Infertility and Endometriosis
Many women with endometriosis experience pelvic or abdominal pain, particularly with their menstrual bleeding or with sex. Some women have no symptoms at all. Endometriosis typically results in a long-term inflammatory state within the pelvis. This inflammation is thought to be damaging to eggs immediately after ovulation. In addition, endometriosis can cause scar tissue, which creates anatomic barriers for achieving pregnancy including damage to the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Finally, some forms of endometriosis are associated with a host of hormone receptor irregularities that may even lead to abnormal bleeding patterns.
Endometriosis is a complex disease process with many different clinical presentations. We understand that the inability to conceive is correlated to short and long-term ramifications of inflammation, immune system mediators and
mechanical changes which can all occur from endometriosis lesions. The Endometriosis Treatment Center of America recommends a full pelvic evaluation with the most minimally invasive method for all women who have documented unexplained infertility to investigate the possible etiology of endometriosis.
If a patient has unexplained infertility, prior to beginning IVF or other modalities to promote conception, endometriosis should be considered as the possible etiology for their inability to conceive. If all conservative methods have been addressed,
endometriosis should be evaluated with the most minimally invasive methods possible.