Endometriosis can be stressful for women, but some women still want to get pregnant. The question that often comes up is: can you get pregnant if you have endometriosis? Or how can you manage endometriosis and pregnancy? Therefore, being aware of the effect of pregnancy endometriosis and its effects on the fetus can alleviate many of your concerns.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disease in which the tissue of the uterus grows in places other than the uterus. The tissue can grow in places such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and rarely other parts of the body. Endometriosis is not dangerous, but it can affect a woman's fertility. It can also affect her pregnancy by causing irritation, inflammation and scarring or blockage of the fallopian tubes.
Risk Factors for Endometriosis
Endometriosis can occur in all women of childbearing age; however, it is more common in women in their 30s and 40s. Endometriosis appears to be more common in white women than in black, Latin, and Asian women. However, age and race are not the only factors that affect endometriosis pregnancy. Other factors that increase the risk of endometriosis include:
- No pregnancy history
- Family history of endometriosis in mother, sister, or aunt
- Menstrual periods longer than 7 days
- Irregular menstrual cycle and shorter than 27 days
- Blockage of menstrual blood flow due to other diseases.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. People with endometriosis often feel pain in their lower abdomen or pelvis. This pain can be really bad during their periods and also cause problems during sex, going to the bathroom, and other activities. Bleeding or spotting between periods, irregular periods, digestive problems (diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea) and ovulation disorders are other symptoms of endometriosis.
Endometriosis can also affect fertility. Pain is not the most common sign of endometriosis in all women. In some women, a pregnancy disorder is the first sign of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition that can be mistaken for other conditions that cause pelvic pain, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cysts, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Causes of Endometriosis
The cause of endometriosis is still unknown, but many researchers believe that the disease is caused by problems with menstrual blood flow.
For example, the return of blood flow to the pelvis is possible. Genetic factors, immune system problems, and hormones are other causes that may play a role in endometriosis. If menstrual blood does not leave the patient's body, it can cause pain and even scar tissue.
When endometriosis tissue enters the ovary, it can cause endometriosis (chocolate) cysts in the ovary, blocking the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis and its side effects, such as obstruction of the fallopian tubes and ovulation disorders, can lead to irregular periods and fertility problems.
The Effect of Endometriosis on Fertility
Specialists at the Endometriosis Clinic are working to investigate the effect of endometriosis on fertility. One possible reason why endometriosis tissue might prevent sperm from coming into contact with eggs is because the tissue might block the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis also interferes with fetal implantation in the uterine wall.
In endometriosis, the immune system attacks the body instead of protecting it. It seems that the more severe the endometriosis, the higher risk of fertility problems would be. So, it can be said that endometriosis and pregnancy are related and the effects are sometimes called endometriosis related infertility.
Can you get Pregnant with Endometriosis?
The duration of pregnancy in women with endometriosis may be longer or more difficult. According to the ACOG, approximately 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis. Also, the rate of C-section in pregnancy with endometriosis is twice as high as other people. However, some patients with endometriosis do not have a problem getting pregnant.
It is difficult to diagnose the effects of endometriosis on pregnancy, so patients are advised to get pregnant notwithstanding the condition. Women who have been married for one year and are not pregnant, and women over 35 who have been pregnant for six months should see a doctor. However, women with endometriosis, no matter what their age, should see a doctor if they have not become pregnant after six months of trying.
Sometimes surgery is performed for pregnancy with endometriosis. If surgery is not a good way to conceive with endometriosis, the next step is IUI or IVF.
The first pregnancy with endometriosis does not necessarily guarantee a second pregnancy despite this complication. But on the whole, pregnancy suppresses many of the inflammatory problems related to endometriosis. In these cases it may be even easier for patients with endometriosis to have a second pregnancy.
Endometriosis and Pregnancy
Endometriosis can affect pregnancy and increase the chances of C-section. Although this does not mean that endometriosis pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy. But endometriosis pregnancy increases the risk of some pregnancy problems. The most common complications of endometriosis during pregnancy are:
- Placenta previa: Studies show that patients with endometriosis are 1.6 to 15 times more likely to develop placenta previa. If the placenta is in the cervix and covers the cervix, it is called the placenta. Placenta previa increases the risk of cesarean delivery.
- Abortion: Endometriosis can increase the risk of miscarriage. Studies have shown that the risk of miscarriage in endometriosis pregnancy is 80% higher than pregnant women without endometriosis.
- Premature birth: Inflammation caused by endometriosis can cause premature birth. There is no sure way to prevent preterm birth, but there are things you can do during your pregnancy to lower the risk. Taking care of yourself and your baby can help ensure a full-term, healthy pregnancy.
- Preeclampsia: Recent studies have shown that endometriosis pregnancy can to some extent predispose women to preeclampsia. However, with prenatal care and lifestyle changes, the risk of preeclampsia can be reduced.
Although endometriosis can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and bleeding problems during pregnancy, these risks are usually rare. It does not cause adverse effects because in most cases, endometriosis subsides with the onset of pregnancy and cessation of menstruation. Also, no correlation has been established between endometriosis and the increased risk of congenital malformations in the fetus.
How to treat Pregnancy Endometriosis
There is no treatment for endometriosis and the available cures can only reduce the complications of endometriosis. These treatments work on reducing pain, improving irregular periods, treating infertility, ovulation disorders, and generally improving the patient's quality of life. You can help reduce these complications by visiting an endometriosis clinic and consulting your doctor.
In case of infertility, the patient may be prescribed gonadotropin antagonists. Gonadotropin-antagonist drugs temporarily stop ovulation and endometrial tissue growth, and fertility occurs more easily after discontinuation of endometriosis growth inhibitors. Surgery may sometimes be recommended to remove endometriosis tissue. The above methods are thought to increase a woman's chances of having a baby.
If there is no fertility with the mentioned methods, assisted reproductive methods such as IUI or IVF may be used. These assisted reproductive techniques can be used if there are problems with sperm contact with the egg and implantation disorders.
Thinking about the impact of endometriosis on pregnancy can be very stressful for women. In fact, women with endometriosis may need help getting pregnant, or their pregnancy may be a high-risk pregnancy. Remember that many women with endometriosis can still have children. They may be able to have a full-term pregnancy and bring a healthy baby into this world.