So we’ve all been there, you have a Laparoscopy, see your Gynae and he gives you the news that you have Endo…
Now for me it was easy to work through as so many of my family members have it, we support each other and we’re always in contact about diagnosis, treatments etc
But we all have questions that sort of go unanswered… let me shed some light:
1) You have what?
Endometriosis is a very common condition where cells of the lining of the womb (the endometrium) are found elsewhere, usually in the pelvis and around the womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It mainly affects women during their reproductive years. It can affect women from every social group and ethnicity. Endometriosis is not an infection and it is not contagious. Endometriosis is not cancer.
2) Can you still get pregnant?
It is usually seen that women of the age above 25 to 30, mostly suffer from miscarriages and infertility due to endometriosis. Endometriosis and pregnancy are just like two opposite poles on the earth. Though they are interconnected, they seem to oppose each other. Women looking for natural pregnancy can have more complications when they suffer from endometriosis. There are different types of possible treatments available that can counter the effects of endometriosis such as excisional surgery, medical suppressive therapy, washed intrauterine insemination, etc.
Excisional surgery can be used to remove all the excessive endometrium tissue growth from the body. After this surgery, usually the patients are treated with medical suppressive therapy with the help of Synarel, Lupron and Zoladex. This treatment is found to be very effective in improving the overall pregnancy chances of women affected by endometriosis.
If you have lower level of abnormal tissue growth then it is recommended that you continue trying to conceive naturally. Take help of ovulation prediction kit to find out the probable ovulation date so that you can maximize your chances to get pregnant naturally. Women with lower levels of endometriosis can also go through the medial procedure known as washed intrauterine insemination. This technique is more efficient for women facing regular miscarriages due to mild endometriosis.
There are some effective natural treatments too that can help to minimize the effects of endometriosis and can improve the chances of getting pregnant naturally. Improving the level of serotonin in the body can help to eliminate the pain and inflammation happening due to abnormal growth of endometrium tissues. Try to include food items such as mushrooms, chicken and beans in your daily diet to enhance the serotonin levels in the body.
Estrogen is an element which is responsible to multiply the effects of endometriosis. Coffee and alcohol are the items that increase the level of estrogen and thus cause growth of endometriosis in the body. So it is best to avoid beverages such as coffee and alcohol as a preventive measurement to eliminate the effects of endometriosis to some extent. All these treatments can be very effective when combined with proper diet and exercise routine in our daily life that can help women to get pregnant naturally even after diagnosis of endometriosis.
3) Is there a QUICK FIX?
Quite frankly, NO!
Treatment options if you’re trying to get pregnant
If you have minimal or mild endometriosis, you’ll have a 30 to 60 percent chance of getting pregnant within two years of completing therapy. If you have a moderate case, you’ll have a 60 percent chance, and if you have a severe case, you’ll have a 35 percent chance.
One option is to have your doctor remove your abnormal growths and tissue with a laser or surgical tool during your laparoscopy, a relatively simple procedure. Afterward, you’ll have a 40 percent chance of conceiving. Your chances will be highest within a year of the treatment, since endometriosis commonly recurs in spite of the operation. If you have a mild case of endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant, your doctor may suggest that you forgo treatment for six to 12 months. If you don’t conceive during that time, you might consider your treatment options.
You may also start additional therapy for other problems discovered during your fertility workup. Certain additional therapeutic options include taking fertility drugs in conjunction with artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.
Treatment options if you’re not trying to get pregnant
If you aren’t trying to have a baby and your symptoms are mild to moderate, you’ll need regular checkups to monitor your condition but may not need medical treatment. Your endometriosis will most likely disappear once you reach menopause and stop ovulating and menstruating. If you suffer only mild pain before or during your period and your fertility is not a factor, over-the-counter pain relievers may be enough to relieve discomfort.
Birth control pills or progesterone may also relieve your symptoms by blocking ovulation, so that the uterine lining and the endometrium stop bleeding each month. This prevents new cysts and scar tissue from forming, which stops the progression of endometriosis without curing it. (If you’re trying to get pregnant, taking birth control pills or progesterone to treat endometriosis will only prolong the time it takes you to get pregnant.)
Other drugs that relieve the symptoms of endometriosis are also available. For example, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists mimic the hormonal changes that take place during menopause — they lower your estrogen levels, causing your endometrial growths to shrink and your symptoms to lessen. The downside is that these medications prevent endometriosis from progressing without curing it. Once you discontinue these medications, the disease may recur. The drugs are also expensive and often create menopause-like side effects such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and loss of bone density. As a result, your doctor will probably recommend this treatment for only six months or less. (You shouldn’t take these medications if you’re trying to get pregnant because they could harm a developing fetus.)
Your doctor may also be able to relieve your symptoms by performing laparoscopic surgery (using laser or other surgical instruments) to remove your endometriosis without removing the affected organs.
But if your condition is severe, your doctor may suggest surgically removing affected organs such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, or uterus. If your uterus is removed, you’ll no longer be able to become pregnant.
sad but true, this is what our lives have become