Understanding the relationship between endometriosis and infertility

The female uterus is lined with tissue known as endometrium, which increases in fluid and thickness during the menstrual cycle before it sheds from the uterine cavity. Women who are suffering from endometriosis have endometrium tissue located outside of the uterus, often along the ovaries, bowels, or tissues lining the pelvis. This tissue acts in the same way as healthy endometrium tissue, but because it is not located inside the uterus, the tissue is unable to shed normally during the menstrual cycle and can lead to a number of symptoms.

Endometriosis is a common condition, with an estimated 1 in 10 girls and women in the United States affected by it. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates that between 30% and 50% of women with endometriosis may experience infertility.

Causes of endometriosis

The direct cause of endometriosis is unknown, but many health officials believe it is linked to a condition known as retrograde menstruation, in which menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity rather than out of the body. Women with a family history of endometriosis, personal history of pelvic infections and with uterine abnormalities may be at a greater risk for developing endometriosis.

Signs and symptoms

Women suffering from endometriosis may experience a number of symptoms, including painful periods, excessive menstrual bleeding, spotting in between periods, pain during intercourse, constipation and bloating.

Endometriosis and infertility

Some women experience endometriosis as the result of a blockage in their fallopian tubes due to scarring or adhesions. In these cases, endometriosis may lead to infertility as the adhesions prevent the egg and sperm from meeting, or prevent the fertilized egg from traveling down the tube properly.

The best way to determine if you are suffering from endometriosis or infertility is to schedule a consultation with Dallas IVF. Our infertility clinic offers diagnostic procedures, laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, and other fertility treatments.

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