Endometriosis & infertility

Just read a very interesting article online at bbc health about Endometriosis (endo) & how surgery helped one woman who then conceived shortly after.

Thought it might be useful to run through some information about endometriosis, as it is a common cause of female infertility.

What is endometriosis ?

Endometriosis is a condition in women where the tissue that lines the womb (endometrial tissue) grows in areas outside the womb. Common sites for the endometriosis to occur are the ovaries & the peritoneal cavity (pelvic area)

It affects women during their fertile years & the symptoms tend to be worse cyclically in time with the periods.

What causes endometriosis ?

No one knows exactly what causes the endometriosis to occur in some women. It is estimated to occur in between 5-10% of women.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis ?

Some symptoms of endo include:

  • pelvic pain-most common symptom
  • painful intercourse
  • painful periods
  • urinary symptoms
  • low back pain
  • infertility
  • menstrual difficulties
  • bowel symptoms similar to irritable bowel

There are many other symptoms that can be associated with endometriosis, and not everyone with endometriosis has all the symptoms.

Pelvic pain is by far the commonest symptom. The severity of the syptoms does not necessarily reflect the severity of the endometriosis.

How does endometriosis cause infertility ?

It is thought endometriosis may causes infertility in several ways. Endo can cause adhesions within the pelvis (tiny fibrous bands) which can affect the pelvic anatomy, and in some cases block the fallopian tubes.

What should I do if I think I may have endometriosis ?

See your doctor or GP.

Here is the link to endometriosis article at bbc online

Click here for more info on endo from Wikipedia

 

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