What Is Endometriosis?
When a woman has endometriosis, the lining of the uterus grows in incorrect places, such as the ovaries or intestines. This means that when that tissue breaks down during menstruation, the blood has nowhere to go. Over time, this might lead to scarring, cysts, or adhesions. Symptoms might include intense pelvic pain, strong cramps, or even infertility. However, does endometriosis mean a woman can’t get pregnant? What myths do women need to know about female fertility?
There is hope
In over one-third of cases, women with endometriosis will experience difficulty getting pregnant. However, these women still have options. Some women with a diagnosis may consider seeing a fertility specialist right away when trying to conceive. A fertility specialist may recommend fertility medications, freezing eggs, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF). For many women, these treatment options lead to pregnancy success. Consider these additional myths about fertility.
1. You can’t be infertile if you’ve been pregnant before
Many women wrongly assume that previous pregnancy means that getting pregnant again will be easy. However, many couples experience secondary infertility, defined by difficulty conceiving after already having a child. In these cases, women may consider IVF or other fertility treatment options for an extra boost.
2. Lifestyle doesn’t matter
While some conditions and hereditary factors may make getting pregnant more challenging, one of the most significant factors is a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, and quitting smoking all make a substantial difference in a woman’s ability to get pregnant. And this is true for both male and female partners. The male partner’s health is just as crucial for successfully conceiving as the female partner’s wellness.
3. Birth control decreases fertility
Typically, the goal of taking birth control is to avoid getting pregnant. But many women think that prolonged use of birth control will have long-term effects on fertility. In many cases, this is not true. In fact, some experts may recommend controlled doses of birth control for 2-4 weeks to improve the chances of getting pregnant. For example, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may try birth control for a few weeks to lower testosterone and LH levels.
Speak with a fertility expert
Although conditions like endometriosis may present extra challenges to getting pregnant, having a baby is not impossible. Women with endometriosis can speak with a fertility specialist to find out more about treatment options that could help start a family.