When a woman is diagnosed with endometriosis, often times she’s concerned about what that means for her future fertility. Factors such as age, fertility of a partner, and the severity of the condition can make getting pregnant with endometriosis a challenge. Read on to better understand what you need to know when it comes to pregnancy and endometriosis.
Is Getting Pregnant Possible with Endometriosis?
First and foremost, it is very possible to become pregnant when you have endometriosis. However, it’s reported by the Mayo Clinic, that an estimated 30% to 50% of women with endometriosis have trouble conceiving. A woman with endometriosis close to reproductive organs like the ovaries and fallopian tubes may experience infertility as a symptom. Additionally, a woman with severe endometriosis may struggle to carry a pregnancy to full term. Read more about what to do if you’re trying to conceive with endometriosis.
What to Do If You’re Trying to Get Pregnant with Endometriosis
If you have endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant, it is highly recommended you speak with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your endometriosis and age, your doctor may recommend trying to conceive naturally for six months before considering alternative options.
If after the six-month period you continue to struggle to get pregnant, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist. Your fertility specialist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Your treatment plan will depend on a number of factors such as:
- Stage of endometriosis
- Infertility risk
- Review of other possible infertility causes
- Personal preference
At the Kaldas Center, many times the solution to treating infertility from endometriosis is laparoscopic surgery to excise the endometriosis. This option not only helps the symptoms of endometriosis long-term, but often allows a woman to conceive naturally within several months of the minimally invasive surgery. Read about what our patients have to say after their surgeries at the Kaldas Center.
What Are the Risks of an Endometriosis Pregnancy?
When a woman with endometriosis becomes pregnant, they are at greater risk for a number of complications. Endometriosis can complicate the different stages of pregnancy and delivery. A 2017 Danish study found the following risks to be increased for women with endometriosis.
Endometriosis Pregnancy Risks:
- Premature birth
- The chance of a preterm labor for a woman with endometriosis is increased by 33% in comparison to a woman that does not have endometriosis. A preterm birth is considered to be when baby reaches 37 weeks or less of gestation.
- A woman with endometriosis is at a 8% risk for a miscarriage in comparison to the 22% risk for a woman without the condition.
- Placenta previa
- Placenta previa occurs when the placenta attaches to the bottom of the uterus at the opening of the cervix. Placenta previa creates greater risk for the placenta to rupture during delivery. The result is severe bleeding and potential loss of life.
- Smaller newborns
- Italian researchers have identified pregnant women with endometriosis are four times more likely to deliver a baby that is small for its gestational age.
- Cesarean delivery
- When pregnant, the odds of a cesarean delivery are double the rate for a woman with endometriosis. Additionally, while rare, it is possible for a woman without endometriosis to develop the condition after a cesarean delivery.
While the risks of an endometriosis pregnancy are daunting, working with a doctor you trust and listens to your concerns can help to ease the risks.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Endometriosis?
For those that feel relief from endometriosis during their pregnancy, it is short-lived because symptoms of the condition often return after giving birth.
Schedule an Appointment
When you’re trying to get pregnant with endometriosis, know that you are not on your own. The Kaldas Center is here with you to talk through your struggles and find a solution that is right for you. If you’re trying to get pregnant with endometriosis or are already pregnant with endometriosis and have questions, contact the Kaldas Center here or give us a call at (920) 886-2299.