Endometriosis is a disease of the female reproductive system, in which endometrial tissue (the tissue that normally lines the uterus) starts growing outside of the uterus. These extrauterine growths can develop on or under the ovaries, the fallopian tubes or the tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus, outside of the uterus, or in other areas of the abdomen.
Causes for endometriosis-related infertility
Women who have endometriosis are 30 to 50 percent more likely to be infertile. The exact link between the disease and infertility is not well understood. However, it is thought that infertility may be caused by a number of problems linked to the disease, including:
- a distorted pelvic anatomy
- the formation of endometrial lesions on ovaries or fallopian tubes
- endocrine and ovulatory abnormalities
- an altered hormonal environment
- difficult with egg implantation
- altered egg quality
Treatment of endometriosis-related infertility
In the case of infertility, the first therapeutic option is usually a laparoscopy, a surgical procedure during which the surgeon removes endometrial lesions. In cases where the lesion or scar tissue is blocking a fallopian tube and preventing the release of an egg from the ovary, laparoscopy can be very effective in treating infertility.
If laparoscopy does not improve fertility, or the lesions cannot be removed for other reasons, assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization are recommended, especially since multiple laparoscopic procedures may also reduce fertility.
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