Endometriosis is a common condition that affects many women across the United States. This condition causes a variety of symptoms and complications that impact your reproductive health significantly. Although endometriosis can affect your fertility, it is still possible to have a healthy pregnancy if you have endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that composes the lining of the uterus attaches itself to other organs. This can lead to pain, fatigue, bleeding between periods, and other symptoms. Endometriosis ranges in severity considerably, with some people experiencing only mild symptoms and others requiring hormonal therapy, surgery, or other treatments to deal with the condition.
How endometriosis affects fertility
If you have endometriosis, you may have a harder time getting pregnant. Endometriosis can cause swelling and scarring that makes it difficult for the egg and sperm to unite and/or for the resulting embryo to reach the uterus. Swelling and scarring in other locations can also create an inhospitable environment that makes a healthy pregnancy less likely.
Even with these obstacles, it is still possible for many women with endometriosis to get pregnant on their own. If you have trouble getting pregnant, you may benefit from certain treatments. For example, if you have scar tissue that is preventing pregnancy, surgery to remove this scar tissue may be beneficial. You may also need medication to produce more eggs and/or in vitro fertilization.
Pregnancy with endometriosis
Once you are pregnant, your endometriosis is unlikely to cause significant problems. In fact, many women notice that pregnancy improves their condition considerably and may even help with symptoms after birth. Endometriosis may slightly increase the risk of high blood pressure, bleeding in pregnancy, and small birth weight. However, most women with endometriosis are able to carry a baby safely and with minimal problems.
During your pregnancy, be sure to schedule regular check-ups as recommended for all other pregnant women. Be sure your doctor knows that you have endometriosis, so he or she can monitor you for any complications.
If you think you have endometriosis and you want to get pregnant, it is best to seek treatment from a physician. Most women with endometriosis will notice a worsening of symptoms over time, so it may be in your best interest to get pregnant as soon as possible once you are ready to have children. Ozark OB/GYN offers diagnosis and treatment to women with endometriosis. Please contact our office today to make an appointment.