Endometriosis is a common condition affecting women of reproductive age, especially women over 30 who have not yet had children. Mild endometriosis is often associated with infertility and more severe degrees of endometriosis will have a greater impact on your ability to conceive naturally.
- What is endometriosis?
Endometrial cells line the uterus, and when they grow outside the uterus (almost always in the pelvis, including the ovaries) this is known as endometriosis.
Recent research has shown that in women with endometriosis, the eggs and subsequently the embryos created from those eggs are of poor quality. This means that your chances of becoming pregnant are less likely.
- What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- pelvic pain
- painful periods
- pain during intercourse and premenstrual spotting
- How do you treat endometriosis?
Treatment for endometriosis may simply consist of medication in the form of tablets, nasal sprays or injections. Medication for endometriosis can suppress ovulation, delaying the chance of pregnancy.
Surgical treatment by laparoscopy is the treatment of choice. This removes the disease and restores normal pelvic anatomy. This is a keyhole operation where the surgeon inspects the abdominal cavity through a small incision in the navel to confirm the diagnosis, and treats it at the same time.
In many cases you may conceive naturally after surgery, and may not need IVF. Laparoscopic surgery could also increase your chance of success with reproductive treatments.