Endometriosis is a condition in which the type of tissue that lines the uterus grows in areas outside the uterus. It can cause stomach or pelvic pain, heavy, irregular or painful periods, pain when passing urine or stools, and pain during sex. There are also connections between endometriosis and infertility, and endometriosis and pregnancy. For example, in those with endometriosis, fertility may be negatively affected, making it harder to get pregnant. Likewise, for women with endometriosis, pregnancy may be more complicated.
Endometriosis and Fertility
Women with endometriosis who are attempting to get pregnant may ask, “Can endometriosis cause infertility?” The answer is that approximately 30% of women with the condition find it more difficult to get pregnant.
Doctors believe that there are a few reasons why endometriosis and infertility are linked. One is that the scar tissue produced by the condition may interfere with the function of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Another is that the inflammation caused by endometriosis may affect the hormones that play a role in becoming pregnant. The result of these two factors is that for women with endometriosis, fertility may be decreased.
Endometriosis and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is possible with endometriosis. However, the condition may affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant and also how she feels throughout her pregnancy.
Women with endometriosis can become pregnant without any medical intervention. There are also procedures like laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial tissue that can both decrease symptoms of the condition and improve fertility.
What women find with endometriosis and pregnancy is that the painful periods and heavy menstrual bleeding stop. In some cases, they also get relief from other symptoms. This may be the result of higher levels of progesterone causing the endometrial growths to shrink. So, for women with endometriosis, pregnancy may improve their condition in some ways.
On the other hand, the condition can increase the chance of high blood pressure, bleeding late in the pregnancy, premature birth, and low birth weight. Consequently, care teams pay careful attention to endometriosis and pregnancy risks.
Regarding endometriosis after pregnancy, the condition often comes back in women who had fewer symptoms while pregnant. It can also make it more difficult to become pregnant again.
Having endometriosis can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to become pregnant. Fortunately, there are multiple treatment options for the condition. Baptist Health doctors have expertise in this area and can answer questions you have about endometriosis and fertility or pregnancy.
Learn more about endometriosis from Baptist Health. Here you will find information about treatment options as well as find a women’s health services provider.