Is Pregnancy an Option If You've Got Endometriosis?

Though it’s no comfort to you if you’re suffering from endometriosis, you’re not alone, as it’s one of the most common gynecological conditions in the United States, affecting about 5 million women between the ages of 20 and 40. As many as 40% of women with fertility issues may have endometriosis as a contributing cause, on top of the sometimes painful symptoms that the disease creates.

Even with these statistics, having endometriosis may not rule out getting pregnant, though it may be difficult and accompanied by higher-than-normal risk for carrying to term. There are treatments that may help. Consulting with Dr. Kent Miller and his team may give you a better understanding of risks, treatments, and chances for a successful pregnancy in your case.

Understanding endometriosis

The endometrium is the tissue that lines the walls inside the uterus. This is the tissue that’s responsible for the activity of your menstrual cycle, and it’s also where a fertilized egg embeds to develop the embryo into a baby.

When you have endometriosis, this tissue starts to grow in places other than the inside of the uterus. The most common locations for this misplaced growth are fallopian tubes, ovaries, and elsewhere in your pelvis. Though not malignant, this endometrial tissue still functions normally, but outside of the uterus, it may cause heavy and painful periods including excessive cramps. Endometriosis may also be responsible for diarrhea, constipation, nausea, bloating, and fatigue.

Endometriosis and fertility

Getting pregnant when you choose may be the biggest challenge with endometriosis. There are physical impediments caused by misplaced endometrial tissue. It can block sperm from reaching an egg, or it can prevent ovulation. In other cases, it can prevent a fertilized egg from dropping into the uterus, and in some cases, an egg can embed in misplaced tissue, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy. A baby can’t survive a pregnancy outside the uterus, and the mother’s health may be at risk.

Chemical changes resulting from endometriosis also make fertility difficult. There may be changes to the lining of your uterus that make it difficult for an egg to implant. Your hormone balance may shift as well, and your immune system may attack the embryo as hostile tissue.

Endometriosis and pregnancy

Despite these challenges, pregnancies still occur. Some blockages caused by endometrial tissue can be cleared surgically, and other fertility treatments may sidestep other endometriosis symptoms. Once you are pregnant, you’ll have a statistically higher chance of having certain conditions. These include:

Despite these risks, you have a good chance of having a successful pregnancy. While your pregnancy may require closer monitoring, the conditions accompanying pregnancy are known and treatable in many cases.

If you’ve got endometriosis and want to become pregnant, Dr. Miller and his team are your partners from conception through early pregnancy. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Dr. Miller has the knowledge and experience to minimize your risks. Call the office today to arrange your consultation. 

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