One in six Australian couples will have a fertility issue at some point in their lives and one in 10 couples will have trouble conceiving their second child. You are not alone.
Don’t panic, your fertility journey doesn’t have to be an express service straight to IVF. Some simple changes can improve your chance of conceiving naturally.
It's important to remember the emotions, worries and thoughts you are currently trying to deal with are valid and common. You are not alone. Read on
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The World Health Organisation predicts that infertility will be the third most serious health condition in the 21st Century
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The Genea blog shares information, thoughts and advice with patients as well as those looking for all things fertility.
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Endometriosis is a common condition, affecting at least one in 10 women at some point during their menstruating years. It's a condition that can affect you anytime from when your periods first start right up until the time you enter menopause. It involves tissues that normally line your uterus (the endometrium) growing in abnormal places around your pelvis and, more rarely, other parts of your body.
Read on to find out more about the symptoms, the science and the solutions.
Endometriosis is a common cause of infertility. That’s because the more severe cases of the condition can distort the ovaries and fallopian tubes and can cause the body to resist or reject foreign material – such as sperm. We also know that the growths produce a whole series of chemical substances (called cytokines or interleukins) that are thought to contribute to infertility. Under the influence of these chemicals, ovulation and egg quality may be impaired, sperm may not function so well and embryos can find it harder to implant.
Basically, endometriosis doesn't make for a fertility-friendly environment.
While women with endometriosis in their ovaries may be diagnosed through an ultrasound, a definitive diagnosis of endometriosis can only be made with a laparoscopy or less commonly open surgery.
When you have a laparoscopy, a small telescope is passed through a small cut in your abdomen. Your doctor will then be able to see how severe and widespread the endometriosis is and may also take a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Almost always, endometriosis can be completely removed during that laparoscopy procedure.
Surgery (and, if needed) additional medical treatment can often help to reduce your pain and make life more comfortable. Additionally, removal of endometriosis can improve your chances of conceiving.
We've found that women who have mild endometriosis often experience only a small improvement in their natural fertility following surgery whereas those who have a more severe case of the condition show a much greater improvement.
If surgery to remove endometriosis doesn’t lead to pregnancy, women in this situation tend to decide to move straight onto assisted reproduction, usually through IVF.
The best treatment for you will be worked out by your gynaecologist or Genea Fertility Specialist, as there are obviously many different factors to consider.
You may have already been diagnosed with endometriosis or perhaps the symptoms we’ve described sound very familiar to you. If you are concerned that endometriosis might be affecting your ability to get pregnant, a simple discussion with a Genea Fertility Specialist is the first step you should take. We’ll work with you to come to a diagnosis and organise any tests that are needed to design the best treatment plan for you.
To take the next step and organise an appointment, please complete the form below.
You can’t catch endometriosis. The exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown but many doctors and scientists believe that during your period, the tissue from the uterus which is shed flows back along the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis where it attaches and grows instead of out through the vagina.
This event (known as retrograde or backward menstruation) happens in almost all women and in women without endometriosis, the tissue is absorbed and broken down. However, in women with endometriosis, the tissue sticks to places in the pelvis and starts to grow and multiply.
Once in place, the tissues undergo the same cyclic changes as they would in the uterus and bleed at the same time you have your period.
Learn more about endometriosis and separate fact from fiction on our page "Facts about Endometriosis"
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The #1 piece of advice our patients pass on to people trying to conceive is to ask for help earlier. Genea's Fertility Specialists are experts in helping people conceive and seeing one is not a fast track to IVF - in fact we help more than 50% our patients have a baby with fertility treatments other than IVF.