Navigating Endometriosis and Infertility
Endometriosis is a painful and chronic condition where the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it, often on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other areas of the pelvis. This tissue can cause inflammation, scarring, and adhesions, leading to pain, discomfort, and fertility problems. In fact, endometriosis is a common cause of infertility in women, affecting up to 50% of women who struggle with infertility.
Endometriosis can impact fertility in several ways. Firstly, it can cause damage to the fallopian tubes, which can prevent the egg from travelling from the ovary to the uterus. Secondly, endometriosis can interfere with the implantation of a fertilised egg in the uterus, which can lead to a miscarriage or failure to conceive. Thirdly, endometriosis can cause inflammation and scarring in the pelvis, which can create an inhospitable environment for fertilisation and implantation to occur.
Diagnosis of endometriosis can be difficult because symptoms can vary widely and may not be present in all cases. Common symptoms include painful periods, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, and infertility. A laparoscopy, a surgical procedure in which a small camera is inserted into the abdomen, is the most accurate way to diagnose endometriosis. Treatment for endometriosis typically involves pain management, hormone therapy, and surgery in more severe cases.
In terms of infertility, treatment for endometriosis will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s fertility goals. For mild cases of endometriosis, over-the-counter pain medications may be enough to manage symptoms, while hormonal therapies like birth control pills or progesterone can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce inflammation. For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove scar tissue and endometrial implants, and in some cases, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be necessary to achieve pregnancy.
A new and proven way of improving uterine receptivity in patients w/endo is to use poppy seed oil as a uterine tubal flush. This will ensure the tubes are not scarred or blocked and may open small adhesions. Poppy seed oil also appears to improve embryo implantation due to an endometrial bathing effect.
It is important for individuals with endometriosis who are struggling with infertility to seek the advice of a reproductive specialist. With proper diagnosis and fertility treatment, many women with endometriosis are able to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy to term.