( 15 JUL 2016 )

I have Endometriosis. Can I still get pregnant?
A couple facing infertility comes across a variety of medical conditions when seeking treatment. Gradually, as the understanding of these conditions increases, the phobia diminishes, and this is where a fertility clinic can play a key role.
One of the conditions that causesinfertility in women is endometriosis, and the women who have it usually have this one big question- would I be able to conceive? If this is a concern for you, knowing more about endometriosis will help you solve the mystery and better understand your treatment options.

Understanding the Meaning of Endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a medical condition characterized by the growth of the endometrium (the tissue that lines the uterus) outside the uterus. Commonly, this abnormal tissue growth is seen in organs surrounding the uterus, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis or lower abdomen. In rare cases, the endometrial growth may extend beyond the pelvic region too. Normally, the endometrial lining in the uterus thickens during the menstrual cycle, and then sheds and gets expelled with bleeding during the period. If a woman has endometriosis, the abnormal tissue outside the uterus has no way to get out of the body, which results in internal bleeding and inflammation. Also, the disintegrated tissue may get deposited in the form of adhesions or scar tissue, causingvital organs to stick to one another and disrupting their normal function.
Though these adhesions are mostly non-malignant, they can cause issues like heavy and/or painful periods, pain during intercourse, general fatigue, painful defecation, and more alarmingly, interfere with a woman’s fertility.
The latter is a matter of concern and requires the patient to get good medical advice from a reliable fertility clinic. Shantah IVF has expert specialists who have successfully treatedhundreds of such cases and helped the patients get successful pregnancies with the right line of treatment.

What causes endometriosis?
Though endometriosis is one of the most common problems which millions of women encounter in their reproductive life, its exact cause has not been established till date.
A woman’s ovaries produce the hormone estrogen which leads to the thickening of endometrial lining so that the uterus is prepared for receiving the fertilized egg. There is a theory that supports the notion that excess estrogen production may be the key cause behind endometriosis.
Another theory states that it is normal for women to have excess tissue growth outside the uterus. While those with a strong immune system are able to expel this excess growth naturally, women who have a weaker immune system develop endometriosis.

Can I get pregnant if I have endometriosis?
Yes, a woman with endometriosis has fair chances of getting pregnant, provided she gets the right treatment and clinical support. In fact, those suffering from the mild form of the condition are able to conceive unassisted. When abnormal tissue growth occurs around the reproductive organs, it can have a negative influence over their function, for instance, endometrial tissue surrounding the ovaries can hamper the release of eggs while that around the fallopian tubes can stop the sperm from reaching the egg or the fertilized egg making its way to the uterus.
Another fertility related problem that may be seen due to endometriosis is the disruption of hormonal balance (specifically, of estrogen), which in turn leads to a host of fertility issues, including polycystic ovaries or PCOD.

Effective Treatment of Endometriosis
The advancement of reproductive technology has led to development of new techniques to combat a variety of infertility issues and endometriosis is one of them.
In cases where growth of endometrium has led to blockage of reproductive organs, surgical removal of the tissue has shown successful results in a majority of cases. There are two options here: an invasive surgery or a laparoscopic surgery. The latter makes use of advanced laser technique to get rid of the lesions and is less complicated and more effective. Women with severe form of endometriosis are recommended to opt for IVF, supported by treatment to correct hormonal imbalance. Women with mild endometriosis have benefitted from standard fertility medication therapy and may not require intensive fertility treatment.

In stage IV cases of endometriosis, hysteroscopy (removal of the uterus) may be seen as the only alternative. But doctors would not recommend it until the patient has already had children, isn’t ready to explore surrogacy or adoption, or doesn’t want children at all.

There’s still hope!
When it comes to the right choice of treatment for a woman looking to get pregnant despite endometriosis, it would be wise to rely on a reputed fertility clinic. The line of treatment may vary from case to case and what may be right for one may not be effective for the other.
Still, if you are fighting this condition, there is not a need to be disheartened, because with the right treatment, you can be bestowed with the joy of parenthood.
The good news is that when you do get pregnant and have a baby, the symptoms of endometriosis subside as the natural secretion of estrogen gets balanced during pregnancy and lactation.
Shantah IVF is a trusted fertility clinic with an excellent track record in treating patients with endometriosis successfully. Consult our fertility experts for a free second opinion on endometriosis.