Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women worldwide, it is a painful gynecological condition that can cause severe pain during menstrual cycles. Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium, the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus, grows outside of it. Most often this is on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and tissues around the uterus and ovaries. However, in rare cases it may also occur in other parts of the body. The major signs of Endometriosis are pelvic pain and Infertility. Pain during sexual intercourse is also common. Endometriosis affects infertility and has a prevalence of 0.5 – 5 infertile women and 25-40% in infertile women.
The risk factors could include having a family history of the condition, alcohol consumption, low body mass index, higher levels of estrogen in your body. The growth due to Endometriosis is not cancerous. Currently, there is no cure for Endometriosis, but a number of treatments may improve symptoms. This may include pain medication, hormonal treatments or surgery. Endometriosis is graded according to its severity ranging from minimal, mild, moderate and severe.
The reasons for women with Endometriosis having trouble to get pregnant could be because of:
- Scarring of the tubes & ovaries
- Problems with the quality of the egg
- Adhesions with scarred pelvic tissue and blockage of fallopian tube
Endometriosis can only be diagnosed through Laparoscopy and presence of it can be confirmed through biopsy, while the endometriomas and nodules can be visualized through an ultrasound or MRI’s.
Early diagnosis and treatment can be beneficial to patients who are concerned about their fertility. Endometriosis patients whose quality of life is impacted by invasive symptoms may benefit from surgical excision of the disease from all implicated areas in the pelvis which will also help to restore the reproductive anatomy.
Patients may also benefit from fertility treatment such IVF. IUI in minimal/mild endometriosis and IVF in moderate /severe cases. Whereas, Assisted Reproductive Technology can improve the pregnancy rates of women with endometriosis.
If you are trying to get pregnant or are experiencing pelvic pain, I’d recommend you to see a Gynecologist at the earliest. As early detection helps in the treatment process. Generally, doctors recommend trying conservative treatment approaches first. If the signs and symptoms are severe, opting for surgery is the last option.