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Can I Still Get Pregnant if I Have Endometriosis?

Can I Still Get Pregnant if I Have Endometriosis?

If you’ve decided to try to get pregnant, there’s a lot to think about — eating right, taking your prenatal vitamins, dreaming about what the nursery will look like, and much more.

What if, despite this wish, you have trouble getting pregnant? So many things can make conceiving difficult, like getting older, your partner having an issue, or living with a chronic gynecologic condition. 

One that affects between 5 and 10% of women ages 15-49 is endometriosis, which is when your uterine lining grows outside your uterus. It’s painful, and is often either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Knowing that endometriosis affects your fertility, you might wonder if it’s even possible to get pregnant if you’re living with this condition.

Fortunately, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Kevin Hooker has years of experience diagnosing and treating endometriosis, and he understands why and how this condition poses a challenge to women wanting to become mothers. Most importantly, he offers effective treatments.

What is endometriosis?

When the growth of your endometrium runs amok, it spreads where it shouldn’t, like in the ovaries, large intestine, fallopian tubes, and rectum, but the overgrowth typically stays within the pelvic region. 

It breaks down and bleeds when you have your period, just like the lining in your uterus — but the problem is that it’s trapped in your body, with no way to exit.

It may surprise you that up to 30% of women with endometriosis aren’t aware they have it because they experience no symptoms. But when they do, they live with:

If you need an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis, Dr. Hooker can make that call, or if you’ve already been diagnosed but need treatment to get relief from symptoms and help getting  pregnant, he can help you with those challenges too.

Risk factors for endometriosis include getting your first period on the earlier side (before age 11), having heavy or lengthy periods, never having had children, living with a uterine structural abnormality, and having a cycle that’s shorter than 27 days. 

If you have a first-degree family member with endometriosis — like your mother or a sister — you’re more prone to the condition as well.

We know that various uterine abnormalities, scar tissue from surgery, and immune system disorders, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause endometriosis too.

Genetics also plays a role in the development of endometriosis, as does having high levels of estrogen. There are numerous other causes, which is why it’s vital to see Dr. Hooker so he can target what’s causing your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to help you conceive. 

How does endometriosis affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant?

Unfortunately, endometriosis can interfere with your fertility in several ways:

 

  1. An egg must travel from the ovary and past the fallopian tube to get to the uterus to be fertilized so it can implant itself in the uterine lining. If endometriosis has affected a woman’s uterine lining, the excess tissue can prevent her egg from successfully reaching the uterus.

 

  1. The scarring and inflammation that endometriosis causes on the ovaries and fallopian tubes can decrease the chances of successful fertilization and pregnancy.

 

  1. Endometriosis can also damage an egg or sperm; one theory is that the condition causes inflammation, which may contribute to the harm. 

 

  1. Recent research points to endometriosis negatively affecting the immune system and a link with a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Both conditions interfere with successful conception. 

 

  1. Endometriosis can negatively affect egg quality and influence the hormonal environment around eggs. 

 

Dr. Hooker successfully treats these problems so you can increase your chances of getting pregnant — it is possible, even if you live with endometriosis.

In addition to helping you get relief from your endometriosis symptoms with hormone therapy, pain medication, and, if necessary, minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Hooker addresses infertility issues by offering advice about healthy lifestyle practices, including diet, exercise, and refraining from smoking, drinking alcohol, and drug use.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART), which includes in vitro fertilization, medication therapy, behavioral therapy, and intrauterine insemination (when sperm is injected into the uterus) are other key options to turn to that  help you conceive.

If you need treatment for endometriosis and help getting pregnant, turn to Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care — we’re to help.

Call our office at 928-683-1667 to make an appointment or use our online booking tool

 

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