Endometriosis and Infertility
If you or a loved one suffer from endometriosis, you are not alone. According to the Office on Women's Health, at least 11 percent of American have the disorder. In fact, researchers believe as many as 50 percent of all women struggling with infertility are affected by endometriosis. If you have struggled to become pregnant or have very painful periods due to this condition, Dr. Stephanie L.F. Gustin at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC in Omaha, NE, can provide a personalized treatment plan to provide relief and help you grow your family.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that usually grows on the inside of the uterus starts to grow on the outside of the uterus. As the tissue has no place to exit, it can cause pain and discomfort as the uterus is trying to shed the lining. This can lead to abnormal tissue growths on the outside of the uterus. Although the growths are not cancerous, endometriosis can cause severe pelvic pain and irregular cramping during your periods. Additionally, some women may experience irregularly heavy bleeding and pain during intercourse and urination.
Because these symptoms are similar to side effects of your period, many cases go undiagnosed until sufferers have trouble becoming pregnant.
In addition to the uncomfortable symptoms of endometriosis, the disorder can cause serious complications such as infertility and a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Endometriosis can cause obstruction of the fallopian tube, problems during fertilization, and damage to sperm or eggs. While it does not necessarily prevent pregnancy, endometriosis can make successful conception more difficult.
Controlling your endometriosis can improve your chances of pregnancy and improve your overall quality of life.
Common Causes and Risk Factors
- You have never had children
- Women in your family have endometriosis
- Your menstrual periods and cycles are irregular
- You have been diagnosed with an immune disorder
- You are in your 30s or 40s
Diagnosis and Treatment
To determine whether you have endometriosis, one of our doctors can perform a physical examination involving a pelvic exam and imaging. If we determine that you have endometriosis or cysts caused by endometriosis during your testing, we can prescribe the appropriate treatment based on the severity of your condition and pregnancy goals. We can prescribe medication that takes your fertility goals into account. Hormones including gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) can help patients who are trying to become pregnant by temporarily halting the menstrual cycle and controlling the development of endometriosis.
Our doctors can also perform either laparoscopic or traditional abdominal surgery to remove as much endometrial tissue as possible and keep your uterus and ovaries in good health. By removing the growths, we can help you manage your condition without compromising your chances of becoming pregnant. Based on your results, our team can also determine whether in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help you achieve your dreams of parenthood.
Call Us Today
Controlling your endometriosis can improve your chances of pregnancy and improve your overall quality of life. Based on the severity of your condition, our doctors can recommend a treatment option that is right for you. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (402) 717-4200 or send us a message online.