Trying to Conceive After a Laparoscopy for Endometriosis
As we support endometriosis patients and organizations, we also continue to encourage discussion across different platforms.
Chrissy Tiegen recently opened up about her experience with endometriosis surgery. The model and author has bravely shared details of the impact this diagnosis has had on her life.
From pre-surgery pains, to a difficult recovery, and even her experience with miscarriage. Baring it all has helped to raise awareness about the hardships women diagnosed with endometriosis face each day.
That’s why we’re here to address questions about this condition and how it affects someone’s chances of getting pregnant.
Over 176 million women across the world have been diagnosed with Endometriosis. For some, it is only when they are trying to conceive and seek out fertility help, or are diagnosed with infertility, that endometriosis is discovered and treated.
Endometriosis Infertility Rates
Endometriosis is a disorder that causes the uterine lining (otherwise known as an endometrium) to grow on other organs within the body.
While it can spread to other areas, this growth often occurs in the lower abdomen or pelvis. Not only does this cause discomfort and pain, but these growths can also negatively affect fertility by causing abnormalities in the fallopian tubes and uterus. These abnormalities may lead to miscarriages or cause difficulties for women trying to get pregnant easily.
Many women who have endometriosis may have no problems getting pregnant. But about 30% to 50% of women diagnosed with endometriosis do struggle to conceive easily. Endometriosis can cause infertility issues through blockages or scarring in the Fallopian tubes, growths in the uterus making it difficult for embryos to attach, or immune system changes.
There are four different stages, or “scores” of endometriosis that can be diagnosed by your fertility doctor.
Stage one is considered minimal and stage two is mild. Stage three is moderate, and stage four is considered to be a severe case. Pregnancy success rates usually correlate to how mild or severe a patient scores. Patients who have more severe cases of endometriosis will have a tougher time getting pregnant fast compared to those who have minimal or mild cases.
Thankfully, medical advancements have provided options to overcome the challenges endometriosis presents. Sometimes surgery can improve your chances of conceiving with endometriosis. Doctors may choose different kinds of surgeries on a case by case basis, but the most common endometriosis surgery is laparoscopy.
Laparoscopy is usually used for mild to moderate cases. It is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to view areas where endometriosis is present and remove any growths or scar tissue. During this procedure they are able to see how widespread a case of endometriosis is within the body. If a case of endometriosis is very severe, a more extensive surgery may be recommended.
Getting Pregnant After a Laparoscopy
Cases of endometriosis that are minimal or mild may not present any problems with pregnancy. Fertility doctors usually encourage patients to try and get pregnant through traditional methods for one year (6 months if they are over 35) before seeking out medical help.
For young women under 35 doctors often find it helpful to remove growths or scar tissue. Ideally, removal of growths or scar tissue will make it easier for someone to get pregnant through traditional means or minimally invasive fertility treatments like IUI.
Women who are over 35 may have their doctor recommend other options besides surgery to achieve pregnancy, such as IUI or IVF. These treatment options may also be recommended instead of surgery for severe cases of endometriosis where the fallopian tubes are completely blocked, or if pregnancy does not occur 6 to 12 months after surgery.
It is important to note that surgery does not always work for all cases. Your fertility doctor may not recommend having another surgery if the first did not achieve success, and may encourage you to seek other infertility treatment options to become pregnant.
Usually, a clear improvement is seen for women who have stage three or 4 endometriosis and choose to get surgery. Some studies have shown higher rates of pregnancy after endometriosis laparoscopic surgery.
Infertility Specialist Doctors for Endometriosis
Each endometriosis case is unique. It’s important to work with a fertility specialist who takes the time to examine the specific problems your endometriosis diagnosis presents and work with you to create a tailored solution.
Thankfully, our specialized fertility team at Reproductive Health and Wellness Center has your back. With a philosophy prioritizing highly individualized care and treatment plans, our team utilizes every tool they have to give you the best possible chances of success.
Our dedicated fertility specialists are well versed in endometriosis fertility treatment options. Whether you are at risk for endometriosis or have already been diagnosed with endometriosis caused infertility, we are here to help you overcome any challenges this condition may bring and get you started building your family today!
Contact us to schedule a free consultation, speak to a specialist, or simply ask us questions.