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21/03/2024 - 4 min read

I have endometriosis, can I get pregnant?

Care Team

Endometriosis is a condition that affects millions of women worldwide, it’s estimated that one in 10 women suffer from it. Despite endometriosis being a common condition among women, it remains widely misunderstood, especially regarding its impact on fertility. If you're grappling with endometriosis and hoping to conceive, it's important to understand what’s going on and explore available support options.

What is endometriosis? 

Endometriosis is a chronic and progressive condition where tissue like the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, typically on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic organs.  

This tissue behaves exactly like the lining of the uterus, thickening, breaking down, and bleeding with each menstrual cycle. However, because it has no way to exit the body, it becomes trapped, leading to inflammation, pain, and the formation of scar tissue or adhesions. 

What are the symptoms on endometriosis? 

  • Extremely painful periods.
  • Pain during sex
  •  Pain when passing urine or stools. 
  • Vaginal bleeding when you're not on your period
  •  Very heavy periods. 
  • Difficulty conceiving

Endometriosis can be hard to diagnose, and whilst periods can be painful for many, if you are experiencing any of the above it’s worth speaking to your doctor to find out more.  

How does endometriosis impact on fertility? 

The relationship between endometriosis and fertility is complex. The good news is, is that not everyone with endometriosis struggle to conceive, in fact, it’s estimated around 50-70% of people with endometriosis will have no issues at all.  

  1. Physical changes: Endometriosis can cause adhesions and scar tissue, which may change the pelvic anatomy, making it difficult for eggs to travel from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes to meet the sperm trying to reach the egg. 

  2. Ovulation disruption: Endometriosis can interfere with ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovary. Eggs need to be released from the ovary before they can be fertilised, without ovulation there is no opportunity for an egg to be fertilised and for a pregnancy to start.  

  3. Inflammation: The chronic inflammation associated with endometriosis can have a big impact on egg quality, implantation, and the overall environment needed for a healthy pregnancy. 

  4. Altered immune response: Endometriosis can affect the immune system, potentially creating a womb that might not allow embryo implantation (when the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus lining) to occur. In short, the immune system will reject the embryo.  

If you are trying to conceive and have either have an endometriosis diagnosis or think you might have it, there are a variety of things you can do to help you on your journey to becoming a parent.  

How can I improve my chances of falling pregnant with endometriosis? 

While there's no guaranteed way to overcome endometriosis-related infertility, there are steps you can take to help improve your chances of conceiving: 

  1. Healthy lifestyle changes: Focusing on maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and engaging in regular exercise such as going for a walk or doing some online yoga classes. Cutting back on things like smoking and alcohol are also important steps to supporting fertility. 

  2. Avoiding stress: This might feel almost impossible but managing stress is essential for fertility. Cortisol, the stress hormone has an important role to play in keeping us safe but when we have high levels of it all the time, it can be harmful to the body. Where possible try to limit stressful things in your life and give simple breathing techniques or things like meditation, or mindfulness a go. 

  3. Speak to a professional: Consult with a fertility specialist who has experience in treating endometriosis-related fertility issues. They can provide tailored advice and treatment options based on you. 

  4. Find out more: By learning more about endometriosis, its impact on fertility, and available treatment options, you will empower yourself to make informed decisions about your fertility options – this will help you to advocate for yourself and your body.  

What fertility support is available at Care Fertility for those with endometriosis? 

At Care Fertility, we’ve been treating people trying to conceive with endometriosis for over 30 years.  We understand the challenge that it presents, and we have helped thousands of women become parents despite endometriosis. If medical management of your endometriosis isn’t working, and you’ve had difficulties getting pregnant, your doctor may suggest in vitro fertilisation (IVF). 

Some of the fertility support options available include: 

  1. Fertility assessments: Our team of fertility specialists provide comprehensive evaluations to assess ovarian reserve, pelvic anatomy, and other factors influencing fertility – this will help you to understand your chances of getting pregnant naturally, and what help is needed to improve your chances of success. 

  2. Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART): Advanced reproductive techniques such as IVF may be recommended for individuals with endometriosis-related infertility. If you decide that IVF is right for you, our dedicated team of fertility specialists will create a personalised treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. 

Navigating fertility challenges associated with endometriosis can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. With the right support, knowledge, and by taking proactive steps, many women with endometriosis go on to have healthy pregnancies. At Care Fertility, we're here to support you every step of the way on your journey to parenthood. 

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