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Here’s how endometriosis can affect your chances of getting pregnant

Updated on:28 August 2020, 17:53pm IST
Endometriosis is a painful condition that many women go through. Unfortunately, it also impacts fertility and your chances of getting pregnant.
Dr Ritu Hinduja
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Here’s everything you need to know about endometriosis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Women suffer from endometriosis when endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus on various sites such as the ovaries, bowel, and the lining of the pelvis. Hormonal changes caused by the menstrual cycle tend to affect the misplaced endometrial tissue, owing to which the area becomes inflamed and painful. This means the tissue will grow, thicken, and break down just like your endometrial lining. Over time, the tissue that has broken down has nowhere to go and becomes trapped in the pelvis region.

This condition can be categorized into one of four stages—minimal, mild, moderate, and severe—depending upon the exact location, extent, and depth of the endometriosis implants as well as the presence and severity of the scar tissue and also the presence and size of endometrial implants in the ovaries.

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This commonly occurring condition can give a tough time to women as it leads to irritation, scar formation, difficulty in conceiving, and painful periods. Thus, it is essential to tackle this condition at the right time by seeking immediate medical attention.

Endometriosis tends to influence fertility in many ways such as distorted anatomy of the pelvis, adhesions, scarring of the fallopian tubes, inflammation of the pelvic structures, altered immune system functioning, and altered egg quality.

endometriosis
Don’t take the symptoms of endometriosis lightly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Can Endometriosis be treated?
Endometriosis cannot be permanently cured but it can surely be managed with an appropriate line of treatment.  Pain managing medications, hormone therapy, laparoscopy (a minimally-invasive surgery) can be used to deal with it. You will be suggested a treatment based on the stage of the condition.

Does endometriosis mean infertility?
Infertility can be one of the complications of endometriosis. Some women having endometriosis may find it difficult to get pregnant, as for pregnancy to occur an egg must be released from an ovary, travel via fallopian tube, become fertilized by a sperm cell and attach itself to the uterine wall to start developing.

Having endometriosis may deteriorate the quality of eggs, disturb the tubo-ovarian relationship and hamper implantation of the fertilized egg, thus contributing to reduced fertility. Still, some women with mild to moderate endometriosis can conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. It is imperative for a woman with endometriosis to reach out and consult a fertility specialist. A suitable treatment will be given to the women to help her conceive.

How can one conceive with endometriosis?
Those with endometriosis having fertility issues can also get pregnant and deliver healthy babies with the correct treatment and medication.  The treatment may vary from person to person. Some patients may need fertility treatment such as IVF.

Also, listen:

IVF is commonly opted by couples who want to become parents and are facing challenges. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the types of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that works using a combination of medicines and surgical procedures in order to help sperm fertilize an egg after which the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus.

Discuss with your doctor about the treatment suitable for you and opt for one accordingly.

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Dr Ritu Hinduja Dr Ritu Hinduja

Dr Ritu Hinduja, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Mumbai