Why Falling Pregnant With Endometriosis Is So Difficult
Researchers have discovered several reasons why women with endometriosis can find it hard to fall pregnant, and it is far from a simple problem.
These include physical differences in anatomy, biological reasons, egg quality and amount, sexual issues, and hormonal/ovulatory problems.
The inflammation associated with endometrial deposits on organs in the pelvic cavity can cause scar tissue called adhesions.
These often connect and fuse different organs together, usually in the wrong positions. The organs cannot move freely, and so their function is inhibited.
Adhesions can also cause the fallopian tubes to stick together, which prevents the egg and sperm from being able to meet and fertilize successfully.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition closely associated with the immune system and its inflammatory cells. The release of these types of cells and their associated inflammatory signals can lead to an inhospitable environment for sperm and eggs to exist in, for fertilization to be successful in, and one where its difficult for an embryo to implant.
The egg quality in women with endometriosis is often negatively affected for a few reasons.
Firstly, if they have ovarian endometriomas or chocolate cysts, they can affect ovarian function itself. However, surgery for these cysts can reduce ovarian reserves later on.
Dyspareunia or painful sex
Men: Watch Your Testicle Temperature
Love a hot soak in the bath? Tend to hit the sauna after a workout? You may want to cool your jets on these habits while youÃ¢re trying to conceive.
Ã¢The testicles are a few degrees cooler than the rest of the body, because thatâs a better temperature for sperm production, so anything that warms them up can potentially be an issue,Ã¢ Eisenberg says.
Studies have found that exposure to wet heat can lower your sperm count. And it takes your body 2-3 months to make new, mature sperm.
Another heat source to watch out for: laptops. Ã¢Theyâre less warm than they used to be, but they can raise the scrotum about a degree, which is enough to impact sperm production in a pretty short time, sometimes in less than 15 minutes,Ã¢ Eisenberg says. Play it safe and do your computing on a table or desk.
And how about that age-old boxers vs. briefs debate? Eisenberg says both are fine. Ã¢It really doesnât matter that much. You should wear whateverâs comfortable to you,Ã¢ he says.
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Positions Orgasms And Lube
There are a lot of myths about sex, fertility, and how to make pregnancy more likely. Some of these recommend different positions or keeping the hips elevated after sex for a period of time.
Others claim that if the woman orgasms , conception is more likely. Unfortunately, there are no studies that support these claims.
The one thing you should think about is your lubricant. Certain products can decrease sperm motility and viability. These are important when trying to get pregnant.
Youll want to avoid:
If you need to use a lubricant, try:
These products wont interfere with your partners sperm.
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How To Get Pregnant With Endometriosis
If you have endometriosis and are interested in starting a family, it may help to speak with your endometriosis specialist or OB-GYN first. This is particularly true for women who have had multiple surgeries for endometriosis.
“Women with endometriosis who are trying to conceive should see a reproductive endocrinologist,” says Witt. “A fertility specialist can evaluate the woman’s individual case based on her symptoms, ultrasound findings, age, and other fertility factors in order to determine the best course of treatment.”
A reproductive endocrinologist can also conduct blood tests, such as an anti-mullerian hormone test. This test can help determine a patient’s remaining egg supply or ovarian reserve.
Endometriosis isn’t a one-size-fits-all condition, but taking the time to speak with your doctor, limiting your intake of inflammatory foods, and engaging in moderate physical activity can improve your chances of natural conception.
If after six months you and your partner are unsuccessful conceiving naturally, you may want to consider an endometriosis-related infertility treatment option, like the ones listed below.
Have Sufficient Folic Acid
Folic acid is an important vitamin for those who are trying to conceive. It helps cell division and promotes ovulation. In fact, health experts recommend taking this vitamin before and during pregnancy.
In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers recommend the intake of folic acid supplementation at 0.4 mg/day for healthy and normalweight women for at least 6 months prior to conception.
Folic acid also helps reduce the occurrence of neural tube defects .
- All women of reproductive age should get 400 mcg of folic acid daily. Take folic acid supplements daily for at least 56 months if you are planning to conceive. Talk to your doctor about how much you need before and after you conceive.
- You can also eat foods rich in folic acid, such as dark-green leafy vegetables, broccoli, avocado, raisins, beans, and lentils.
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Tips For Getting Pregnant With Endometriosis
Since endometriosis and conception require a little more TLC, here are a few tips to support your journey:
Start a Prenatal
Every woman seeking to become pregnant in the next year should consider beginning a quality prenatal. Because inflammation and immune system dysregulation can be factors with endometriosis, there may be additional nutrients that are helpful. For example, antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and selenium are necessary for free radical protection of cells. To learn more about what to look for in a prenatal vitamin visit this article.
