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INFERTILITY AND ENDOMETRIOSIS

The most common complication of endometriosis is infertility and couples often find out about the problem when they take up tests to check fertility status. The relationship between endometriosis and infertility has been the topic of much debate. Research has shown that infertile women are six to eight times more likely to have endometriosis than fertile women. Some of the explanations given for decreased fertility in women suffering from this disorder include distorted pelvic anatomy, endocrine and ovulatory abnormalities, altered peritoneal and tubal function, and altered hormonal and cell-mediated functions in the endometrium.

Based on common observations during laparoscopy, it has been found that the cysts and adhesions caused by the disease can lead to changes in the anatomy of the pelvic organs. This impairs the fertilization process and in turn affects the release of eggs, thus leading to infertility. Many women with mild to moderate endometriosis are able to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. Doctors may advise women with endometriosis not to delay having children as the condition is likely to get worse over time. Interestingly, the symptoms of endometriosis, especially pain, seem to disappear in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.