Do You Have Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a common disorder affecting 10% of American women of reproductive age. With endometriosis, the tissue that makes up the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. As a result, the tissue can form on the outer surfaces of the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. Endometriosis creates several negative symptoms, like painful periods, severe pelvic pain, pain during sex, and irregular bleeding. Some women also experience back pain, painful bowel movements, digestive issues, and infertility. Can a laparoscopy increase the chances of getting pregnant with endometriosis?

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What are the causes, and who is at risk?

Doctors have been unable to pinpoint the primary cause of the condition. However, some believe that during a woman’s period, some blood flows back into the pelvic area, called retrograde menstruation. The blood may have live endometrial cells that attach to cavities around the uterus. These cells multiply, creating endometrial tissue outside the uterus. Other causes may include hormone changes and surgeries like episiotomies and caesarean sections. Women with a family history of endometriosis, poor immune health, and shorter menstrual cycles are particularly at risk.

Does endometriosis cause infertility?

An endometriosis diagnosis does not mean that the patient is infertile. Many women get pregnant with endometriosis. However, the condition can cause infertility, especially if left untreated. Endometrial tissue can form and block the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Coupled with painful periods and painful intercourse, getting pregnant is quite difficult. This can happen over several months, leading to an infertility diagnosis. Statistics show that up to 50% of women diagnosed with infertility may have some form of endometriosis.

Diagnosing endometriosis

Most women go several months or even years before a proper diagnosis. The symptoms are like other reproductive issues, so endometriosis can go misdiagnosed. A pelvic ultrasound can help doctors with diagnosing the condition. However, a laparoscopy is the best way to confirm endometriosis. Laparoscopy is a simple medical procedure done at an outpatient facility. First, the patient receives general anesthesia. Next, the surgeon makes a small incision on the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope with a light and camera attached. The laparoscope can search for abnormalities and help doctors decide on treatment options.

Possible treatment options

Laparoscopy is not only a diagnostic tool but a possible treatment option. The surgeon can remove endometrial tissue through the same incision. However, the procedure may take longer, and the patient needs additional recovery time. Laparoscopy is specifically for moderate to severe cases of endometriosis. Mild cases may benefit from hormone treatments and pain medication.

Can laparoscopy help with pregnancy?

For women struggling to get pregnant, laparoscopy can help reverse those misfortunes. Removing the growths that obstruct fertility can increase the chances of pregnancy. In some cases, the procedure allows doctors to uncover an underlying issue. Studies show that laparoscopy can improve pregnancy rates after 3 months, with even higher success after 6 months. Endometriosis is a painful condition that can lead to infertility if left untreated. Choosing laparoscopy may be precisely what the doctor ordered to improve the chances of getting pregnant.

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