Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue in your uterus grows where it doesn’t belong. For example, it may grow on the outside of your uterus or on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, or intestines.
Unfortunately, endometriosis may interfere with your ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term. Almost 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis.
For women struggling with endometriosis, treatment can often help improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy. At Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Susan Crockett specializes in fertility-sparing endometriosis surgery that relieves her patients’ symptoms and makes it easier for them to conceive.
About 10% of women have endometriosis. Because endometrial tissue responds to the hormonal changes of your menstrual cycle, it builds up and breaks down each month just as the tissue inside of your uterus does.
Over time, the monthly buildup and breakdown of endometrial tissue outside the uterus may lead to scarring on your reproductive organs. This scar tissue, also known as implants or adhesions, can reduce your ability to get pregnant by interfering with the mechanics of conception.
Endometriosis may also cause cysts to form in your ovaries, which can inhibit their ability to release healthy eggs.
And when scarring occurs on your fallopian tubes, it can raise your risk of ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants in your fallopian tube instead of your uterus. Ectopic pregnancies end in miscarriage and may endanger your life.
There is no cure for endometriosis, but doctors can often treat it with pain medication and hormonal drugs such as birth control pills or other hormonal therapies.
But if you want to get pregnant, you can’t take hormone-based drugs. And if you have endometrial implants that prevent pregnancy, having them removed usually offers the best path forward toward a successful pregnancy.
At Virtuosa GYN, Dr. Crockett focuses on endometriosis treatments that preserve fertility. If you require surgery to remove your endometrial implants, Dr. Crockett specializes in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries — such as endometriosis resection — that get rid of as much scar tissue as possible without damaging your reproductive organs.
During laparoscopic endometriosis resection, Dr. Crockett inserts a thin instrument known as a laparoscope into your pelvic cavity through a small incision in your belly. Fitted with a lens that lights up, the laparoscope magnifies the organs in the pelvis, allowing her to view endometrial implants.
The laparoscope also contains a tube that holds surgical instruments. Dr. Crockett uses these instruments to remove endometrial implants.
Because this procedure is minimally invasive, most women experience few of the side effects that can occur with traditional endometrial surgery, such as bleeding and infection. Recuperation occurs much faster than it does with open surgery, which means you spend less time away from work, school, family, and other responsibilities.
If you have ovarian cysts (endometriomas) caused by endometriosis, Dr. Crockett can also remove these during laparoscopic treatment.
To find out more about your endometriosis treatment options, call Virtuosa GYN or schedule a consultation online today.