Start Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle
Each new menstrual cycle is marked by the first day of your period. And tracking your cycle along with any daily symptoms youre experiencing can be incredibly helpful. Why?
Tracking your cycle helps you get to know your body better, including how long your cycle is. The length of your cycle is what determines your fertile window, which well get to in the next section.
Tracking the symptoms you experience such as changes in sex drive, mood or cervical mucus can help you identify patterns throughout your cycle, including what you typically experience leading up to your most fertile days.
How do you get started? When your next period arrives, start tracking since that is Day 1 of your cycle. You can keep a journal and write things down, or you can use mobile apps such as Fertility Friend and Clue.
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What Are Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant Every Month
Generally, a woman whos trying to get pregnant has between a 15% and 25% chance of doing so each month. Despite those odds, most couples conceive within the first year of trying.
Whether you will conceive depends on several factors such as your overall health, age, your and your partners fertility, and having sex at the right time during your cycle.
Tubal Flushing With Oil
Tubal flushing is commonly used as a diagnostic technique to check for blockages in the fallopian tubes. However, tubal flushing with oil can also increase your chances of conceiving naturally in the months following the procedure. In tubal flushing, an oil-based liquid is introduced into the uterus through a tube placed in your cervix. The solution then makes it way through your fallopian tubes, flushing them out and potentially removing blockages.
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Is Morning Or Evening Sex Better When Youre Trying To Conceive
Morning may be the best time to have sex for conception, at least as far as sperm are concerned. Some studies have suggested that sperm count and quality are slightly higher early in the morning, which may mean better odds of conception if theyre deposited right after a good nights sleep.
However, there isnt a clear medical consensus, so if you and your partner are in the mood, you shouldnt let the time of day stop you.
How To Increase Your Chances Of Pregnancy And Fertility With Endometriosis
If youve taken a diagnostic look at all the things that may be blocking your path towards cradling that soft bundle and endometriosis is still top of the list, then Im ready to do the work with you. Lets start discussing how to increase your chances of pregnancy naturally while battling fertility with endometriosis.
Please keep in mind that the following methods arent a guarantee of pregnancy. Instead, they are meant to help you increase your chances of pregnancy while managing your endo symptoms.
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Infertility Is A Common Issue In Couples Trying To Conceive Intrauterine Insemination Is A Reproductive Procedure That Might Help Infertile Couples Here Are 10 Tips For A Successful Iui Treatment
Written by Arushi Bidhuri | Published : July 21, 2021 9:47 PM IST
Fertility is a bit of a mystery for most individuals until they start trying to take pregnancy seriously. Despite the numerous physical issues and surprises that could make natural reproduction difficult, noticing signs of infertility can help resolve the issue early. Everyone wants children at some point in their lives, but for some couples, having a kid is only a dream. When a couple is unable to conceive, the couple and their family goes through a difficult period. However, such couples now have reason to be hopeful.
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Use The Lube You Prefer
Some lubes are formulated to be fertility-friendly with ingredients that are non-toxic to sperm and may even support sperm health. These do workat least in a test tube. However, in real life, a study of almost 6,500 women found that the type of commercially available lubricant the women used did not affect how long it took them to conceive . So feel free to use whatever lube you like .
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Endometriosis Diet And Conceiving
Although there are many references in online forums to diet and endometriosis there is little actual research evidence that any foods in particular should be avoid or included in your diet to help with getting pregnant with endometriosis. Reviews of the research that has been carried out have concluded that the results have not shown that diet has an effect. More research into endometriosis and diet has been recommended by NICE.
For your own physical and mental wellbeing however eating a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is always advised, along with drinking plenty of water.
Does Pregnancy Help Endometriosis
Sometimes, but getting pregnant isnt the same as getting treatment for endo.
5. Fact: Endometriosis symptoms often improve during pregnancy.
The condition really could get better during pregnancy, thanks to hormone changes. In general, most women have a quiet state in terms of their disease because of the progesterone-dominant environment and the lack of menstrual cycles, Dr. Rohl explains. In particular, research published in February 2108 in Human Reproduction Update has found that many endometriosis lesions regress or even disappear completely during pregnancy however, some lesions remain stable, and some women experience a growth of these lesions during pregnancy. In other words, the way endometriosis behaves during pregnancy can vary considerably from one woman to another.
6. Fact: Breastfeeding also may offer a temporary reprieve from endometriosis symptoms.
This is also due to hormonal changes, particularly the fact that breastfeeding inhibits the release of estrogen, thus thwarting ovulation and the growth of endometrial lesions. As a result, pain and discomfort from endometriosis are often milder while women are breastfeeding.
7. Fact: Pregnancy wont cure endometriosis.
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So Can You Even Get Pregnant With Endometriosis
Yes, you can get pregnant with endometriosis. Having the condition doesnt necessarily make pregnancy impossible, but it can make getting pregnant trickier.
