Can You Get Pregnant With Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and interferes with other organs in the body. When your period occurs, the endometrium sheds from the inside of the uterus and out through the vagina. In endometriosis, the lining that has grown outside the uterus stays inside the body with nowhere to go. But then can you get pregnant with endometriosis?

This can cause severe pain during ovulation and the monthly period. Hormonal changes will cause the excess tissue to tear away, causing bleeding inside the body and can even form scar tissue on the affected organs. The Endometriosis Research Centerstates that endometriosis affects over 7 million women in the United States. It is the number one cause of infertility, gynecologic surgery and recurrent pelvic pain. However, do not lose hope because there are things you can do to get a healthy pregnancy with endometriosis.

What Should You Know About Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is said to affect about 25% to 35% of women who experience problems conceiving in the U.S. and millions of other women all over the world. It is not clearly understood why women get endometriosis.

One theory is that every woman that has monthly periods has some tissue that grows outside the uterus. With a functional immune system, the body is able to clear the tissue on its own and it doesn’t cause any problems. For women with weaker immune systems, they are unable to clear the excess tissue from their bodies.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

There may be very few symptoms or possibly severe symptoms with endometriosis including:

  • Severe menstrual cramping
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Infertility or trouble conceiving
  • Low back pain, pelvic pain or pain in side with menstruation
  • Pain with bowel movements and urination
  • Abdominal upsets including diarrhea, gas and constipation with menstruation

Can You Get Pregnant With Endometriosis?

If you have endometriosis, there is a 5% chance that you may be having trouble getting pregnant because of this condition. Endometriosis causes blockage of the fallopian tubes and the tissue can grow over the ovaries, thus cutting off the egg supply. If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis and are trying to have a baby, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about treatment now rather than waiting.

Endometriosis does not necessarily make you completely infertile and there is a good chance that you can get pregnant naturally. Start by trying to conceive on your own by having sexual intercourse every other day on the seventh day after the first day of your last period for at least two weeks. Repeat this every month and if it is ineffective for up to 12 months, then you may need to seek the help of a specialist.

A word from another mom who got pregnant with endometriosis:

“I became pregnant after having endometriosis for over ten years. They performed two surgeries to clear blockage and I now have a 21 month old son. We are currently trying for our second child and I am on Clomid for the second time. I took Clomid with my first pregnancy for 5 days out of my cycle and got pregnant the first round of the medication. So, yes it is possible to get pregnant with endometriosis!”

How to Get Pregnant With Endometriosis

If you tried to conceive naturally for one year or longer with no success, call your regular OB/GYN for a consultation. They can perform a procedure called laparoscopy for mild cases of endometriosis and try to clear the blocked tubes. During the procedure, they can also flush the tubes which has actually been pretty successful.

In mild cases of endometriosis, surgery is sometimes helpful and some women are able to become pregnant after surgery alone. If you have more severe endometriosis, the doctor may also check the eggs in your ovaries to see if they are healthy and that your ovaries are not damaged from your condition.

One year after surgery is the best chance for conception and over one year your endometriosis may return. Your doctor will be able to advise you best on your chances of conceiving after you have surgery.

If you are still unable to conceive within one year after surgery for endometriosis, your doctor may recommend a fertility specialist and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Assisted Conception

There is a non-surgical option known as “assisted conception” to try and conceive with endometriosis. Some people choose this instead of surgery, or use it after trying surgery. The fertility specialist will put you on hormones for 3 to 6 months to try and help increase your chance of conceiving. This will be offered if:

  • Surgery and other techniques have been unsuccessful
  • You have mild to moderate endometriosis and conception has not occurred after two years

Once again, if assisted conception with hormones is unsuccessful, the doctors may recommend in vitro fertilization which involves removing an egg and fertilizing it outside the body with your partner’s sperm and replacing it into the uterus.

Learn more about trying to get pregnant after endometriosis:

More Notes on Easing Endometriosis Pain

Endometriosis pain can be severe, especially at certain times during the month. Try keeping a journal of three months of cycles. Write down dates of your when your period starts, when you have symptoms and what the symptoms are. Then jot down how they affect your life, work and things you like to do. Let your doctor know and they will be able to help.

In the meantime, here are some tips for relieving the pain of endometriosis:

  • When the pain hits, rest in bed or on the couch
  • Try a warm bath
  • Try an over-the-counter pain reliever or ask your doctor for prescription pain relief
  • Use a heating pad or hot water bottle
  • Try yoga or deep breathing exercises
  • Eat more fiber to avoid constipation. Full bowels can make pain worse. Increase your intake of vegetables, fruits and whole grain cereal.
  • Talk to others who suffer from endometriosis. Find a local support group through your OB/GYN or local hospital.

Can Endometriosis Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, because the cause of endometriosis is still unknown there is nothing that can be done to prevent this condition and there is no known cure. The good news is most women with endometriosis are able to conceive with help and continue to live long healthy lives.