How Does Endometriosis Cause Infertility?

Endometriosis is a condition that can cause fertility issues in females. Those who want to get pregnant mighthave a hard time trying to conceive. The conception happens when the egg (ovum) of the female meets the sperm of the male. But due to the condition, the meeting does not happen.

The reason why endometriosis can contribute to infertility is that it can affect the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the uterus. During this condition, some tissues that are similar to the tissues that are present in the inner lining of the uterine wall grow abnormally and develop into endometrial implants within the uterus.

These implants form a thick wall around the uterus. It can also affect the fallopian tubes and ovaries, thereby affecting the quality of eggs (ovum). These implants can also contribute to the formation of cysts, fibroids, and scar tissues deep inside the reproductive organs, which impacts the individuals’ fertility. The scar tissues obstruct the pathways of sperm and prevent them from reaching the egg (ovum). The endometrial tissues interfere with the fertilization.

When to see a gynecologist?

The right time to consult a gynecologist is when you experience the symptoms of endometriosis, which are listed below:

  • Pain while menstruation – Pain and cramping during menstrual periods are very common. However, if the pain is intense and cramps are unbearable, then this condition is known as dysmenorrhea. The pain results because of the shedding of the endometrial-like tissues along with the blood. The pain and cramps felt during such as condition are not normal.
  • Heavy bleeding – Endometriosis can cause intermenstrual bleeding, wherein the person may suddenly start bleeding in between their periods. This causes excessive loss of blood, followed by pain in the pelvis.
  • Pain felt during bowel movements or urination – The pain can get intensified due to the bowel movements or while urinating.
  • Pain during sexual penetration – Sexual intercourse can cause irritation and stretching of the affected tissues, which can be a painful experience.
  • Failure to conceive.

Sometimes, endometriosis can remain asymptomatic in some females. But if they have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year and are unable to, then they must consult a gynecologist. The gynecologist will conduct a pelvis examination and suggest diagnostic evaluation tests to determine the root cause of infertility.

If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, which is the reason behind your fertility issues, then the condition can be managed and conception can be attained. Fortunately, timely treatment will prevent the progression of the condition. The treatment is generally given through medications, but if the condition has already progressed and become severe, then they surgical procedure will be needed.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

Diagnostic evaluation tests are crucial, as they help in determining the exact cause of the symptoms you are experiencing. These symptoms cannot confirm that the person has endometriosis because other disorders related to the reproductive system can also give rise to such symptoms. Therefore, to perform a confirmatory test for endometriosis the doctor will recommend several types of tests, which are as follows:

  • Pelvic examination – This is an initial test that is done manually. It does not reveal much, which is why other tests are done to confirm the disorder.
  • Ultrasound – This test generates detailed images of the inside of the reproductive organs and helps assess the cause of symptoms.
  • Laparoscopy – This is an invasive type of test, that is done by making small incisions in the body to insert a slender instrument, known as a laparoscope inside the pelvis to see the cause of symptoms.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan– This test creates 3D images of the insides, and helps in confirming the true reason behind the symptoms.

How is endometriosis treated?

  1. Medications – To make the pain and inflammation less severe, the healthcare provider will suggest some prescription or non-prescription (OTC)nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A combination of medications and hormonal therapy will be suggested to those, who are facing issues with fertility.
  2. Hormonal therapy – The pain and menstrual cramps get intensified due to the fluctuations in the hormones that trigger menstruation. With this therapy, the levels of such hormones can be decreased in the body and consequently, the pain and cramps will be alleviated.
  3. Surgery – When there is no improvement despite trying other techniques for treatment, the healthcare provider will suggest surgery. Two types of surgeries can be suggested, the first is a conservative surgery, which keeps the uterus and ovaries intact, another one is a hysterectomy, which involves the removal of the uterus.
  4. Fertility treatment – With this treatment, the eggs(ovum) of the individuals can be preserved for future use. They can be later implanted inside the uterus after fertilizing them externally with sperm, this can be achieved withthe in-vitro fertilization technique.

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