Endometriosis and Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant is a major challenge for women with endometriosis. This painful condition is most commonly diagnosed in 1 in every 10 females in their prime reproductive age, leaving about half of them struggling with fertility problems.

However, a healthy pregnancy with endometriosis is possible with the right treatment and preconception care. Keep on reading to discover what steps you can take today to improve your fertility, prepare your body for pregnancy, and make your dream of becoming a mom a reality. 

Endometriosis and Getting Pregnant

Brief Overview of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It most commonly grows in the ovaries or the fallopian tubes, but it might also develop in the bladder, bowels, or other parts of the body. Although the causes of endometriosis have not been determined, it is believed that hormonal imbalance and genetics play a role.

Most women with endometriosis experience severe abdominal or pelvic pain, painful menstruation, and heavy or irregular periods. Some, however, do not have any symptoms and first get diagnosed with this condition after unsuccessful conception efforts.

Possible Effects of Endometriosis on Pregnancy

Effects of Endometriosis on Fertility

Endometriosis is known to diminish fertility, but its effects depend on the stage of the condition and the extent of damage to the reproductive organs. It might result in:

  • Fallopian tube blockage
  • Pelvic inflammation
  • Scaring and adhesions
  • Abnormalities in pelvic anatomy
  • Egg implantation problems
  • Poor egg quality
  • Ovarian damage

Effects of Endometriosis on the Mother and Baby

Endometriosis has not been associated with causing difficulties during pregnancy or endangering the life of the mother or her baby. In fact, some women experience an improvement in their symptoms.

There has been a small evidence, however, that having endometriosis puts women at an increased risk of a miscarriage, but more research is needed to confirm those claims.

Effects of Endometriosis on Pregnancy

Action Plan

Control Endometriosis before Pregnancy

Your goal prior to getting pregnant is to regulate your hormones and restore your fertility. Because estrogen contributes to the growth of endometriosis, the majority of preconception efforts will focus on lowering its levels in the body. Consider the following recommendations:

Healthy Diet

Studies have shown that limiting the intake of animal proteins and wheat can significantly improve endometriosis and reduce its effects on fertility. Compose your diet of foods rich in the following:

  • Phytoestrogens: carrots, papaya, or flaxseeds

  • Plant-based proteins: chickpeas, beans, and lentils

  • Fiber: whole grains, nuts, or chia seeds

  • Healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, or avocados

  • Antioxidants: berries, cherries, and spinach

Adequate Exercise

Having excess body fat could lead to increased levels of estrogen in the bloodstream. So, include regular physical activity in your preparations for pregnancy. It can improve your menstrual cycle and fertility, as well.

  • Try to exercise at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day. Good examples of low-impact physical activity include Pilates, swimming, or jogging.

Vitamins and Supplements

  • Hormone-regulating supplements, such as Macafem, can help you regulate hormonal imbalances and menstruation, thus increasing your chances of conceiving.

  • Prenatal vitamins with folic acid and iron will prepare your body for pregnancy and prevent birth defects.

  • Calcium D-glucarate can help excrete estrogen and prevent its build-up.

  • Diindolylmethane supplements can help remove excess estrogen from the body, thus relieving the symptoms of endometriosis.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, give your immunity a needed boost, and reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.

Treatment

Endometriosis cannot be cured, but proper treatment can help increase your conception chances. Depending on the severity, you might consider the following:

  • Pain medications might be effective in mild stages of endometriosis to reduce the symptoms and aid during conception.

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist can be used in the more advanced stage to trigger temporary menopause, which can also halt the growth of endometriosis. Its discontinuation will restore menstruation and has been shown to improve fertility.

  • Surgery is the last resort if hormone therapy does not bring the desired results. The endometrial growth and scar tissues can be removed to restore healthy function of the reproductive organs. 

Good Habits and Alternative Therapies

  • Cut down on alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they might raise estrogen levels.

  • Acupuncture has been shown to relieve endometriosis pain and help resolve hormonal imbalance.

  • Pelvic physical therapy can relieve muscle pain, reduce nerve impairment, and improve circulation in the pelvis.

Control Endometriosis before Pregnancy

Tips for Conceiving with Endometriosis

When it is time for you and your partner to start conceiving, remember that it can take time. Some couples succeed in getting pregnant naturally, while others have to use assisted reproductive technology (ARS), such as IVF or IUI. To optimize your conception chances, consider the following:

  • Stress reduction. There are countless ways to unwind and lower your stress, so find what works for you. Try yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation or engage yourself in exploring a new hobby, like photography or painting.

  • Friends and family. Having a strong network of support can help you cope with naturally rising anxiety with ease. Local endometriosis support groups might also be beneficial.

  • Aim to have sex frequently five days before and on your ovulation day to increase your chances of succeeding in getting pregnant.

  • Drink six to eight glasses of water a day to make your vaginal mucous more sperm friendly and to encourage conception.

Tips for Conceiving with Endometriosis

Manage Endometriosis during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the symptoms of endometriosis often subside. In case you do experience a worsening of symptoms, your doctor will direct you to the safest and most appropriate treatment.

Meanwhile, try to maintain a relaxed and hopeful attitude by:

  • Maintaining a healthy, endometriosis-friendly diet and staying well hydrated.

  • Keeping yourself physically active, focusing on low-impact exercises. 

  • Doing yoga or going for physical therapy to relieve pregnancy fatigue or back pain.

Manage Endometriosis during Pregnancy

Key Takeaways

There is no doubt that getting pregnant with endometriosis is difficult. Many women struggle with pain and discomfort for years trying to make their dream of motherhood come true. Despite endometriosis being the leading cause of infertility, thousands of women implement healthy lifestyle habits with proper diet, exercise, and supplements, like Macafem, and go on to have successful pregnancies and healthy babies.

Bibliography

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