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Endometriosis & Fertility

For women who have endometriosis, the condition may lead to infertility. Specialists at the Fertility & Reproductive Medicine Center have decades of experience in diagnosing and successfully treating women with endometriosis. Our advanced tests and treatment options can help you realize your dream of having a baby.

How Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?

Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows elsewhere in the pelvic area. This tissue can grow on or in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines or bladder.

In addition to causing severe pelvic pain, endometriosis can lead to infertility in several ways:

  • Pelvic adhesions: Inflammation and irritation from endometriosis can lead to scar tissue and adhesions. These adhesions may block the fallopian tubes, preventing eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilization.
  • Damage to the ovaries: Endometrial tissue can occupy large areas of the ovaries causing ovarian cysts or preventing eggs from moving to the fallopian tubes.
  • Pelvic factor: Endometriosis can affect fertility by causing a variety of physical changes to the uterus and other reproductive organs. Read more about pelvic factor infertility.

Fertility Treatments for Women with Endometriosis

Women with endometriosis can undergo advanced fertility treatments to increase their chances of conceiving. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery: We can use laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial growths and adhesions. Although surgery may not be right for everyone, in some cases it can help relieve pain and improve fertility. Learn more about fertility surgery.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): For this treatment, we harvest several mature eggs from the ovaries, fertilize them with sperm, develop the embryos for several days, and then transfer one or more embryos directly into the uterus. Read more about IVF.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University fertility and reproductive medicine specialist at the Women & Infants Center, call 855.925.0631.