Though you may never have heard of endometriosis, it affects about five million women in America currently. Endometriosis gets its name from the endometrium, which is the uterine lining which your body creates each month to prepare for pregnancy. If you do not get pregnant (and thus an egg does not attach to the uterine wall), then your body sheds the endometrium and you have a regular menstrual cycle.
Common symptoms of endometriosis that you may experience include discomfort before and during your menses, pain during intercourse, infertility or fertility issues, pain or complications with urination or bowel movements around the time of your period. You may even experience bleeding between your normal periods or a general fatigue or malaise.
Oddly, you may have endometriosis and not know it. Between fifteen to twenty percent of women with endometriosis have no symptoms. So, just because you don’t have the regular symptoms doesn’t mean that you don’t have endometriosis. And, some women with endometriosis have other immune disorders like asthma, eczema, or fibromyalgia. We recommend having regular visits with your gynecologist to make sure everything is working as it should.
Thankfully, pregnancy can actually improve the severity of your endometriosis. Hormones produced with pregnancy can cause most of the endometriosis to improve, so you may want to try getting pregnant before you have laparoscopy if that is something you are looking into.
If the endometriosis is so severe that you are not able to conceive, then a laparoscopy may be the next best option to try. After this surgery, the best chances of conceiving a child are during the first few months following the procedure. Timing the procedure with when you want to conceive can be important to consider. Once you are confirmed pregnant and most of the endometriosis has resolved itself, we can take steps to prevent the endometriosis from returning.