panhandle logo

I Have Endometriosis: Can I Still Get Pregnant?

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Amarillo, TX

misc image

Endometriosis may be responsible for as many as one in two cases of female infertility, but being diagnosed with the condition doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get pregnant. Here’s how the right treatment approach can help.

Millions of women in the United States live with the adverse effects of endometriosis, a common gynecological disorder that’s frequently associated with heavy, painful periods, persistent pelvic and low back pain, and painful intercourse. 

 Endometriosis also ranks as a leading cause of fertility problems. Experts estimate the condition is responsible for as many as half of all cases of female infertility. 

At Panhandle Obstetrics and Gynecology in Amarillo, Texas, our expert team of women’s wellness specialists understands the significant and wide-ranging toll that endometriosis can take on your daily well-being and future pregnancy desires. Luckily, we can help. 

Here, in recognition of Endometriosis Awareness Month this March, we explain how the condition can undermine your ability to conceive and how the right treatment approach can help alleviate disruptive symptoms and improve your fertility in the process. 

The physical effects of endometriosis

With endometriosis, tissue closely resembling the membrane that lines the inside of your uterus (endometrium) grows outside of the organ, where it doesn’t belong. Known as endometrial implants, these spots of abnormal endometrium-like tissue can appear on:  

  • The outer surface of your uterus
  • Your ovaries or fallopian tubes
  • The tissues that line your pelvis

 This displaced tissue can also appear on your cervix, vagina, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. Wherever it develops, it acts just like the endometrial tissue that occurs inside your uterus: It thickens with blood, breaks down, and sheds with every menstrual cycle. 

Unfortunately, shedding endometrial implants have no way to leave your body during your monthly period. Instead, they remain trapped inside your pelvic area, causing adhesions, potential blockages, and inflammation. 

How endometriosis undermines fertility 

The cyclical nature of endometrial implants — along with the adhesions they create — can lead to a range of painful and disruptive symptoms, including: 

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Spotting between periods 
  • Period pain (dysmenorrhea)
  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Digestive issues 

 Trapped endometrial implants and their adhesions can also make it harder to conceive by blocking your fallopian tubes and/or creating an inflammatory environment that interferes with normal reproductive function. Let’s take a closer look: 

Physical blockage 

Both endometrial implants and their subsequent scar adhesions can physically block conception if they obstruct your fallopian tubes. When endometriosis is more severe or advanced, its adhesions can also cause damaging structural changes, like kinks, in your fallopian tubes or ovaries. 

Low-grade inflammation 

Pain isn’t the only consequence of the inflammatory environment caused by shedding endometrial implants; ongoing, low-grade inflammation also compromises normal ovarian and uterine function, making it harder for a sperm and an egg to unite and reducing the likelihood of successful embryo implantation in your uterus. 

Boost your chances of getting pregnant

If you’ve just been diagnosed with endometriosis, don’t assume it means you can’t get pregnant on your own. Endometriosis and its effects on fertility are different for everyone. Just as many women struggle to conceive naturally, many others become pregnant with no trouble. 


But if you’ve actively been trying to conceive for six months or longer without success, it’s time to see our team. 

After conducting a comprehensive exam to find out exactly how endometriosis is impacting your fertility, we create a fully tailored treatment plan that eases your symptoms and increases your chances of getting pregnant. 

To determine the right fertility-boosting approach, we consider:

  • The quantity and location of your implants and adhesions
  • The presence and location of any severe endometrial damage
  • The nature and intensity of your recurrent endometriosis symptoms 
  • Your age, pregnancy plans, and future family planning desires 

Minimally invasive surgery to remove endometrial implants and/or adhesions is often the first step toward improved fertility. While this procedure can alleviate pain and boost your chances of getting pregnant, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of having surgery — repeated procedures can lead to scar tissue which may be just as problematic. 

If you have moderate to severe endometriosis, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be the fastest route to a successful pregnancy. Women with endometriosis experience similar rates of IVF success as those without the disorder. 

If you don’t plan to get pregnant soon, we may recommend taking hormonal contraceptive medication to stop your menstrual cycle and halt the endometrial implant shedding/adhesion process. This approach can restrain the condition until you’re ready to start trying to conceive. 

Endometriosis can’t be cured, but there’s a lot we can do to help you control it and protect your fertility. To learn more or schedule a visit at Panhandle Obstetrics and Gynecology, give us a call at 806-359-5468 today.