Endometriosis Disease refers to the existence of endometrial glands and stroma outside the uterus. It is known to cause pain and infertility among women of reproductive age. One of the main factors contributing to female infertility is endometriosis. While the exact prevalence of endometriosis in the general population remains uncertain, a substantial study revealed that 10% of women who underwent surgery for fibroids were diagnosed with endometriosis. The optimal age for pregnancy, the effects of endometriosis on pregnancy, and methods to improve fertility are all addressed in this article.
Endometriosis: What is it?
The tissue that typically borders the uterus or womb is called the endometrium. Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium-like tissue spreads outside of the uterus and onto other parts of the body. The areas of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outside surface of the uterus, and the tissues that support the uterus are where endometriosis is most frequently found. Additionally, the rectum, vagina, bladder, and vulvai may all exhibit it.
The influence of endometriosis on fertility and the probability of conception
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that endometriosis affects roughly 4 in 10 individuals who are infertile.Endometriosis can impact fertility in a variety of ways and make it more challenging to conceive.
Adhesions: Endometriosis-related adhesions and scar tissue can obstruct the fallopian tubes, making it harder for the egg and sperm to mate.
Ovarian cysts: A specific kind of ovarian cyst called an endometrioma can develop in the ovaries and harm the ovarian reserve. The eggs’ quality may suffer as a result of this.
Inflammation: Inflammation brought on by endometriosis can also impair fertility. Additionally, it may reduce implantation and impact the uterine lining.
Egg quality: Endometriosis has been discovered to have an impact on the ovary’s ability to produce healthy eggs.
Age is the primary factor that affects fertility for everyone. Once you enter adolescence, your lifetime supply of eggs begins to mature on a monthly basis.
After the age of 38, fertility rapidly drops due to an acceleration in the pace of egg sac ovulation as well as higher chances of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities.
Optimal age for pregnancy in women with endometriosis
Individuals diagnosed with endometriosis should have a comprehensive understanding of their fertility to make informed decisions about starting a family. The timing of family planning is a deeply personal choice that varies for each person.
Being knowledgeable about their reproductive health empowers endometriosis patients to advocate for themselves and make well-informed decisions regarding their family planning journey.
As individuals age, it is generally recognized that fertility declines and the likelihood of experiencing certain complications during pregnancy increases.
Advanced maternal age,typically considered as 35years or older, is often associated with a higher risk for these pregnancy-related issues.
These complications may include miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, as well as conditions like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
It is important for individuals to be aware of these potential risks and to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and support when considering pregnancy at an older age.
The potential effects of endometriosis disease on pregnancy
The likelihood of problems if you have endometriosis increases when you become pregnant. Pregnancy and delivery difficulties can be caused by inflammation, hormonal changes, and uterine injury and can include:
Pregnancy loss – The most recent research indicates that endometriosis is linked to a higher risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Even though miscarriages are unavoidable, it’s a good idea to be aware of the warning symptoms, which include bleeding, cramping, and low back discomfort at any point prior to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Preterm birth – Premature birth is 1.5 times more likely to occur in endometriosis-affected women. Regular contractions, pelvic pressure, and changes in vaginal discharge are a few signs of premature labor.
Placenta previa – It is a condition in which the placenta, which feeds your developing child, attaches to the bottom of the uterus as opposed to the top or side. This may raise your chance of having a ruptured placenta during labour, which mightresult in serious bleeding and put you and your unborn child in imminent danger.
Gestational diabetes – In pregnancies including endometriosis, the prevalence of gestational diabetes is 40% greater.
Hypertension – The risk of gestational blood pressure problems is 45% higher in women who have endometriosis.
Low birth weight – A baby weighing less than 5.5 pounds at delivery is more likely to occur when there is endometriosis. Low birth weight in newborns is associated with respiratory issues, low blood sugar, jaundice, and difficulties regulating body temperature.
How to improve your chances of becoming pregnant if you have endometriosis Disease?
Some lifestyle choices that can potentially enhance fertility include:
- Eating a balanced, healthful diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables
- Taking prenatal vitamins or multivitamins
- Performing regular exercise
- Finding stress-relieving activities
Fertility Treatment Options
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
The normal first step for women with endometriosis is intrauterine insemination (IUI), sometimes in conjunction with reproductive medications. During an IUI, sperm is inserted into the uterus at the time of ovulation.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the following step if IUI is unsuccessful. IVF entails taking eggs out of the body, fertilizing them outside, and then placing the fertilized eggs back into the body. It offers the greatest likelihood of becoming pregnant. If a woman is over 35, IVF may be utilized as the first-line therapy.
Fertility rates and surgery
Reducing pain sensations is the main reason for endometriosis surgery. Beyond relieving discomfort, surgery may help some women—but not all—increase their chances of becoming pregnant.
After surgery, endometriosis disease might recur. Within five years of surgery, the recurrence rate ranges from 20% to 50%.
Surgery does not seem to increase the success rates for IUI or IVF in those with severe endometriosis. In fact, adhesions brought on by repeated procedures might make getting pregnant more challenging.
In order to make a well-informed decision, it is important to engage in a conversation with a surgeon to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages.
Endometriosis disease can negatively impact fertility through various mechanisms, such as inflammation in the abdominal cavity and hormonal imbalances, which disrupt ovarian function and decrease the quality of eggs. Intrauterine insemination (IUI), though a straightforward treatment method, has limited effectiveness. On the other hand, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a highly successful treatment option for endometriosis, yielding outcomes similar to those seen in cases of infertility caused by other factors. . Engaging in support groups and utilizing available resources can be beneficial for those facing the challenges of living with endometriosis.
If you are facing difficulties with reproduction and would like to inquire about exceptional fertility services or discuss your options for starting a family, we encourage you to get in touch with 9M Fertility. Contact us to schedule a consultation and gain more information about the range of services we offer.