Endometriosis is a medical condition that occurs when the type of tissue that lines the inside of your uterus grows in places where it doesn’t belong. Endometrial tissue may grow on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or even your intestines or bladder.
Endometriosis, which affects about 10% of women in the United States, is a top cause of infertility. As many as 40% of women with endometriosis experience some degree of infertility.
If you have endometriosis and are worried about whether you’ll be able to get pregnant, rest assured that treatment can help many women with endometriosis have successful pregnancies.
At Virtuosa GYN, we’re experts at diagnosing and treating endometriosis. Read on to learn more about how endometriosis can impact fertility.
Having endometriosis can affect your ability to conceive a baby and have a healthy pregnancy in several ways, including the following:
When endometrial tissue grows outside of your uterus, it can lead to the development of what are known as implants or adhesions. These are clumps of scar tissue that grow in the pelvis.
When implants occur on your fallopian tubes or your ovaries, they can interfere with the processes necessary for conception. Scar tissue can prevent an egg from becoming fertilized, traveling through the fallopian tubes, and implanting itself normally in the uterus.
Endometriosis may also lead to the formation of ovarian cysts that can interfere with the development of healthy eggs.
Scar tissue can raise the risk of a condition known as ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg implants itself in a fallopian tube rather than traveling through the tube to the uterus for implantation.
Ectopic pregnancies, which can be dangerous for the mother, end in miscarriage.
Endometriosis may also trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals that could affect the quality of your eggs. These chemicals may even attack and kill sperm. And they can create an environment that is unwelcoming to fertilization and to the normal implantation of a fertilized egg in your uterus.
If you have endometriosis and want to get pregnant, your care providers at Virtuosa GYN focus on fertility-sparing solutions that address your endometriosis without the types of drugs or surgery that suppress fertility.
One treatment option is surgery that removes endometrial adhesions. Here at Virtuosa GYN, we specialize in minimally invasive robot-assisted surgical techniques.
The benefits of this type of surgery include smaller incisions, faster recovery time, less pain and bleeding, and a lower risk of infection than traditional open surgery.
During endometrial surgery, your surgeon carefully removes adhesions through tiny incisions in your abdomen. The goal of fertility-sparing surgery is to eliminate as much scarring as possible without negatively affecting your reproductive organs.
Some women with endometriosis who wish to get pregnant can benefit from fertility treatment. This may include taking medications to support ovulation or doing in vitro fertilization (IVF). During IVF, your egg is fertilized by your partner’s sperm in a laboratory and then implanted in your uterus.
The compassionate, experienced care providers at Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, can help you with all of your endometriosis and fertility concerns. We offer a full range of diagnostic and treatment options, including minimally invasive procedures. Call us to schedule an appointment.