Endometriosis and the Risk of Infertility
Endometriosis is a condition that causes uterine (endometrial) tissue to grow outside of the uterus, which can result in severe pain, internal scarring, and other concerns that can cause changes to a woman's pelvic anatomy and affect fertility.
Fortunately, we offer multiple fertility treatment options for patients with endometriosis at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health in Phoenix, AZ. During your consultation, we will discuss your medical history and concerns to begin creating a custom-tailored treatment plan. Contact Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health today to schedule a no-cost consultation with our endometriosis specialists in Arizona and learn more about your endometriosis infertility treatment options.
Potential Causes of Endometriosis
While the cause of endometriosis is currently unknown, doctors and researchers have identified some potential risk factors:
- Retrograde Menstruation: In some cases, blood containing uterine cells flows back through the fallopian tubes during menstruation, rather than being released from the body. When this occurs, the uterine cells can attach to organs in the pelvis and continue to grow and bleed during each menstrual cycle.
- Hormonal Imbalance: High levels of estrogen may lead to endometriosis, and many women with the condition take birth control medications to treat hormonal imbalances.
- Immune System Disorders: Problems with the immune system may prevent the body from properly identifying and destroying endometrial tissues that grow outside of the uterus.
- Prior Surgery: Endometrial cells sometimes attach to surgical scars following surgery around the abdomen.
- Genetics: The risk of developing endometriosis is higher for those who have a family history of the condition.
One of our doctors will review your medical history, listen closely to your symptoms, and use a number of tests or examinations to perform an accurate diagnosis.
How Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?
Cases of endometriosis range from mild to severe, depending on the way it alters pelvic anatomy. It is unclear how mild endometriosis affects fertility, but it may impact the quality or quantity of eggs. More severe cases can cause a blockage in the fallopian tubes, which prevents fertilization. Your doctor will assess the severity of your endometriosis to determine how it might be affecting your fertility. Once we further understand the nature of your condition, we can begin discussing treatment options.
Fertility Treatments for Patients with Endometriosis
If you have already tried more conservative treatments for endometriosis and are still having difficulty conceiving, we offer different options to help you achieve a successful pregnancy. Your treatment plan may include:
- Ovulation Induction: This involves using fertility medications to stimulate the development and release of eggs. This type of therapy also allows your physician to control when eggs are released.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Often used in conjunction with ovulation induction, IUI involves using a catheter to place sperm directly into the uterus. An endometriosis IUI procedure is a non-surgical fertility treatment. If we find the Fallopian tubes are severely blocked during your IUI and endometriosis evaluation, IVF may be required instead.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): IVF involves collecting eggs from a patient or donor and then fertilizing them in a laboratory. Once embryos begin to develop, they are transferred to the patient's womb.
- Laparoscopy: This is a type of surgery that involves using small devices to remove endometrial lesions and cysts as well as scar tissue.
Each of these procedures requires a high level of expertise, so it is important that you select a fertility center with a proven track record of success like Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health.
Schedule an Appointment to Learn More
If you are interested in learning more about endometriosis and its effects on fertility, contact Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health today.