What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is when tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus.
It usually involves the ovaries and fallopian tubes but it can spread to other organs. This tissue will continue to respond to hormones just like it would in the uterus: it thickens, sheds and bleeds every menstrual cycle. However the blood has no way to leave the body. It affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK.
What are the symptoms?
How does endometriosis affect fertility?
As the severity of the endometriosis increases, scar tissue (adhesions) become more common and the chance of natural conception can decrease. There is an association between infertility and endometriosis, but the cause has not been fully established. Minimal to mild endometriosis sufferers have an almost normal chance of conception but some sufferers are infertile for unclear reasons. In cases of moderate and severe endometriosis chances of natural conception are reduced. This is because there are more adhesions that can trap the egg and stop it from moving down the Fallopian tube. The prevalence of endometriosis in women with infertility be as high as to 30–50%.
Can drug treatment help improve fertility?
Drug treatments have not been found to improve fertility. However, the removal of cysts, adhesions and nodules during surgical treatment has been found to increase chances of conception.
You can get more information at Endometriosis UK.
Book your consultation with our nurse consultant to learn more about endometriosis and fertility.
Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc