If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you should be aware of endometriosis, a condition in which tissue from inside the uterus grows in places where it doesn’t belong.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, nearly 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis.
Lauren Rubal MD, a fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, would like to make sure you’re informed about endometriosis and its potential impact on fertility. She shares these five important facts about this condition.
If you have endometriosis, tissue from your uterine lining (endometrium) grows outside your uterus. This tissue may appear in various places within your pelvic area, including your bladder, ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, rectum, and elsewhere within your abdomen.
Approximately 10% of women of reproductive age have endometriosis. Although it can occur at any age, women are most likely to receive an endometriosis diagnosis during their 30s or 40s.
Endometrial tissue outside your uterus responds to monthly hormonal changes in the same way as tissue inside your uterus. That means it builds up and bleeds in response to estrogen. This can cause inflammation and swelling. Over time it can lead to the development of scar tissue known as adhesions.
Although endometriosis can cause symptoms such as pain, heavy periods, or gastrointestinal issues, some women don’t even realize they have endometriosis until they have trouble getting pregnant.
Inflammation and adhesions from endometriosis can contribute to infertility in several ways. For example, adhesions may block your fallopian tubes, and inflammation may harm sperm or eggs.
Medication and/or surgery can provide hope to women struggling with endometriosis-related infertility. In fact, many women with endometriosis go on to have successful pregnancies and healthy babies after receiving treatment.
Medication can reduce pain and some other endometriosis symptoms. Surgery may remove endometrial implants that get in the way of a successful pregnancy. If you still need help getting pregnant, ovulation drugs and assisted-reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization could help you conceive.
If you’re struggling to conceive, Dr. Rubal can help. She has extensive experience diagnosing and treating endometriosis and other causes of infertility. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rubal at our office in Newport Beach, California, call 949-415-6704 or use our online scheduling tool to make an appointment.