Endometriosis is more common than you may think, affecting more than 176 million women, worldwide. Because endometriosis can be so painful and life-altering, it’s important to stay educated on its health effects. This is especially true when it comes to getting pregnant. Because endometriosis can impact your pregnancy, Dr. Samuel D. Van Kirk and his team are here to help you explore your options.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful disorder that causes tissue normally found in your uterine lining to grow outside of your uterus. Generally it is rare to find this tissue outside of your pelvic organs, but with endometriosis, uterine tissue can grow in your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and in the tissue lining your pelvis. This misplaced endometrial tissue thickens, breaks down, and then bleeds, just like it does in your uterus during your period.
How endometriosis impacts fertility
Because the blood in these misplaced areas has no way to leave your body, it becomes trapped, leading to scar tissue, adhesions, severe pain, and sometimes even infertility. But don’t despair—endometriosis does not guarantee infertility. Estimates say that 60-70% of women with endometriosis are still fertile, and effective treatment options are available.
Treatment options for endometriosis
There are a couple of different treatment options to consider if you’re suffering from endometriosis and looking to get pregnant. They range from more invasive to less invasive options, including:
Removing the misplaced uterine tissue through deep-excision surgery can improve infertility and may have your reproductive health functioning regularly again. However, there is no guarantee of this and no way of ensuring that surgery for endometriosis is definitely effective.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization is the most common form of assisted reproductive technologies. IVF entails collecting your eggs, fertilizing them with sperm in a lab, and then implanting them in your uterus.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination involves injecting a healthy sperm cell right into the uterus to ensure implantation and correct timing during your menstrual cycle.
Third-party-assisted reproductive technologies
These methods include things like using a surrogate or a donation of egg and sperm. They are helpful methods if you either don’t have healthy eggs or can’t carry a pregnancy to term. You can also use these methods in conjunction with other therapies.
Take charge of your endometriosis now
Endometriosis and infertility don’t have to control your life, or impact your decision to conceive. You do have options and Dr. Van Kirk and his team are here to help you address them with compassionate care and nearly 20 years of experience. Call us to schedule an appointment today.