Can Endometriosis Affect My Fertility?

Endometriosis affects nearly one in 10 women across the United States and an estimated 200 million worldwide, causing painful periods and a variety of other issues that affect your reproductive health. Because the condition develops during your childbearing years, endometriosis can affect your ability to become pregnant.

Experienced gynecologist, Dr. Derakhsh Fozouni, is highly skilled in diagnosing and treating the many symptoms endometriosis causes, providing innovative solutions to reduce the severity of your symptoms and protect your overall health.

The impact endometriosis has on your life

Endometriosis is a condition that develops when the endometrium, your uterine lining, begins growing outside of your uterus. Tissue can spread throughout your pelvic cavity, covering your Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and pelvic lining.

Despite growing beyond your uterus, the endometrial tissue continues to function like it normally does, thickening and breaking down with each menstrual cycle. The problems begin because there’s nowhere for this tissue to go as it breaks down, and it becomes trapped in your body.

Trapped endometrial tissue can affect surrounding tissue, causing irritation and inflammation. You can also develop scar tissue and abnormal bands of thick tissue that bond pelvic organs together.

The warning signs of endometriosis

The first indication you may have endometriosis is unexplained pelvic pain. Initially, your pain may feel similar to your usual menstrual cramps, but over time, the condition can cause more severe, persistent pain.

Endometriosis can also cause severe pain and cramping during your periods, as well as excessive menstrual bleeding. You may notice pelvic pain increases during sex and during bowel movements or urination.

As a result of your endometriosis, you may also experience issues with:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

The symptoms of endometriosis may worsen during your period. For some, infertility is also a side effect of endometriosis.

Evaluating your fertility with endometriosis

If you’ve been actively trying to conceive a child for at least 12 months through unprotected sex without success, you may be diagnosed with infertility.

In many cases, Dr. Fozouni’s first diagnostic consideration for infertility issues concerns endometriosis. Even if you don’t have hallmark symptoms of endometriosis, he may request exploratory testing to evaluate your reproductive organs in search of excess endometrial tissue growth.

Although endometriosis doesn’t cause infertility, if you have the condition, it can significantly lower your ability to conceive a pregnancy. This may be due to the inflamed molecules that endometrial tissue produces, which can have a paralyzing effect on sperm and interfere with the fertilization of an egg.

You may also suffer infertility issues as a result of endometriosis tissue growth that causes changes in the structure of the pelvis or due to scar tissue that can block your Fallopian tubes, preventing the release of your egg.

In some cases, infertility can develop when endometrial tissue growth interferes with your ovulation, resulting in eggs becoming trapped in the ovaries, preventing fertilization.

Early treatment can reduce infertility risks

If you have endometriosis that isn’t advanced, Dr. Fozouni can offer treatment options that may improve your chances of successful conception. In some cases, a minimally invasive surgical procedure allows him to remove excess tissue growth to clear the way for fertilization.

The earlier you seek treatment for endometriosis, the more effective treatment can be. Once tissue growth spreads throughout your pelvic cavity and begins to cause severe pelvic pain, your only treatment option may be a hysterectomy to remove your uterus.

However, Dr. Fozouni usually considers a hysterectomy as a last resort and uses more conservative treatments to reduce endometriosis symptoms and improve your fertility.

If you have concerns about infertility or are dealing with symptoms of endometriosis, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fozouni today, using the convenient online booking feature or by calling the office.

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