Does Endometriosis Cause Infertility?

More than 11% of American women between 15-44 years of age have endometriosis. Unfortunately, many ignore these symptoms as “women’s troubles.” Worse yet, few primary care physicians understand how serious and common this condition is — or the toll it can take on a woman’s fertility. 

At his practice in Reno, Nevada, Dr. Mark P. Schumacher specializes in gynecological care and reproductive health. He can help diagnose and treat endometriosis to protect your fertility and increase your chances of conceiving successfully.   

Understanding endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common condition where excess uterine cells begin to grow outside of the uterus, in other parts of your body. 

Your uterine cells make up the lining of your uterus, and many of them slough away each month during your period. When these cells aren’t inside your uterus, they don’t have access to your cervix. That means your system can’t flush them away during menstruation. Instead, the cells linger, adhering to the tissue around them, which causes painful lesions to develop. 

Endometriosis typically starts a few years after menstruation begins. It also tends to run in families, so if you have a close female relative with endometriosis, your risk of developing it is higher. Learning to recognize the symptoms of endometriosis can help you get a diagnosis faster and help preserve your fertility.

Recognizing the signs of endometriosis

When you have endometriosis, you can experience many health issues, including: 

Additionally, when cells start accumulating on your ovaries or fallopian tubes, you can also have difficulty conceiving. Unfortunately, despite their symptoms, many women go undiagnosed for years, leaving their fertility issues unaddressed. But these fertility issues don’t have to happen to you.

How endometriosis affects your fertility

If you have endometriosis, it can make it more difficult to get pregnant. That’s because the displaced uterine cells on your ovaries or fallopian tubes can keep your eggs from releasing or reaching the uterus to implant. Fortunately, Dr. Schumacher offers several treatments that can address this problem.

If you’re having difficulty conceiving, Dr. Schumacher can perform a pelvic exam or ultrasound to look for signs of endometriosis. If he suspects endometriosis, Dr. Schumacher can also order a laparoscopy. This procedure confirms endometriosis and locates where any blockages may have occurred.

Sometimes, hormone treatments and pain medication alone can control your endometriosis symptoms. In other cases, Dr. Schumacher might recommend minor surgery to remove clumps of endometrial cells from your ovaries or fallopian tubes to restore your fertility.

If you think endometriosis could be affecting your fertility, contact Mark P. Schumacher, MD, at 775-234-2301 in Reno today. 

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