Some 6.5 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 have endometriosis, making it a common condition. Endometriosis can be quite stressful, and it can disrupt your life. It may also affect your ability to get pregnant.
Dr. Parisa Pourzand and her staff treat endometriosis and also provide prenatal services. Happily, some of our endometriosis patients need our prenatal services. In this post, we look at how endometriosis can impact your fertility, as well as what you need to know if you have it and you’re considering pregnancy.
Your endometrium is the lining of your uterus. Each month during your period, you shed your endometrium. If you’re pregnant, a fertilized egg implants in your endometrium and begins to grow.
When you have endometriosis, your endometrium grows in places it shouldn’t, like outside your uterus, on your fallopian tubes, or on your ovaries. When it’s time to shed, your endometrium may not be able to get out of your body. The result can be very painful periods that are especially heavy or last longer than they should.
Controlling your symptoms so that you can live comfortably is our goal in treating endometriosis. That could mean taking pain medication, or some women find relief from using hormonal birth control. In some instances, a procedure called ablation, which removes your endometrium, can help. Some women choose to have a hysterectomy.
Of course taking birth control, or having an ablation or hysterectomy, can make it impossible to become pregnant. Dr. Pourzand may suggest a more conservative surgery depending on your goals. Any surgery can cause scarring, though, so it’s important to make sure Dr. Pourzand is aware you may want to become pregnant when discussing treatment options.
If you have endometriosis and you want to become pregnant, you may feel overwhelmed, but don’t give up hope. Many women who have endometriosis have healthy, successful pregnancies. The research into whether or not you face a greater risk of complications if you have endometriosis has been inconclusive.
If you struggle to conceive, there may still be options. If you’ve been having unprotected sex for six months or more and you have endometriosis, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Pourzand to discuss your situation.
Around 40% of women who are struggling with infertility have endometriosis. Fertility medications, in vitro fertilization, and other treatments are available. The best one for you largely depends on the severity of your condition, as well as where your endometrium is growing.
If you have questions about endometriosis and pregnancy, schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns with Dr. Pourzand. She’s happy to answer your questions in the context of your situation and has offices in Glendale and Los Angeles.