Endometriosis is a common condition in which small pieces of tissue that are similar in make-up to the inner lining of the womb (endometrium) grow outside of the womb; for example on the bowel or bladder, ovaries and fallopian tubes and on the lining of the abdomen. It is not a cancer. You are more likely to have it if your mother or sister had it. It is linked to infertility.How Endometriosis affects fertility?
Although endometriosis can have an effect on your chances of getting pregnant most women who have mild endometriosis are not infertile. An estimated 70% of women with mild to moderate endometriosis will get pregnant without treatment. If you know you have endometriosis and are failing to conceive, talk to your doctor who can advise you or refer you to the necessary fertility specialists.
The exact nature of the link between infertility and endometriosis is unclear but the severity of the condition and location of the tissue appears to have an effect. For example, it is not fully known how a few spots of endometriosis may affect your chances of getting pregnant, but if you have severe endometriosis your chances are likely to be affected by the changes to your anatomy. However, even with severe endometriosis natural conception is possible.
If you have endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant without success, it is important that you get help and support so speak to your doctor about being referred to a gynaecologist or a fertility specialist.IVF and Endometriosis
Assisted reproductive techniques (ART) such as Intrauterine Insemination IUI) or In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) are established treatments for endometriosis-related infertility. NICE recommends that IVF is offered after two years of unsuccessfully trying for a baby with endometriosis, assuming other factors such as semen quality and ovulation are normal. However the chances of success are lower depending on how severe the endometriosis is.