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Why does endometriosis cause infertility?

QUESTION

During last two years I am trying to get pregnant without any success. I know that general women health is very important for women fertility and I always was sure I am healthy (no smoking, no fast food, regular aerobics and biking). My gynecologist discovered endometriosis (without any symptoms!?).

Why does endometriosis cause infertility?

ANSWER from experts

Not all women with endometriosis are infertile. According to medical statistics it is estimated that only 40% women with endometriosis suffer from infertility. Actually the infertility can be one of the consequences of Endometriosis. Women are not only dealing with a debilitating disease but they are also in fear of not being able to have children.

Endometriosis and infertility

Endometriosis could be very complicated and painful but fortunate not all women who have endometriosis are infertile – if all women who had endometriosis were infertile then birth rates would drop considerably in many countries.

Thanks to newly developed medical technologies during last decades it became possible and easy to discover endometriosis in many women – it has been found that between 25 to 35 percent of women undergoing laparoscopy as part of an infertility evaluation are found to have Endometriosis. This is when women are finally diagnosed with the disease by default.

There appears to be a number of mechanisms by which Endometriosis impacts on fertility:

  • Scarring or adhesions in the pelvis could cause infertility.
  • The fallopian tubes and ovaries may adhere to the lining of the pelvis or to each other, restricting their movement.
  • The scarring and adhesions that takes place with Endometrisois may mean that the ovaries and fallopian tubes are not in the right position, so the transfer of the egg to the fallopian tubes cannot take place.
  • Endometriosis can cause damage and/or blockage to the inside of the fallopian tube, impeding the journey of the egg down the fallopian tube to the uterus.
  • Another factor which could cause infertility for women with Endometriosis could be increased production of prostaglandins – hormones which play and important role in the fertilization and implantation of the embryo.
  • Because Endometriosis often causes painful intercourse, couples may fail to have intercourse during the woman’s most fertile time, which will obviously impede the possibility of conception.

 

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