Endometriosis and how it affects fertility

Endometriosis has been in the UK news this week following a recent study, involving over 5000 women with endometriosis, that has identified 2 seperate genetic variants that may make a women more likely to develop endometriosis.

Endometriosis is more common than you would think, estimated to affect between 6-10 % of women of childbearing age. Because many of the symptoms are associated with menstruation women are often emabaressed to talk about it to their friends, partners and doctors, or  may just put the symptoms down to ‘difficult periods’

Endometriosis is occurs when the cells that line the womb, are found outside the womb as well. No one knows the exact cause of endometriosis. The endometriosis cells then respond to your hormones & bleed at the time of menstruation causeing pain, inflammation & scarring in whatever area they are in.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis ?

Pain is usually the main syptom of endometriosis, often cyclical

  • painful periods
  • deep pain on intercourse or after intercourse
  • pain on opening the bowels

The severity of the pain does not relates directly to the severity of the endometriosis ie a small amount of endometriosis may cause a lot of pain

Endometriosis can also cause infertility and may present in this way.

How does endometeriosis affect fertility ?

Endometriosis may affect fertility in the following ways

  • causing blockages to the fallopian tubes
  • causeing lesions on the ovaries that may interfere with ovulation
  • general inflammation in the pelvis

For more information on endometriosis visit Endometriosis UK

Read more about the new endometriosis study at BBC health

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