Is Endometriosis Impacting Your Fertility?
Most women are no stranger to discomfort during menstruation. Dealing with mood swings, bloating, and mild cramps are all normal during your cycle. But for 1 in 10 women in the U.S., that time of the month can be particularly painful due to endometriosis. For many, it can even impact their ability to complete their daily routine. But what is endometriosis? And how can it impact your health? The fertility experts of IVF FLORIDA are here to discuss endometriosis and its impact on fertility.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus, is found in places it shouldn’t be – namely, outside the uterus. While endometrial cells are most commonly found in the abdomen and pelvic cavity, endometrial cells can wander as far as the arms, thighs, lungs, and other areas
What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?
Mild discomfort during parts of your menstrual cycle is perfectly normal, but women with endometriosis often experience pain that can interfere with everyday activities. Some symptoms include:
- Very Painful Periods: Many women suffering from endometriosis experience severe and at times incapacitating menstrual pain.
- Gastrointestinal Distress: Cramping, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation, especially around your period, can indicate that endometrial cells are in the GI tract.
- Frequent Urination: The frequent need to urinate during your period can indicate endometrial lesions on the bladder.
- Pain with Increased Bleeding: Intense pain during menstruation and very heavy periods, sometimes with clots, can be a result of the endometrial growths reacting to hormones your ovaries produce during menses.
- Breathing Discomfort: Endometrial cells can move to a woman’s diaphragm, causing painful breathing and intense discomfort when trying to move the upper body or upper arms during menstruation.
While women with endometriosis often experience one (or all) of these symptoms, others may show no outward symptoms of the disease.
How does endometriosis impact fertility?
Depending on the location and severity of the endometriosis, the disease can negatively impact a woman’s fertility. If endometrial lesions are located in the fallopian tubes, it can make it difficult for a man’s sperm to connect with a woman’s egg. Even in cases where there is little or no scarring in the fallopian tubes, endometriosis can make conception challenging. A woman typically has a 20% chance of conceiving each month, endometriosis may make that chance drop as low as 10%.
What to do if you think you have endometriosis
Unless your endometriosis has formed a cyst called an endometrioma (which can be seen on a sonogram), the only way for your doctor to diagnose you with the disease would be through laproscopy. This is a minor procedure in which a scope is inserted into your abdomen to look for endometrial cells growing outside the uterus. During the laproscopy, your physician can treat any endometriosis by removing the lesions.
For women concerned about the impact of endometriosis on their fertility, it is important to catch and treat it early on. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned each month during your period, we encourage you to contact the fertility experts of IVF FLORIDA at 866.770.2168 or request an appointment to be tested for endometriosis.