How Endometriosis Might affect Your Fertility

Written by yvonnethornton on December 6th, 2012

When you’re trying to get pregnant to become a mom for the first time, you feel as though you won’t let anything get in your way. You’ll stick to a proper diet, you’ll avoid alcohol, and you’ll time conception carefully so that ovulation lines up with each attempt. However, past conditions can sometimes affect your ability to conceive. Endometriosis is one such condition, and women who have had it in the past often have a difficult time getting pregnant, even if they’ve undergone surgical procedures to reverse the effects of the condition. Endometriosis is, in fact, the most common cause of infertility in women over 25 years of age.

If you’ve had endometriosis at any point in your past, you might have undergone laparoscopic surgery to remove the excess tissue that causes the condition. Depending on the severity and the stage of endometriosis, even if all excess tissue has been removed, your ovarian reserve may be significantly lower than that of a woman who has never had the condition. While this won’t necessarily cause infertility, it will certainly make conception more difficult. Conception is partly up to chance as it is, so a limited ovarian supply will make the process much more difficult.

If you’ve had endometriosis and you’re trying to get pregnant, talk to your physician, preferable a reproductive endocrinologist, about fertility treatment options.  With the right combination of treatments, you’ll be able to conceive, though it might take you longer than the average woman. .  In vitro fertilization is a viable alternative in those women who are infertile by virture of  having severe endometriosis.  As long as you and your partner are both committed to making serious attempts though, you can become pregnant even after going through surgery for endometriosis. Since the condition directly affects the reproductive system in women, it’s impossible to tell just what effect it might have on fertility without close evaluation by a trained reproductive endocrinologist.

If you’re hoping to be a mom someday soon, endometriosis can be a major road block. However, by following your doctor’s advice and staying committed to a fertility treatment plan, you can increase your chances of becoming pregnant despite the setbacks of the condition.   For more information about endometriosis, read my women’s health book, “Inside Information for Women”.

-Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., M.P.H


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