If you have endometriosis, you may wonder how it will affect your fertility. This common condition affects more than 11% of women of reproductive age. In this condition, tissue similar to the lining of your uterus grows outside of it, often attaching itself to your fallopian tubes, ovaries, pelvic cavity, and other organs.
You may wonder if endometriosis will impact your ability to get pregnant. The answer is: It depends. Some women are still able to conceive a baby despite endometriosis. However, other women may need outpatient surgery to enable them to conceive. Dr. Darin L. Weyhrich explains how endometriosis may affect fertility and pregnancy.
What causes endometriosis?
Researchers don’t know exactly what causes endometriosis, but it appears to be related to inflammation in your body.
Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus appears in other parts of the body, such as in the pelvic cavity, on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or on other organs. Endometriosis is ranked according to its severity in stages I-IV. Stage I is less serious than stage IV.
Because endometriosis can cause adhesions and scar tissue on your other organs, we recommend that if you want to get pregnant, you come in for treatment options sooner rather than later — after six months of trying.
How endometriosis impacts fertility
If you have endometriosis, you may have more difficulty getting pregnant than a woman without endometriosis. You can indeed still get pregnant, but your chances are slightly reduced. Between 30-50% of people with endometriosis do experience infertility.
In comparison, your chance of getting pregnant is about 10-20% per cycle if you don’t have endometriosis, while those with endometriosis have a 1-10% chance.
If you do conceive a baby with endometriosis, your pregnancy might require more monitoring than usual. Women with endometriosis are more likely to experience certain complications during pregnancy, such as the following:
Women with endometriosis are much more likely than women without it to suffer from a miscarriage. Women with endometriosis are more likely to miscarry than those without the disorder. Studies found that women with endometriosis are up to 80% more likely to experience a miscarriage.
An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, making it impossible for the baby to develop, and can quickly become a life-threatening emergency. Women with endometriosis are more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy. According to a meta-analysis of 15 studies, women with endometriosis have a 2.66% higher risk of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. Another study found that endometriosis is associated with a 46% higher risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Women with endometriosis are more likely to have gestational diabetes than women without it. While gestational diabetes can be well-controlled, it increases your risk of having a larger-than-average baby and increases your odds of developing diabetes later in life.
About 50% of women with gestational diabetes will later go on to develop type 2 diabetes, but you and your doctor can regularly monitor your blood sugar to catch it early and prevent complications.
Women with endometriosis are also more likely to have problems with their blood pressure during pregnancy, including hypertension and the serious complication of preeclampsia. Pregnant women with endometriosis are at increased risk from blood pressure-related disorders, so we closely and carefully monitor your health.
Studies show that women with endometriosis were more likely to develop preeclampsia, so we monitor your blood pressure during pregnancy.
Assistance getting pregnant
If you’re trying to conceive and you have endometriosis, we offer several treatments that significantly increase your odds of getting pregnant.
Among these is intrauterine insemination (IUI), which bypasses the scar tissue that may be present. You may also choose to opt for ovulation-inducing drugs if you’re not regularly ovulating.
If you’re concerned about endometriosis and whether it’s affecting your fertility, contact Dr. Darin L. Weyhrich today or request an appointment online.