An estimated 10% of women have endometriosis, which raises infertility concerns because up to 50% of infertile women have an endometriosis diagnosis. Jane Miller, MD, at North Hudson IVF is an infertility expert who works closely with each patient, treating endometriosis as part of an overall plan to help them have a successful pregnancy. For compassionate treatment of endometriosis and infertility, call the office in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, or book an appointment online.
A tissue called the endometrium lines your uterus, and the hormones released throughout your monthly cycle trigger changes in the endometrium that prepare it to nurture an embryo. If you don’t become pregnant, the endometrium sheds, and that causes your menstrual period.
When tissue from the endometrium grows outside your uterus, you have a condition called endometriosis. The endometrial tissue can attach to the outer wall of your uterus, your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the ligaments supporting the uterus. In some cases, endometriosis develops on the bladder, bowel, and diaphragm lining.
Endometrial tissues that implant outside your uterus continue to respond to monthly hormone cycles. As a result, bleeding occurs inside your pelvis, leading to pain and scarring. Over time, endometriosis may grow larger and spread.
There are several plausible theories, but most professionals currently believe that endometriosis develops when tissue flows backward during your menstrual period. Rather than leaving your body as part of your menstrual bleeding, the tissue goes out through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis.
It’s normal for all women to have some endometrial tissue flow backward and into the fallopian tubes during their periods. The mystery is why the tissue implants outside the uterus in some women but not in others.
Pain is the primary symptom of endometriosis. The severity of your pain isn’t related to the extent of your endometriosis. Some women have large patches of endometriosis and minimal symptoms, while others with a small amount of endometriosis suffer excruciating pain.
When you have endometriosis, you’ll experience symptoms such as:
Some women also have abnormal bleeding. For example, you may have periods that are heavier than normal or bleeding between periods.
Endometriosis may cause infertility in several ways. The inflammation, scarring, and adhesions caused by endometriosis interfere with the functioning of your ovaries and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis may cause ovarian cysts that are toxic to eggs. The patches of endometrial tissue, or lesions, also secrete chemicals that can prevent fertilization and interfere with embryo implantation.
Your endometriosis treatment may include medical management or minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. After administering treatment for endometriosis, Dr. Miller continues to work with you until you achieve a healthy pregnancy.
To learn whether endometriosis is the cause of your infertility, call North Hudson IVF or book an appointment online.