Getting Pregnant with Endometriosis: Is It Possible

The term “getting pregnant” refers to the act of creating a new life inside your body. The word “pregnancy” comes from Latin meaning “new birth.” A woman’s ability to become pregnant depends on many factors including her age, health status, and even genetics. There are several types of fertility treatments available for women with endometriosis. These include medications, surgery, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), and IUI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). All of these procedures involve taking eggs or other reproductive cells from a donor and using them to create embryos that can grow into babies. The procedure may take months or years before the embryo implants in the uterus. If successful, the baby will have all of its organs developed and be able to survive outside the womb.

Getting Pregnant With Endometriosis: Is It Possible?

It is possible to conceive a child with endometriosis. However, there are some risks involved when attempting to do so. One of the most common concerns is whether or not you will ever be able to carry a baby to full term. Other potential problems include needing medical care during labor and delivery, having complications during childbirth, and losing your baby due to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Pregnancy With Endometriosis

Many women with endometriosis find that their symptoms actually decrease during pregnancy. This is because making a baby causes the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to release hormones that stop menstruation, increase the amount of estrogen, and prevent tissue from breaking down.

However, the mothers’ chances of having complications during birth and miscarriage go up when they have endometriosis. This is because the endometrial lesions may have been left untreated for so long that they have spread to other areas in the abdomen, pelvic region, and lower back. This could potentially block the intestines and other internal organs, which will need to be manually shifted around in order to free up space during labor.

What Is A Successful Pregnancy With Endometriosis?

A successful pregnancy with endometriosis is one in which both the mother and baby live to see their first birthday. If a mother is between the ages of 15 and 34, her chances of successfully carrying a baby to full term without any major complications or birth defects is about 90%. If she is over the age of 35, it drops to about 70%.

Every woman with endometriosis is different. The severity of her endometriosis, how far along she is in her pregnancy, and her overall health status will all determine whether or not she has complications.

If you or someone you know is pregnant with endometriosis and are looking for information on local support groups or other resources, please call The EndoFoundation at (760) 568-3333.

Endometriosis And Pregnancy Success Rates:

IVF and ICSI Success Rates

IVF is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a doctor takes an ovum, or egg cell, and a man’s spermatic cells and combine them in a petri dish to facilitate fertilization. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the mother for implantation in the uterus.

The first successful IVF pregnancy occurred in 1978.

The chances of getting pregnant with IVF are fairly high. In fact, about 40% of women who undergo IVF get pregnant and carry those pregnancies to term. One in every ten IVF pregnancies result in multiple births, and the chances of twins or more increases with the mother’s age.

With ICSI, the chances of getting pregnant are even higher. In this procedure, a single spermatic cell is injected into an egg to facilitate fertilization. The success rate for ICSI is about the same as it is with IVF.

What Are The Risks of IVF?

There are risks with every pregnancy, and there are also additional risks with IVF. However, these can all be managed and averted if the mother-to-be gets the proper medical care. It is important to remember that even without IVF, a woman is already dealing with some risk when getting pregnant.

Risks with IVF:

Multiple births. This is the most common risk with IVF. However, as stated in the previous section, the chances of having twins, triplets, or more also increase with a woman’s age. With that in mind, it is more common for women over the age of 35 to have IVF treatments because their chance of getting pregnant without treatment decreases significantly.

C-section delivery. Since multiple births occur so frequently with IVF, many doctors prefer to perform a C-section delivery because it is safer for the mother and the babies.

Premature birth. As noted, IVF increases the risk of having a premature delivery. This means that the babies are likely to be underweight and underdeveloped. The chances of this happening can be reduced by taking steroids and 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone beforehand.

These medicines speed up fetal lung maturity and development.

Risks with ICSI:

Elevated hormone levels. According to the Genetics Home Reference, ICSI may cause a slightly higher level of some hormones. This can lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This condition occurs when the ovaries become swollen and painful.

In rare cases, an overabundance of hormones can cause fluid to build up in the abdominal cavity and the lungs. This can be fatal if not treated immediately. Taking a mild dose of fertility drugs can help prevent this condition.

Most Common Treatments For Endometriosis:

There is no known cure for endometriosis. However, some medications and therapies can help alleviate the pain and other symptoms. Some women may need to try a combination of several different treatment types before they find one that works for them. It is a good idea to discuss options with a doctor before jumping into anything.

Pain relievers:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) decrease pain and inflammation. These include drugs like ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Aspirin should be avoided because it can worsen the bleeding disorder that some women with endometriosis experience.

Opioids are a more powerful type of pain reliever. They work by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which decreases the perception of pain. Some examples are hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin), and morphine.

In some cases, a woman may need a surgery to remove the endometriosis lesions. If the woman needs to undergo a general anesthetic for surgery, she may be given a sedative to calm anxiety and a muscle relaxant to prevent seizures. During recovery, she may also be given pain relievers.

Another treatment for endometriosis pain is a hysterectomy. This is the surgical removal of the uterus. A hysterectomy can be done in two ways:

When the uterus is removed through the abdomen, the woman’s adnexa (ovaries and fallopian tubes) can be preserved. This is called a subtotal hysterectomy.

Sources & references used in this article:

Treatment of deeply infiltrating endometriosis by PR Koninckx, D Martin – Current opinion in obstetrics and …, 1994 – journals.lww.com

Recurrence of endometriosis and its control by SW Guo – Human reproduction update, 2009 – academic.oup.com

Endometriosis involving the urinary tract by WS KERR Jr – Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1966 – journals.lww.com

Role of laparoscopy in the treatment of endometriosis-associated infertility by Y Osuga, K Koga, O Tsutsumi, T Yano… – Gynecologic and …, 2002 – karger.com

The efficacy of medical and surgical treatment of endometriosis-associated infertility and pelvic pain by J Donnez, J Squifflet, C Pirard, P Jadoul… – Gynecologic and …, 2002 – karger.com

Causes of endometriosis and prevalent infertility in patients undergoing laparoscopy without achieving pregnancy by R De Oliveira, F Adami, FA Mafra, B Bianco… – Minerva …, 2016 – researchgate.net

Beyond infertility: obstetrical and postpartum complications associated with endometriosis and adenomyosis by P Vigano, L Corti, N Berlanda – Fertility and sterility, 2015 – Elsevier

IVF and endometriosis-related symptom progression: insights from a prospective study by L Benaglia, E Somigliana, G Santi… – Human …, 2011 – academic.oup.com