More studies are showing that many women do, in fact, achieve natural pregnancy with a history of endometriosis, despite the common association between endometriosis and infertility. There is a misconception that endometriosis makes natural pregnancy unlikely, particularly after laproscopic surgery to remove the endometriosis. For example, this RESOLVE blog post goes so far as to say, “Very few infertile women who undergo laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis become pregnant as a result.”
However, in fact, many women do achieve natural pregnancy after endometrial tissue is removed. A study performed in 2013 published in Clinical and Experimental Reproductive Medicine followed 43 infertile women with surgically proven endometriosis. The study participants all had laproscopic surgery to have the endometriosis removed, and nearly 42% of participants achieved natural pregnancy within 12 months after the surgery.
This isn’t to say that all women with endometriosis need to have laproscopic surgery in order to conceive a child naturally. Collaborative Care understands the general reproductive medical consensus to limit surgery to those cases where time and other reproductive variables, like male factor and tubal patency are in the patients favor. However, often ART doesn’t always bypass the problem either – IVF/FET cycles might not work and/or miscarriages can occur.
In these scenarios, we at Collaborative Care find it imperative to address the root issue, meaning the endometriosis itself, so that a healthy egg can be ovulated and an embryo can thrive. Treatment ideally is administered at least 2-3 months in advance of an ART cycle, or individualized treatment can be implemented while trying to conceive naturally. For example, we helped one of our patients, Meg, achieve pregnancy naturally within five months after a history of endometriosis along with miscarriage and prior failed IVF. You can learn her full story by watching this video.