Endometriosis, a chronic condition affecting around 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, is more than just painful periods. It's a complex disorder where tissue similar to the uterine lining (endometrium) grows outside the uterus, often on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic lining. This misplaced tissue thickens, bleeds, and forms scar tissue during the menstrual cycle, leading to a cascade of often debilitating symptoms.

Endometrial Ablation | Dr Mandana Master | Obstetrician & Gynaecologist


  • Pelvic Pain: The hallmark symptom, ranging from dull aches to sharp cramps, often worsening during periods, ovulation, and sex.
  • Heavy and/or irregular periods: Excessive bleeding, clotting, and unpredictable cycles can be common.
  • Painful bowel movements or urination: Endometriosis can involve the bladder and bowel, causing discomfort during these functions.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion: Chronic pain and inflammation can sap energy, impacting daily life.
  • Infertility: While not every woman with endometriosis struggles to conceive, it can affect fertility in various ways.
Early Warning Signs During Pregnancy | Dr Mandana Master | Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Early Warning Signs During Pregnancy | Early Pregnancy Screening Test | Dr Mandana Master | Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Fertility and Endometriosis

The impact of endometriosis on fertility is complex and varies greatly between individuals. While around 60-70% of women with endometriosis can conceive naturally, others may face challenges.

Here's how it might affect the journey:

  • Scarring and adhesions: Lesions and inflammation can cause scar tissue to form around the fallopian tubes and ovaries, potentially blocking the egg's pathway or hindering sperm movement.
  • Ovulation dysfunction: Endometriosis can disrupt ovarian function, affecting egg quality and release.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Altered hormone levels due to the condition can impact egg development and uterine receptivity.
  • Chronic pain: The physical and emotional toll of chronic pain can affect sexual function and intimacy, impacting conception chances.

Facing the Fertility Challenge

If you have endometriosis and are struggling to conceive, remember, you're not alone. Here are some options to explore with your doctor:

  • Lifestyle modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and adopting a balanced diet can improve overall well-being and potentially fertility.
  • Pain management: Controlling pain through medication, physical therapy, and complementary therapies can enhance your quality of life and potentially improve fertility chances.
  • Surgery: Laparoscopic surgery to remove lesions and adhesions can sometimes improve fertility, particularly in cases with mild to moderate endometriosis.
  • Assisted reproductive technologies (ART): Fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) can be valuable options for those facing significant fertility challenges due to endometriosis.

Beyond the Physical

Living with endometriosis, especially when facing fertility struggles, can be emotionally challenging. Feelings of isolation, frustration, and grief are common. Here are some ways to cope and find support:

  • Connect with others: Support groups, online communities, and talking to other women with the condition can provide invaluable understanding and connection.
  • Seek professional help: Consider therapy to address the emotional impact of endometriosis and fertility challenges.
  • Prioritise self-care: Make time for activities you enjoy, relaxation techniques, and healthy coping mechanisms.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy | Dr Mandana Master | Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Remember, you are not defined by your condition or your fertility journey. With knowledge, support, and the right approach, you can navigate this condition and find paths to hope and healing.

Living with endometriosis is a journey, not a destination. By understanding the condition, its impact on fertility, and the available resources, you can empower yourself to make informed choices, navigate challenges, and embrace hope for the future.

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