Whether you want to have a baby now, or are considering falling pregnant in the future, if you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, questions regarding your fertility may be on your mind.
First of all, let us reassure you, it is possible to fall pregnant with endometriosis.
However, endometriosis can affect fertility and about 1 in 3 women with this condition can experience problems when trying to conceive.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that which normally lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body, usually in the pelvic cavity. During a period, when the lining is shed, this tissue outside the uterus also bleeds.
When this bleeding occurs, inflammation, scar tissue, cysts and adhesions are formed. Over time and with subsequent menstrual cycles, the scar tissue increases and can immobilise organs, fuse organs and cause damage to the fallopian tubes.
When you have endometriosis you can fall pregnant naturally, however endometriosis can affect fertility.
Adhesions caused by endometriosis may in some cases block the fallopian tubes, or stop them functioning properly. Inflammatory substances can affect the quality of the eggs and sperm, as well as fertilisation, implantation and embryo development.
Medication isn’t known to improve fertility if you have endometriosis, but you can naturally boost your fertility by eating the right food, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
Other options to improve fertility include laparoscopic surgery to remove the endometriosis as well as IVF treatment.
Laparoscopy is conducted under a general anaesthetic and during this procedure the surgeon examines the pelvic organs for endometriosis lesions. Diagnosis and treatment to remove the scar tissue may also take place.
At Grace Private our gynaecologists are highly experienced and specialise in minimally invasive procedures. This means the surgical incisions are very small with minimal cosmetic disruption and more importantly less pain than any open procedure.Our multidisciplinary team also includes physiotherapists, psychologists and a dietitian to help treat your condition and manage pain.
For a referral, remember to ‘Ask for Grace’ when you visit your GP.
We understand the frustration and emotions you may be experiencing if you’re struggling to conceive naturally. It’s not an easy time, but there is another option.
If you’ve been trying to fall pregnant for more than six to 12 months we recommend you speak with one of Grace’s fertility specialists about IVF treatment.
Here at Grace we partner with Monash IVF for fertility treatment, with several Monash fertility nurses working from Grace to accompany you on your fertility journey.
How endometriosis will affect your pregnancy is a common worry.
Despite the common myth, pregnancy doesn’t cure endometriosis and some women do continue to experience endometriosis symptoms during pregnancy. For others, symptoms can reduce or disappear due to the absence of periods, then return after breastfeeding.
Endometriosis has been linked to some complications during pregnancy, so it’s advisable to regularly visit your GP or obstetrician. At Grace our team of obstetricians and midwives will provide you with personalised care from your first ultrasound, through to delivery and beyond. You can be sure you’re in the right hands with Grace.
Trying to fall pregnant with endometriosis can be an emotional journey. If you’re experiencing distress don’t hesitate to reach out and have a chat to a counsellor or psychologist, alternatively there are many resources available from the following support and advocacy groups:
If you’d like to start your pregnancy journey with Grace Private, ‘Ask for Grace’ next time you visit your doctor.