Getting pregnant with endometriosis. Challenge accepted!

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endometriosis and pregnancy

Endometriosis is one of the conditions in women that can make getting pregnant a difficult process. Conceiving with endometriosis is possible, but it surely doesn’t happen easily. 

Almost half of the women diagnosed with endometriosis have reported difficulties in getting pregnant naturally. 

Endometriosis doesn’t always lead to infertility. Usually, it depends on the severity of the endometriosis condition and the woman’s age. 

Being diagnosed with this condition brings worries in every woman’s life. Especially if they are at the stage of planning a pregnancy. Fortunately, there is still a chance of getting pregnant. 

IVF treatments and the technological developments made in the field of reproductive technologies are able to cope with endometriosis. There is a list of IVF treatments that depending on how serious the endometriosis condition is, can help you get pregnant! Before going further into the solution, we would like to explore the endometriosis condition and its link to infertility. 

What is endometriosis? 

Endometriosis is a benign disease in women, in which small pieces of the endometrium, the internal tissue of the uterus, can be found outside the uterus. Most often, these pieces of the endometrium are found on the pelvic wall, the ovary, the fallopian tube, the bladder, the intestines in the form of a so-called “chocolate cysts”

Endometriosis usually occurs in the reproductive age in women, between 25 and 35 years of age. The causes of endometriosis are still quite unexplored. Although, there are several risk factors that might play a significant role in the development of this condition. The most exposed to the risk of endometriosis are women who meet the following cases:

  • First menstruation before the age of 12
  • Menstrual cycles shorter than 27 days and menstruations lasting longer than 7 days
  • Avoided used of contraception
  • Delayed birth after 30 years
  • Usage of tampons during menstruation 
  • Sexual intercourse during menstruation 
  • Family members with endometriosis

The most common symptoms of endometriosis are painful menstruation, painful intercourse, menstrual cycle disorders such as bleeding between periods and excessive bleeding. Very often, endometriosis is the cause of infertility in women.

How can endometriosis harm woman’s fertility? 

The Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics conveyed a study on this topic. The results showed that approximately 30% to 50% of women with endometriosis will experience infertility.

Women who have been struggling to get pregnant and are still not officially diagnosed with endometriosis, are likely to actually suffer from it. Also, in many of the couples who have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, it is suspected that they may actually be dealing with mild endometriosis in the female partner. This is supported by the fact that in 20% to 25% percent of women with endometriosis, no symptoms were noticed.  

So, it’s pretty much clear that endometriosis (no matter the stage) is affecting a woman’s fertility. And let’s take a look at the “how”! 

Impaired function of the reproductive organs 

The main fertility risk factor when diagnosed with endometriosis is the occurrence of ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts might affect the ovulation. Furthermore, endometriosis can cause endometrial scar tissue that can lead to blocked fallopian tubes. Blocked fallopian tubes can severely damage the chances of natural conception. 

Poor Egg Quality

Endometriosis might lead to poor egg quality. Moreover, embryos from women with endometriosis have proven to be developing slower and to lead to problematic pregnancies. Usually, the result is miscarriage. 

Embryo Implantation Problems

As far as endometriosis is a condition that causes endometrial tissue to grow outside of the uterus, there is a high chance that it will affect the endometrium itself. Embryo implantation rates are lower in women with endometriosis. 

How can endometriosis be treated?

Endometriosis can be treated with medication, both operatively and in combination, depending on the stage of endometriosis, its localization, the age of the woman and the existence of infertility. There are several approaches when treating endometriosis. So, let’s take a brief look at it. 

Hormonal therapy

The goal of hormone therapy is to stop hormonal stimulation of endometriotic foci, cause their atrophy, and stop bleeding. These drugs can cause a woman to have a condition similar to pregnancy or menopause.

Surgical treatment

Endometriosis surgery is the most common treatment and can be classic or laparoscopic. There are two typical surgeries that can be performed as a treatment for endometriosis – open, laparoscopic or radical surgery. 

Open surgery is usually performed if there are massive bowel attachments in the abdominal cavity. The most common choice is classic surgery for these purposes. 

Laparoscopic surgery is the most common. Laparoscopic surgery is performed when there are no large incisions in the abdomen. The benefits of laparoscopic surgery are numerous: faster postoperative recovery, less intraoperative bleeding, less postoperative pain, less risk of new growth, less risk of infection.

Radical surgery is the definitive cure for endometriosis, achieved exclusively by complete removal of the uterus and ovaries. This operation is for women in the advanced stage of this disease, and who are over 40 years old. Usually is recommended for women who are not planning to get pregnant anymore.

The most common approach to treatment is combination treatment. After the surgical treatment, usually, hormone therapy is applied for a period of time. Pregnancy is absolutely possible after this combined treatment. 

How to increase your chances for pregnancy with endometriosis

There is no medical proof that medications directly improve the chances of conceiving. But, fertility experts usually prescribe suitable medications that can improve the ovaries’ functions and regulate (or boost the production) the pregnancy hormones. 

On the other side, there are several natural ways to improve the work of the reproductive system and avoid infertility risks due to endometriosis. They are all focused on reducing the inflammation that endometriosis usually causes, and make your body a proper environment for successful embryo growth. 

