Endometriosis results in the development of abnormal cells in the lining of the uterus and outside of it, usually in the abdomen, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and ligaments supporting the uterus. The exact cause of this disease is unknown, and endometriosis cannot be prevented. This condition affects 1 in 10 women worldwide, between the ages of 15 and 49 years.
Though many women who have endometriosis do not experience any symptoms, if the disorder advances, symptoms may include:
Endometriosis can affect fertility. Between 35%-50% of women with this condition have difficulty conceiving. Endometriosis can cause infertility in three ways:
Laparoscopy is a common method used to diagnose and remove endometriosis. Before this procedure, you will be given a general anesthetic, and your abdomen will be inflated with air. Your doctor will make several small incisions in your abdomen to insert a laparoscope (a tiny camera) and surgical instruments. All endometriosis growths and scar tissue are gently removed. It is recommended that you wait at least seven months after laparoscopy before you begin your IVF program to ensure the highest rate of success.
If you have endometriosis and you wish to start a family, IVF is a good solution. In vitro fertilization works just as well for women with this diagnosis as it does for those who do not have endometriosis.
When you begin IVF, you will need special monitoring, and your fertility medications must be managed very carefully because they can temporarily trigger symptoms of endometriosis. Becoming pregnant often relieves the discomfort of endometriosis, though once your child is born, you will need to resume your treatment.
If you have any questions about endometriosis and IVF or IVF in general, contact our fertility experts, and we will address your concerns and discuss your options.