Written by Tarina Mosley
Do you suffer from endometriosis? Have you been diagnosed with the condition and are now trying to conceive (TTC)?
There are plenty of things you should know with regards to the condition. Ways to manage and preserve your fertility are particularly important to many of Tempdrop's customers. After all - fertility is actually about more than conceiving! However, if you hadn't guessed by the title, today we will specifically talking about trying to conceive.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic pelvic disorder in which endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterus. This can include growth on the reproductive structures, the bowels, and other organs and tissues especially throughout the abdominal and pelvic cavities. You can learn more in an a recent endometriosis article.
It's an inflammatory process that's one of the leading causes of pelvic pain, and it's often associated with infertility. The condition can be incredibly painful and debilitating and can severely impact quality of life. I'd like to point out that while not everyone with endometriosis struggles with infertility, many do.
This condition affects roughly 10% of menstruators around the world. The gold standard of both diagnosis and treatment is by surgical means - it cannot be diagnosed through ultrasound. Treatment options may impact overall fertility, and it’s important to be informed in management of the condition to assist in managing your fertility while TTC.
Conventional management typically comes in the forms of hormonal suppression, surgical removal, and/or IUD placement.
How do you know if your endometriosis will cause infertility?
This answer depends a lot on the stage of endometriosis with which you have been diagnosed – with stage four being the most severe –as well as with the location of the disease. In most cases, people with stage one endometriosis need little support in conceiving, and the endometrial tissue will have less impact on fertility. The more advanced the stage of endo, the more likely you are to require support, medication, and/or surgery.
Should I get surgery to restore my fertility if my endometriosis is advanced?
This is a loaded question, and it depends a lot on personal circumstances and factors. Surgery is an option, but the research suggests that surgery should only occur in the hands of a skilled surgeon, which increases your chances of fertility preservation and removing all endometriosis. Laparoscopy surgeries can impact ovarian reserve (how many eggs are leftover) due to tissue injury, so a skilled surgeon can be beneficial in reducing tissue injury. You can find a network of skilled surgeons at Nancy's Nook.
What are some positive changes that you can incorporate while TTC?
First off, I would like to recognize that endometriosis is a challenging condition, and there is no quick fix! But there are ways you can lessen the pain and/or effects on your overall quality of life and increase your chances of conception.
What are some things I can start doing?
One thing to keep in mind is to take your time and make changes slowly. Don’t overwhelm yourself by starting everything at once. Slow and steady often does win the race. Keep a good record of what improvements have been noted, and slowly make sustainable changes over time. It's a journey, and I empathize with you. Endometriosis is a challenging condition, and it may take some time to see cycle improvements and achieve a pregnancy.
If you would like to learn more about endometriosis, download Tempdrop's free guide now.
Tarina Mosley is a certified fertility awareness educator through the FEMM institute and a registered midwife. She first discovered fertility awareness after experiencing a multitude of side effects from the Mirena IUD. Soon after, she herself received instruction - became obsessed with the method and sought education.
She has a passion for providing clients with comprehensive and individualized instruction based on informed choice. She has a keen interest in working with those who are trying to conceive, particularly those with PCOS.
She is based out of Alberta, Canada but provides instruction to clients all over the world. You can find her website www.fertilityfreedom.net or follow her Instagram account @fertilityfreedom.