Does Endometriosis Mean I Can’t Get Pregnant?
For many women, an endometriosis diagnosis causes fertility concerns. Endometriosis can make getting pregnant more difficult. About 40% of women who struggle with infertility also have endometriosis. And up to half of the women with endometriosis have a hard time getting pregnant without going through infertility treatment. Experts don’t know exactly why endometriosis affects getting pregnant. Inflammation in the uterine lining could damage sperm or interfere with movement. However, getting pregnant with endometriosis is not impossible.
What does endometriosis do to my body?
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue in the uterine lining grows in an abnormal place. For example, the endometrial lining may grow in the ovaries, intestines, or pelvic tissue. Endometriosis can cause severe pelvic pain and intense cramps. Women may also experience cysts, scar tissue, or adhesions in the endometrium.
When should I see my doctor?
Women with endometriosis who want to get pregnant may start seeing a healthcare provider right away. A healthcare provider may order blood tests such as the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test to show how many eggs a woman has left. Based on the results of these blood tests, a healthcare provider may recommend fertility treatments.
What are my infertility treatment options?
Many women who have endometriosis may opt for egg freezing early in life. Surgery to diagnose and treat endometriosis may reduce ovarian reserve, so some women opt to freeze eggs before having the procedure. Women may also start taking fertility medications to stimulate ovulation. Fertility treatments might also include intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
What are my chances of success?
About 50% of women experience pregnancy success with IVF, including women with endometriosis. Women can also increase the chances of conception by adopting healthy habits, such as regular exercise and eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Although getting pregnant with endometriosis is possible, healthcare providers generally recommend exploring treatment options sooner rather than later. The older a woman is, the more difficult getting pregnant will be.
Does endometriosis lead to pregnancy complications?
There are some risks that women with endometriosis should be aware of. Women who get pregnant with endometriosis have higher rates of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and cesarean birth. However, many women with endometriosis deliver healthy babies every day. There is still hope. For more information about getting pregnant with endometriosis, speak with a fertility specialist.