Is Pregnancy Still A Possibility?
Many women diagnosed with endometriosis immediately wonder: is pregnancy a possibility? Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrium, or uterine lining, grows outside of the uterus instead of inside. Women who have the condition may experience severe pelvic pain, excessive bleeding, or even infertility. But does endometriosis always lead to infertility? Can women still get pregnant?
Understanding the odds
About 30-50% of women who have endometriosis have trouble getting pregnant. The primary treatment for endometriosis is pain management. Yet, these options don’t help women get pregnant. However, there are a variety of treatment options that can help women improve fertility. Here are 3 facts to know about dealing with endometriosis.
1. You can decrease symptoms
Some lifestyle changes can improve endometriosis symptoms and make conceiving easier. For example, one study found that up to 12% of infertility cases were linked to being underweight, and 25% linked to being overweight. To maintain a healthy weight, try to exercise at moderate intensity a few times per week, eat nutritious meals, and prioritize sleep. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and limiting caffeine can all improve fertility as well.
2. There are surgeries besides hysterectomy
If other treatments are not improving endometriosis symptoms, women may opt for laparoscopic surgery. Unlike a hysterectomy, this procedure does not remove the uterus. Instead, the goal of the operation is to remove endometrial lesions while leaving healthy tissue intact. For some women, this may improve fertility.
3. You have infertility treatment options
Many women with endometriosis opt for infertility treatments. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one treatment option with a high success rate. The procedure can be particularly beneficial for women with endometriosis. This is especially true for those who still have difficulty getting pregnant after having a laparoscopy.
What causes endometriosis?
Experts don’t know for sure what causes endometriosis, although there are many theories. What experts do know is that there are specific risk factors that can increase a woman’s chances of having the condition. Typically, symptoms develop between the ages of 25-40 but can occur earlier. Women with a family history of the disease or who have never had children are more likely to have endometriosis.
There is hope
While endometriosis is not curable, many treatment options can make life easier. Additionally, lifestyle changes, surgery options, and infertility treatments can make pregnancy possible. For more information about managing endometriosis to get pregnant, speak with a healthcare provider or fertility specialist.