Approximately 30% of ladies with Endometriosis will also experience infertility– that being said, Endometriosis is one of the leading causes of infertility among women. But why does Endometriosis create this problem? How do the endometrial implants found outside the uterus affect the chance of pregnancy? How can we improve a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant if we know she has Endometriosis?
Scarring and Adhesions: When endometrial cells travel outside the uterus and attach onto nearby organs, they can create scarring and adhesions. This can cause organs to be pulled abnormally or develop blockages, making ovulation and pregnancy difficult. We oftentimes see ovaries affected by endometrial implants. Sometimes ovary surgery is successful, sometimes the damage is too extensive.
Inflammation: Endometrial implants that become embedded in tissue (like the uterine wall or ovaries, for example) can cause swelling and inflammation. Inflammation can make ovulation difficult and can make it hard for any embryo to implant.
Hormones: Women with Endometriosis tend to have lower counts of AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) and higher FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) a combination that makes pregnancy less likely. In addition, many Endometriosis sufferers have fewer eggs in their ovaries from hormonal imbalance and the presence of endometrial implants affecting the area.
How to Improve Fertility: There is no official procedure for how to improve fertility. It depends on each individual woman, how severe her condition is, how aggressive she wants to be, and the size and placement of any implants. If endometriomas are found on the ovaries a decision will need to be made if/when to remove them as this type of surgery comes with its own risks. It needs to be a discussion between you, your partner, and your specialist(s).
Please visit Endo Found’s website to read the article that inspired this blog post. https://www.endofound.org/endometriomas-what-you-need-to-know