The problem could be endometriosis
Endometriosis is a common medical condition that affects women of childbearing age. The endometrium is the mucus membrane that lines the uterus and is discarded during menstruation. With endometriosis, the endometrium grows outside the uterus, impacting other body parts. The fallopian tubes, ovaries, and muscles that support the uterus develop this foreign tissue. In severe cases, endometriosis can move to other organs. The overgrowth leads to scar tissue, which can harm natural pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms of endometriosis
Endometriosis presents a range of symptoms and signs. These include pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, extended periods, fatigue, pain during sex, and more. In extreme cases, some women will notice bloody urine, bloody stools, or severe back pain. Endometriosis can make natural conception very difficult. The disorder is hard to diagnose as other medical conditions may present similar symptoms, such as pelvic inflammatory disease or ovarian cysts. With advanced imagining tests, doctors can quickly identify endometriosis and initiate treatment.
What are the chances of getting pregnant?
The overgrown tissue can impact the ability to get pregnant depending on the stage and severity of the condition. The location of overgrown tissue also plays a factor. Approximately 50% of women with endometriosis have infertility issues, with many having secondary infertility. The severity of endometriosis affects the likelihood of a successful pregnancy, and some women have more difficulty than others. Consult an OB/GYN or fertility specialist for individual concerns and treatment.
These treatment options can help
If a doctor confirms endometriosis is causing secondary infertility, there are some treatment options available. Pain management and hormone treatment are common first steps. However, hormone treatments may not help women trying to get pregnant. Instead, the doctor may suggest laparoscopy surgery. Laparoscopy uses a thin scope with a light and camera at the end. The surgeon can locate, remove, or destroy the endometrium tissue. After a few months of healing, the patient can try conceiving again.
IUI and IVF is a viable option
Surgery and medication are not always successful in managing endometriosis. For some candidates, a doctor may suggest IUI or IVF. With intrauterine insemination (IUI), the doctor inserts a washed sperm sample into the cervix. In vitro fertilization (IVF) circumvents any parts of the damaged organs. Fertility specialists fertilize an egg with a sperm cell outside the body. The embryos are then transplanted into the woman’s uterus. The success rates can be slightly lower based on the severity of the condition.
Endometriosis is not the end
Endometriosis is a serious condition that can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant. Secondary infertility is especially concerning for women who have had previous successful pregnancies. Moderate to severe cases can restrict pregnancy, but treatment options are available. With appropriate treatment, many women with endometriosis have achieved successful pregnancies.