Mild endometriosis is unlikely to affect fertility
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Thursday, February 21, 2013
2/21/13 at 2:31 AM
Dear Doctor K: I have endometriosis. Could this affect my fertility?
Dear Reader: Endometriosis can affect fertility - but not in every case.
Endometrial tissue is the inner lining of the uterus. However, with endometriosis, the same tissue grows where it shouldn't - in places outside the uterus. It may grow in or on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, or in the pelvis or lower abdomen.
Endometriosis is more likely to interfere with your fertility if endometrial tissue covers or grows into your ovaries, or if it blocks your fallopian tubes.
There are many available treatment options. Even without treatment, most women with mild endometriosis eventually can become pregnant.
For mild pelvic or abdominal pain, you can try a nonprescription pain medication - ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), for example, or naproxen (Aleve). If this doesn't help, your doctor may prescribe a prescription-strength pain reliever.
Stronger medications that contain a mild narcotic, such as codeine, are available, but they carry the risk of drug dependence and addiction.
Other treatments relieve pain by controlling levels of female hormones. The treatments include birth control pills, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, progestins and a medicine called danazol (Danocrine).
Surgery is another option if medicines fail. Some procedures may be done laparoscopically, through small incisions. The doctor may burn the tissue away, trim it away, or use a laser to vaporize it. Many women who have laparoscopic surgery to improve their fertility become pregnant.
For more extensive endometriosis, you may need traditional abdominal surgery. This is done through a larger incision.
I don't think we know for sure that the treatments I mention above will improve fertility. However, let me repeat that most women with mild endometriosis do not have problems with fertility.
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106