Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which the tissue that usually grows inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This condition is estimated to affect approximately 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years.
Many women may worry that a disorder like this may harm their likelihood of conceiving and delivering healthy children. We’re discussing this topic today.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Unfortunately, the severity of pain doesn’t always indicate the degree or stage of the condition itself. It’s possible to have a mild form of the disease but regularly experience crippling pain and vice versa.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Painful periods
- Lower abdomen pain before and during menstruation
- Cramps one-two weeks around menstruation
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain following sexual intercourse
- Discomfort with bowel movements
- Lower back pain at any time during the menstrual cycle
If you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, it’s important to see a gynecologist regularly who will monitor these symptoms and stay aware of any changes.
Treatments for Endometriosis
Endometriosis currently has no cure, however, there are ways of managing the symptoms of this condition. In the mildest of cases, over-the-counter pain medications can manage the pain from endometriosis. Many women will not find that to be enough, though. Hormonal therapy can occasionally relieve pain and can help to slow the progression of the condition. Supplemental hormones help your body regulate the changes in hormones that occur monthly.
Conservative surgery is considered for women who experience severe pain but for whom hormonal treatments aren’t cutting it. The surgery removes endometrial growths without doing damage to the reproductive organs.
As a last resort, a hysterectomy can be done to remove the uterus, ovaries, and cervix. This surgery will end all possibilities of conceiving. This procedure puts an end to menstruation and is intended to stop the symptoms of endometriosis. However, there is no guarantee that this will happen.
Endo and Conception
Getting pregnant when you have endometriosis is possible although it may not come easily. Depending on your age, your partner’s fertility, and the severity of the endometriosis, it may be more difficult to conceive for you. However, it is still possible to get pregnant naturally. Consult with your doctor who will have a better understanding of your reproductive health before making any decisions.
Since experts still don’t understand how endo affects fertility, it’s hard to know exactly how it impairs one’s ability to get pregnant. When endometriosis causes ovarian cysts or scar tissue is present from past surgeries, the causes are clear. Although, women with endo who don’t have cysts or scar tissue can still experience impaired fertility.
Endo and Pregnancy
Pregnancy can temporarily put a stop to the painful periods and heavy bleeding that usually go hand in hand with endometriosis. Pregnancy often means an increase in progesterone and this hormone is thought to suppress and even shrink growths present during endometriosis. However, some women may not experience an improvement in their endo symptoms during pregnancy.
Endometriosis can increase a woman’s risk for complications during the pregnancy and the delivery. Multiple studies have shown that miscarriages are more prevalent for women with endometriosis than for women without it. This even applies to women with mild cases of endometriosis. Frequent doctor’s visits during your pregnancy will help keep an eye on the health of the baby and monitor any possible symptoms.
Pregnant women with endometriosis are 1.5 times more likely to deliver their baby preterm (any baby born before 37 weeks of gestation). Babies born preterm are more likely to experience developmental problems. Alert your doctor if you have experienced regular contractions, a change in vaginal discharge, or pressure in your pelvis.
While endometriosis isn’t the end to your conception journey, it can be a more difficult process for women with the condition. Consult with your doctor if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms of endometriosis.
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