Endometriosis is a chronic, progressive disease that can drastically lower a woman’s quality of life. Among the many symptoms of the disease, infertility is probably the most emotionally draining. However, with proper care and treatment, you can preserve your natural fertility. There are also several other reproductive options with endometriosis.
Why does endometriosis cause infertility?
There are several ways in which endometriosis can lead to infertility. These include hormonal changes, anatomical distortions due to lesions, improper implantation of the embryo, and the body’s constant state of inflammation.
Endometriosis also affects egg quality, especially in the case of endometriomas (or chocolate cysts). In fact, embryos that were fertilized from an egg donor with endometriosis implant less often in in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In some cases, dyspareunia or pain during intercourse can be excruciating. So some women may dismiss all hopes of being able to conceive naturally.
Laparoscopic excision surgery can help preserve fertility
Proper treatment of endometriosis can increase your chances of conceiving naturally.
At Seckin Endometriosis Center (SEC), oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) or hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is only a last resort. It is also important to remember that oophorectomy or hysterectomy alone will not fully treat the disease. This is because endometrial lesions can grow elsewhere as well.
Dr. Seckin’s team uses a patented Aqua Blue Contrast (ABC)TM technique that offers superior visualization of all endometrial lesions down to the root. Combined with cold excision, the team can remove all visible lesions to give the greatest symptom relief and increase your ability to conceive naturally.
Reproductive options for endometriosis patients
If a patient has trouble conceiving naturally, assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) can help. Some of these include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This involves injection of sperm directly into the uterus provided the fallopian tubes and ovaries are functioning well.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): IVF is the external fertilization of a woman’s own egg (or eggs from a donor) by a sperm cell in the laboratory and the implantation of the fertilized embryo into the uterus. Egg donation can be a viable option for you if you have low egg quality or dysfunctional ovaries.
- Surrogacy: Surrogacy is recommended in special cases where carrying the pregnancy is not safe for your health or if there are issues with uterine implantation (Asherman syndrome).
- Adoption: If all other options fail, adoption may be the only viable option. In this case, you should consider economical and legal implications of your choice as well as waiting periods that may be long.