Chronic Endometriosis and Infertility
A commonly misunderstood condition, chronic endometriosis can go undiagnosed for much of a woman’s life. It is often diagnosed only when a woman tries to conceive but is unable to do so without a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Fortunately, the experienced fertility specialists of Chelsea Fertility NYC have worked with many patients suffering from endometriosis, including those whose condition can be described as chronic.
Endometriosis can be chronic
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus lines the outside. Endometriosis is chronic when this tissue is inflamed. Symptoms of the condition can vary from one woman to another. Sometimes, women will not experience symptoms until they try to conceive. They may struggle to become pregnant and receive a diagnosis when they seek reproductive / fertility care.
For others, symptoms have been present for years but mimic severe PMS, so the women were unaware of the condition. Symptoms can include severe menstrual cramping, heavy (abnormal) menstrual bleeding, painful intercourse, pain during bowel movements, constipation, abnormal vaginal discharge and / or bloating.
Chronic endometriosis and infertility
As many as 50% of women with endometriosis will struggle to conceive without reproductive care. The outer uterine tissue can make conception difficult, especially when inflamed. However, there are treatment options for the condition, including medication to normalize hormone levels, such as birth control pills, and surgery is available to remove any scar tissue that may be present to relieve symptoms and assist with conception. Your doctor will be able to determine which screening methods are best and which type of treatment suits your diagnosis and family planning goals.
Why is endometriosis so difficult to diagnosis?
The actual medical process of diagnosing endometriosis is not the issue. The issue is ensuring that physicians do not dismiss symptoms for other female reproductive concerns. As noted above, endometriosis can closely mimic severe PMS, which in itself is often disregarded or treated only with standard pain relief such as over-the-counter medication or heating pads / hot water bottles. Better education and understanding is required of the medical community, and patients will need to advocate for the severity of their own experiences. Endometriosis is not a “normal” part of being a woman, and it should not be treated as such if painful symptoms are present.
If you have an endometriosis diagnosis or are struggling to conceive, please contact Chelsea Fertility NYC today. Our providers will be able to assist with recommended screenings and provide a treatment plan if desired.