What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the presence of the glandular lining of the uterus (endometrium) outside the uterus. This glandular lining may implant itself on ovary, tubes or ligaments of the pelvic floor (uterosacral or cardinal ligaments) where it has been deposited and begins to grow. These implants respond to the hormones of the menstrual cycle in the same way as does the lining of the uterus (endometrium). Like the endometrium, the implants thicken and swell with blood in order to prepare for a possible pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur then both the endometrium and the implants break down and bleed (the period).
Endometriosis causes infertility problems in approximately 30% of infertile women, and approximately up to 5% in fertile women.
People with endometriosis may experience problems including:
- Pain - pelvic, period, ovulation, and pain during sexual intercourse.
- Heavy or irregular menstrual cycles.
- Premenstrual symptoms such as mood swings.
The definitive diagnosis of endometriosis by one of our Fertility Specialist’s is made by visual identification involving a laparoscopic procedure.
Options available at Flinders Fertility for treating endometriosis associated infertility are:
- Surgical ablation. Surgical treatment involves the excision of or destruction of deposits. The extent of surgery takes into account a balance between safety and eradication of as much endometriosis as possible as well as pain management issues. Excision of large endometriotic cysts before IVF may improve outcomes. Surgical procedures that may be used include laparoscopy.
- In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
- Intra-uterine Insemination (IUI).
Assisted reproduction with IVF and IUI are well recognized management strategies and while they are superior to no treatment, they have slightly less favorable outcomes compared to any other cause for infertility, possibly as the number of eggs collected may be limited compared to other categories of infertility.
Medical (non-operative) management. Medical treatments include the oral contraceptive pill, Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues, provera and danazol. These are all contraceptive in themselves and are not recommended if the woman is trying to conceive. They do not improve conception rates after treatment.
Possible Treatment Risks
Possible risks of for treating endometriosis associated infertility include:
- Hot flushes, insomnia, reduced libido, vaginal dryness, irritability, depression, palpitations, joint stiffness, insomnia, and headaches (Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues).
- See Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
- See In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
Find Out More
At Flinders Fertility we recognise that a website may not cover all your information requirements. That's why we offer a number of information options. So, if you want to find out more about the medical and surgical management of endometriosis, either:
- Call on 131 IVF (131 483) to talk to one of our Fertility Specialists.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Seek a referral to Flinders Fertility from your Doctor.
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