It’s also important to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible when you have endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant. This can reduce inflammation in your body and prepare it to help your baby grow and thrive throughout a healthy pregnancy. The following advice is also known as “fertility boosters”: 

  • Keep a healthy BMI
  • Start with including fertility-boosting foods rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
  • Start doing some easy sports such as daily walking, lifting weights, and aerobic

When should you think of getting a check for endometriosis? 

There is no concrete answer to this question. Generally, our fertility doctor and the whole team is strongly supporting women with high awareness of their fertility. That means, supporting the idea that each woman should get tested for any of the conditions that might cause fertility problems. Endometriosis is one of them! 

Even if you don’t have any suspicions or symptoms, it is better to be safe than sorry. Thinking ahead when planning a pregnancy would only benefit you. 

Regular gynecological checks and pap tests are always welcome. The gynecologist or the fertility expert would conduct a physical exam, several blood tests and pap test to detect if there is some serious underlying issue within your reproductive system. 

How can assisted reproductive technologies help you get pregnant with endometriosis? 

Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have been proven effective when coping with numerous fertility problems. Endometriosis is one of them. 

There are several different approaches when women with endometriosis reach to assisted reproductive technologies as a means towards pregnancy. The approaches vary based on the stage in which the endometriosis is. Let’s dig into them!

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) in Cyprus for women with endometriosis

For women who are diagnosed with stage 1 or 2 endometriosis, IUI with fertility drugs is usually the recommended first step towards pregnancy.

The fertility drugs therapy usually includes Clomid (clomiphene) and gonadotropin. The first step is IUI with Clomid to avoid the risk of conceiving with multiples and/or developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Gonadotropins can sometimes lead to OHSS in combination with endometriosis. 

Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is a fertility procedure in which sperm are washed, concentrated, and injected directly into a woman’s uterus.

IUI is timed as closely to ovulation as possible and to help, our expert fertility specialists control the time of ovulation with the administration of the hCG injection (Ovidrel). The insemination is accomplished by placing a speculum in the vagina to visualize the cervix. A small, sterile catheter containing the sperm will be inserted through the cervical opening into the uterine cavity next to the tubal openings.

A study conveyed in this area has shown that women diagnosed with unexplained infertility or those who had undergone a surgical correction are 3 times more likely to get pregnant with IUI with Clomid than those who pursue natural conceiving. 

In vitro fertilization treatments (IVF) in Cyprus as a suitable solution for women with endometriosis

IVF treatments are usually the last approach to pregnancy. Even though, they are the most effective solution for getting pregnant when diagnosed with infertility. 

With IVF the fertilization is happening under fully-controlled laboratory conditions and each step of the treatment is monitored by the fertility team. The quality of the resulting embryo is reaching a significantly higher level than with IUI and with the help of the cutting – edge technologies we can ensure our patients that the embryos with the highest quality are transferred to the woman’s uterus. Our fertility experts are conveying a list of fertility tests that allow us to 

IVF is the most common and most effective infertility treatment. If the IUI with fertility drugs are unsuccessful, then IVF is the next recommended step. 

In some cases, depending on the circumstances and the result from the fertility evaluation, the IVF treatments are the first option. You would likely be recommended to go directly with an IVF treatment  if you:

  • Are suffering from endometriosis in stage 3 or 4
  • Are in more advanced reproductive age ( >35)
  • Have been detected with multiple infertility risk factors (like male infertility or low ovarian reserves)
  • Have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility

Which in – vitro fertilization treatments that euroCARE offers can be your solution for pregnancy with endometriosis? 

EuroCARE is a renowned fertility clinic that has already for a decade been providing fertility treatments in North Cyprus. During this period our mission was and still is to offer a suitable treatment to help you get pregnant no matter the circumstances, or infertility causes. 

Today, we are proud of a list of IVF treatments resulting in successful pregnancies in 8 of 10 patients. Our fertility experts are ready to help you get pregnant with both standard IVF with their own reproductive material and also IVF with donated reproductive material (eggs, sperm). Also, at our clinic can be found Embryo donation for those couples who are experiencing male and female infertility. 

To be more concrete, here is the list of treatments available at euroCARE IVF in North Cyprus:  

  • IVF with ICSI 
  • IVF with IMSI
  • IVF with Egg Donation
  • IVF with Sperm Donation
  • IVF with Embryo Donation 
  • Tandem IVF
  • IVF with Gender Selection 

Furthermore, our clinic is performing additional assisted reproductive technologies that can upgrade your IVF treatment and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy, such as :

  •  Preimplantation genetic screening and diagnostic (PGS & PGD)
  •  Assisted hatching 
  •  Embryo Glue
  •  Sperm – sorting chip 
  •  Blastocyst transfer

All of these treatments, depending on your fertility evaluation can be an effective solution for overcoming the harm that endometriosis can do to your fertility. The upgrades of your IVF cycle can help to overcome the risks of failed implantation, miscarriages, insufficient embryo development, and poor reproductive material quality. 

No matter your circumstances, our fertility experts would carefully examine your concrete case and suggest the most suitable treatment for you. 

EuroCARE Team is here for you! 

Connect with our team and share your struggles with us. We would patiently listen to your story and provide you with the most favorable and affordable option for you. 

The IVF success rates of euroCARE IVF are a strong indicator of our strong dedication to help couples improve their chances of getting pregnant, and help them get pregnant with a wide range of low-cost IVF treatments

You are only a step away from getting free consultations with one of the best IVF doctors in Cyprus

 

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Resources:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endometriosis

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