Endometriosis is a common condition that can affect a woman’s fertility. This condition makes it much more difficult for women to conceive naturally. Fertility treatments help patients address sources of infertility so they can achieve their dream of parenthood. However, because endometriosis impacts the health of virtually the entire reproductive system, many endometriosis patients question whether any fertility treatment can help them become pregnant.
IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a treatment that oversees every phase of conception, giving women with endometriosis the best chance of conceiving. Fertility specialist Sonja Kristiansen discusses IVF with endometriosis patients at her Houston, TX clinic to help them decide if in vitro fertilization is the right choice for their unique situation.
How Endometriosis Affects Fertility
Endometriosis is a condition that affects more than 200,000 women in the United States. In women with endometriosis, the lining of the uterus (or the endometrium) grows outside the uterus rather than inside it. Although the endometrial tissue is misplaced, it continues to function as it normally would.
During a woman’s menstrual cycle, these tissues will thicken, break down, and bleed. However, because they are misplaced, these tissues have no viable way to exit the body. Instead, they become trapped and create an unhealthy environment in the pelvic organs, including the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Many patients with endometriosis even develop cysts.
Endometriosis has been shown to have a significant impact on a woman’s fertility. Women who suffer from endometriosis have roughly a five percent chance of conceiving naturally each month, as compared to the 15 to 20 percent chance in women without endometriosis.
How Does IVF Help?
In vitro fertilization is a great fertility treatment for women suffering from endometriosis. Through IVF, Dr. Kristiansen is able to oversee every stage of conception, including ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. Below are the basic stages of IVF treatment:
- Ovarian stimulation: Fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries and trigger the release of healthy eggs.
- Semen collection: A semen sample is collected and processed to isolate the healthiest sperm.
- Egg retrieval: Mature follicles (or eggs) are aspirated with ultrasound guidance.
- Fertilization: The sperm and eggs meet. The eggs are then evaluated to determine if fertilization has been successful.
- Embryo transfer: The selected number of embryos are passed through the cervix and deposited directly into the uterus.
The IVF process is such a great option for women with endometriosis because it allows Dr. Kristiansen to bypass the pelvic organs that have been compromised by this condition. Women with endometriosis are far more likely to conceive successfully with IVF treatment than they would naturally.
Schedule an Appointment
In vitro fertilization is an effective fertility treatment for couples facing a number of infertility problems. If you have been unable to conceive naturally and would like to learn more about the IVF process, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sonja Kristiansen at your earliest convenience.