What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common condition where the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows in places outside of the uterus. This can result in inflammation and an immune reaction, which in turn can affect fertility.
Some people may not know they have endometriosis until they have difficulty trying to fall pregnant.
Common symptoms associated with endometriosis include:
- Painful periods.
- Premenstrual spotting.
- Heavy or irregular menstrual cycles.
- Pain with intercourse.
If endometriosis is suspected, a definitive diagnosis can be made by performing a laparoscopy. This allows a fertility doctor to visually identify and treat endometriosis.
Endometriosis and fertility
Not all women with Endometriosis experience infertility; however, it can affect:
- Ovary and tubal function.
- Egg quality.
- The ability of the embryo to implant in the uterus.
There are options available to treat Endometriosis, depending on the severity of your diagnosis:
- Laparoscopic surgery: a minimally invasive surgery to remove the Endometriosis. In many cases, women conceive naturally after this type of surgery, but IVF treatment is also an option if infertility continues.
- Management with medication: this aims to manage the symptoms of endometriosis but cannot improve infertility.
- Lifestyle changes: dietary changes and exercise can help improve the symptoms of endometriosis.