical treatment to remove the extra tissue and cysts. This can help boost the chances of getting pregnant. If surgical treatment isn’t enough, Dr. Guirguis may recommend fertility options, such as in vitro fertilization.

Before starting any fertility treatment, Dr. Guirguis will perform a comprehensive fertility evaluation and discuss all the available options to help improve your chances of conceiving.

Many women with endometriosis have healthy pregnancies and deliveries. If you have endometriosis, there is hope.

Scheduling a consultation is a good first step to finding a solution to manage symptoms of endometriosis. Contact our Hoboken, New Jersey office at 833-732-1131 to schedule your visit.

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