Can I Get Pregnant if I Have PCOS or Endometriosis?
Many women in their childbearing years long for an affirmative reply. Others ask out of concern, because they do not want to have a baby.
This article focuses on whether, and to what extent, it is possible to get pregnant despite a diagnosis of infertility.
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Am I Infertile?
It is not unusual for couples to be considered infertile. However, there are different types and levels of infertility:
- Untreatable Infertility
5% of all couples who desire children remain childless. In these cases, complete infertility is assumed.
- Fertility Disorder
One in six couples succeeds only with great effort in becoming pregnant. These couples have a fertility disorder. The physical cause lies with either the man’s or the woman’s reproductive system, or with both.
- Primary Infertility
The term “primary infertility” is used when a woman has not become pregnant within one year of having regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Secondary Infertility
The term “secondary infertility” is used when a mother does not conceive again after having at least one successful pregnancy.
Possible Causes of Infertility
Supposed infertility can be rooted within the man’s or the woman’s reproductive system.
a) Causes of Male Infertility:
There are too few motile and healthy sperm cells (spermatozoa) in the sperm that could manage to reach the egg in the fallopian tube. This is also referred to as “low sperm count.”
Due to a blockage of the spermatic duct, there are no sperm cells capable of fertilization in the sperm.
b) Causes of Female Infertility:
Irregularities in the uterus or cervix due to fibroids (benign tumors) or post-operative scars. This makes the implantation of an egg more difficult or blocks the path of the sperm cells into the fallopian tube (where the egg is waiting for them).
Hormone imbalances prevent egg cells from maturing or moving into the fallopian tube (ovulation).
A damaged fallopian tube prevents a fertilized egg from making its way into the uterus.
c) Other Causes:
Some couples remain infertile even though no underlying physical causes have been detected. This is a case of unexplained infertility.
Can I Get Pregnant With PCOS?
Globally, 6.73% of women have been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), a metabolic disorder. Up to 10% of those are of reproductive age. (Source: Oxford Academic)
PCO syndrome causes the following disruptions in the female reproductive system:
- Failure to ovulate
- Menstrual disorders
- Irregular or missed periods
Due to the interruptions within the female reproductive system, infertility can occur. However, a woman suffering from PCOS should not automatically assume that she cannot get pregnant. This is important to note if there is no desire to have children.
On the other hand, women who desire children have the option of long-term medicinal therapy. With patience, you may be able to conceive despite PCOS.
Pregnant With Endometriosis?
About one in ten women of childbearing age suffers from endometriosis.
This is a condition in which the lining of the uterus also grows outside the uterine cavity, for example, in the ovaries, intestines, or on the bladder. Since this mucous membrane changes cyclically, painful inflammatory processes occur, which lead to irritating scarring and adhesions. (You can find out more at www.mayoclinic.org.)
Endometriosis can cause the following changes in the female body:
- Possible prevention of ovulation
- Menstrual disorders
Although endometriosis can lead to infertility, it is not impossible to become pregnant without intervention.
ℹ️ Couples who wish to have a child should note that hormonal treatment of endometriosis often has a contraceptive effect. Therefore, competent supervision by a doctor is necessary.
Pregnant Despite Infertility — Now What?
Perhaps you have become pregnant despite one of the conditions listed above.
You had assumed you could not get pregnant because of infertility. This news has downright pulled the rug out from under you! There are so many questions going through your mind and so few answers! Where do you go from here? Where do you even start?
You are not alone! We would love to walk alongside you every step of the way by providing you a non-judgmental setting to think through your concerns.
Find the path that is just right for you!
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