Endometriosis, a condition impacting hundreds of thousands of women around the world, is one of the most common causes of infertility. The condition is also under-diagnosed, and you might be given an incorrect diagnosis before your reproductive problems are correctly identified. At Serrano OB/Gyn, Christopher V. Serrano, MD has the expertise you can trust to diagnose your endometriosis and help you manage the symptoms – including your infertility concerns and conception plan.
How does endometriosis impact fertility?
If you have endometriosis, your body produces excess uterine cells in other parts of your body besides the interior of your uterus. During your monthly menstrual period, your uterus naturally sheds its lining, flushing these cells. Uterine cells growing in other locations can't be shed in this way and can instead linger and cause symptoms like painful lesions.
The difficult and uncomfortable symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Menstrual irregularities
- Painful intercourse
- Urinary and bowel issues
Of all these issues, the infertility that often results from endometriosis can be one of the most disruptive for your life plans.
When uterine cells gather on your Fallopian tubes or ovaries, they can prevent your eggs from releasing normally, or block them from successfully reaching your uterus to develop into a healthy pregnancy. With professional support, you may be able to conceive even with the condition of endometriosis, although your odds will be steeper if you have it.
An under-diagnosed reproductive condition
During National Endometriosis Awareness Month, we seek to draw attention to this under-diagnosed and complex condition, and the impact it can have on women and families. Endometriosis affects an estimated 10% of women. The condition typically runs in families, so if one of your female relatives struggles with endometriosis, you may as well.
If you've been struggling to conceive, find out if endometriosis could be the cause. When you come in for a diagnostic exam, Dr. Serrano can order tests, including a laparoscopy to confirm your endometriosis and identify any existing blockages. He then works with you to develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique health care needs and personal goals.
Dr. Serrano might prescribe medication to address your condition, including:
- Pain medication, used on a limited basis to control your symptoms
- Hormonal birth control, often helpful to lessen menstrual bleeding
- Other forms of hormone therapy
For women seeking to conceive, conservative surgery to remove blockages may be helpful. Severe endometriosis may eventually necessitate a hysterectomy, permanently limiting your fertility. To preserve your fertility, prompt treatment and correct diagnosis can go a long way.
To have your case evaluated for potential endometriosis by Dr. Serrano, contact our San Antonio, Texas, office today. Make your appointment online, or call us at 770-991-2200 now.