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The IVF Fertility Blog

How Endometriosis is Diagnosed & Treated

Endometriosis Yellow RibbonOne in 10 women worldwide suffer from infertility caused by endometriosis. This disease of the reproductive system disturbs a woman’s quality of life due to its painful, infertility symptoms.

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Harsh, painful periods
  • Constant fatigue
  • Suppressed immune system

Endometriosis Diagnosed

Because 60 percent of women suffering from endometriosis have no physical symptoms, endometriosis often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed for years until natural conception becomes impossible. Unfortunately, most women and teenage girls believe the myth that painful periods and heavy bleeding symptoms are normal and, therefore, they do not seek medical attention until they cannot get pregnant.

Endometriosis Causes Infertility

Endometriosis affects a woman’s reproductive and surrounding organs when uterine lining tissue (endometrium) grows outside of the uterus and into other areas of her body.

  • Abdominal cavity and pelvis
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes and supporting ligaments

This errant tissue is generated by hormones creating endometrial cells. The disease causes adhesions (scar tissue), lesions, and blood-filled cysts. Endometrial cells appearing in abnormal locations cause endometriosis.

When these errant endometrial cells grow and then slough off, there is no escape outlet from the body, and internal bleeding leads to:

  • Inflammation
  • Pelvic pain
  • Formation of scar tissue (adhesions)

Women with endometriosis are three to four times less likely to be infertile. Endometriosis causes infertility in several different ways.

  • Anatomical pelvic/tubal adhesions – tubal infertility
  • Diminished ovarian reserve – reduced egg supply
  • Toxic pelvic peritoneal factors – toxic pelvic environment
  • Autoimmune implantation dysfunction – embryo implantation failure

Symptoms of Endometriosis

Infertility is a classic and devastating symptom of endometriosis. Other pelvic pain symptoms:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen and/or lower back that can radiate to the legs
  • Pain before and during periods
  • Mid-cycle pain as a woman’s monthly egg ruptures through the ovary (ovulation pain – Mittelschmerz)
  • Lengthy and heavily bleeding periods, with or without clots
  • Irregular periods with spotting before a period begins
  • Fatigue and/or depression

Diagnosing and Treating Endometriosis

The suspicion of endometriosis usually begins based on a woman’s symptoms and is followed up with blood and ultrasound testing to detect ovarian cysts. Laparoscopy is the definitive method of accurately diagnosing endometriosis and determining its severity.

  • Endometriosis is usually treated by prescribing anti-hormonal drugs with the purpose of blocking estrogen production and shrinking lesions
  • When medications fail, lesions can be removed through laparoscopic surgery

Endometriosis Diagnosis & Treatment Expertise

We are experts in diagnosing & treating endometriosis. To schedule your initial consultation with the fertility specialists at New Hope Fertility Center – click the icon below – or call 212.969.7422.

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