So, you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a few months or maybe even years but you’ve had no luck. You’ve finally been diagnosed with endometriosis. Now what? You may be wondering, “Will I ever be able to have children?” Although there is no guarantee, the good news is that many women are still able to get pregnant with endometriosis.
Endometriosis affects around ten percent of women who are of reproductive age. It’s common for women to go years without ever knowing that they have it, especially if they do not have symptoms. In fact, endometriosis is one of the leading causes of undiagnosed infertility today. Here are a few things you should know about trying to get pregnant with endometriosis.
How does endometriosis affect fertility?
Endometriosis affects a woman’s uterus which is where the baby grows when you’re pregnant. The tissues of the uterine lining start growing somewhere outside of the uterus (ovaries, fallopian tubes or pelvic tissues). There are several ways that endometriosis can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. With endometriosis, increased amounts of inflammation can block the fallopian tubes and ovaries, preventing an egg from coming in contact with sperm. Another possible complication is that a fertilized egg may have trouble implanting into the uterus wall. In addition, endometriosis can damage the egg or sperm itself.
Can endometriosis be treated?
Yes – endometriosis can be treated. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), treatment is dependent on many factors. These include your age, extent of the disease, symptoms and whether or not you want to have children. Medication is typically used to alleviate pain, slow the growth of endometrial tissue and keep endometriosis from spreading. Medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hormonal medications such as birth control. Surgery is done to help improve fertility and relieve pain. Whereas medication cannot get rid of endometriosis tissue that is already there, surgery can help remove endometriosis implants. Note that surgery can help relieve pain, but there is a chance it will come back. Talk to your doctor about specifics related to your condition.
How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant?
If you were recently diagnosed with endometriosis but you still want to try and get pregnant, you should first talk to your doctor or a fertility specialist so that they can guide you and come up with a plan that’s best for you. Along with seeing a fertility specialist, there are some daily lifestyle factors that you can implement to give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant with endometriosis. By maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and lean proteins and exercising moderately on a daily basis, you can prepare your body for pregnancy.
Many women with varying stages of endometriosis, genetic factors and other risk factors have been successful at conceiving and delivering a healthy baby and you can too! With some careful planning and the help from your physician or a fertility specialist, getting pregnant with endometriosis is possible. You can also check out a previous blog for tips on when to take a pregnancy test.
Information in this article is not intended to be used as medical advice, but instead for thought and consideration. For more information, please consult your provider for more guidance on fertility planning, medications, treatments and surgeries with endometriosis.