Folks with endo *are* less likely to conceive than those without the condition. But there are treatments that can help you have a baby.
Have endo but want a bun in the oven? Well fill you in on how to get pregnant when you have endometriosis.
In the process of conception, an egg is released from your ovaries during ovulation and then has to travel through your fallopian tube to your uterus, where it implants. While the egg is en route to your uterus, sperm travels through your cervix to hook up with that egg in one of your fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis may block the path, making that fateful hookup less likely.
Endo may also impact the baby-making process in these other ways:
- Endometrium in the uterus may not develop properly.
- Chronic inflammation can reduce fertility.
- Scar tissue can impair ovulation.
- The condition may trigger an immune response that attacks the embryo.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Coffee is a popular beverage, but its addiction can make it difficult for you to conceive.
First of all, the caffeine in coffee works as a stimulant and a diuretic. This means its high intake can increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which can affect your capability to conceive.
Even during pregnancy, expecting women are advised against coffee consumption as it can negatively impact the health of the unborn baby.
In a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers concluded that high levels of caffeine intake may delay conception among fertile women.
Another study published in Nutrition Journal in 2017 suggests that caffeine intake may negatively affect male reproductive function.
Caffeine is not just present in coffee. There are many food items that contain caffeine. Hence, choose your food wisely.
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Tips Can Increase Chances Of Getting Pregnant
Pregnancy can be difficult for those with health conditions that preclude conception. Start by taking better care of your body to increase your fertility. What else can you do to boost your chances of getting pregnant?
Learn about your body, especially your menstrual cycle. This is the most important piece of advice for a woman who is trying to get pregnant. Weve compiled a list of the top nine pregnancy hacks to help you get pregnant faster:
How Is Endometriosis Treated
Sadly, there is no cure for endometriosis, but symptoms can be relieved through medication and/or surgery. Surgery focuses on removing lesions, which reduces pain and can also improve fertility. Endometriosis often recurs and ongoing medication and multiple surgeries may be required to relieve the symptoms over longer periods of time.
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Impact Of Endometriosis On Pregnancy And Baby
Most women with endometriosis have a normal pregnancy, and no extra monitoring or special care is needed. However, the doctor will monitor your blood pressure.
Women with endometriosis may be at a slightly higher risk of developing the following complications .
- Bleeding towards the end of pregnancy.
- Placenta previa
- Low birth weight
- Preterm delivery
Endometriosis may improve during pregnancy, due to no periods, but it might recur and cause problems with conceiving again .
How To Get Pregnant With Endometriosis Naturally
If you do not want to undergo invasive surgeries or fertility treatments, it is still possible to get pregnant with endometriosis. Up to 70 percent of women with mild to moderate endometriosis can conceive naturally within three years. Using fertility awareness methods to understand your unique fertility signs and symptoms may increase your odds of conceiving naturally with endo. You can also try sex positions that help reduce the pain of endometriosis.
Understanding your menstrual cycle can help you better identify when you are ovulating so you can time intercourse with your fertile window for the best odds of conception. A natural solution for tracking your menstrual cycle is using a digital fertility monitor like Mira to measure your fertility hormone concentrations. Over time, Mira learns the patterns in your hormones to predict when you are ovulating, helping you time intercourse with your most fertile time of the month.
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Risk Factors For Endometriosis
The following are the suspected risk factors for endometriosis :
The spread of the endometrial tissue, involvement of the pelvic structures by the disease, extent of pelvic adhesion, and the blockage of the fallopian tubes are specific criteria that help in grading the stages of endometriosis.
The stage of endometriosis does not necessarily mean the level of pain, other symptoms, or the probability of infertility a woman would experience. For instance, a woman in stage one can have tremendous pain, while stage four can be completely asymptomatic .
Endometriosis And Your Mental Wellbeing
If you have endometriosis that comes with severe symptoms, you will be know that it is a debilitating and life-changing condition, with women often undergoing numerous operations and struggling to conceive. It can have a huge effect on your mental wellbeing, which is often worsened by the fact that there are few external signs of the pain and impact. It is difficult for other people, including employers and managers, to understand what you are going through, and this can mean that they are less sympathetic to your suffering. Endometriosis UK is a charity that supports women living with the condition.
If it is affecting your mental wellbeing to the point where you think you might be experiencing anxiety or depression, talk to a doctor.
1. NHS Choices Endometriosis
2. RCOG Endometriosis, Information for you. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Review date 2019. London, UK
3. ASRM Revised American Society for Reproductive Medicine classification of endometriosis: 1996
4. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Fertility and Sterility , Volume 67, Issue 5 , 817 – 821
4. NHS Choices Complications of endometriosis
5. NICE Endometriosis: diagnosis and management, Full Guidelines. Draft for Consultation. Version 1.0 Consultation. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. London, UK
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