Endometriosis affects around 30-50 percent of women with infertility issues. Patients with “mild or moderate” endometriosis can get pregnant spontaneously without any additional treatment in many cases, shares gynaecologist Ellie Rayner. However, some people can experience a difficult time getting pregnant. Diana Murungi was one of them.
Following six miscarriages, Diana, 35, from Basingstoke was diagnosed with endometriosis, cysts on her ovaries and fibroids.
“It was very hard. At one point I was almost losing hope. I was tired both physically and emotionally,” Diana told Express.co.uk.
Diana and her partner Moses were trying to get pregnant naturally for over seven years after having numerous laparoscopies.
Doctor Rayner explains that laparoscopy is a surgery that can treat or remove areas of endometriosis and help your chances of getting pregnant.
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“The type of surgery recommended will depend on how extensive the endometriosis is and where exactly it is,” said the doctor.
However, this surgery didn’t help in Diana’s case. Eventually, she decided to start IVF treatment at TFP Wessex Fertility clinic.
IVF is one of several techniques used to help people with fertility problems to have a baby.
Doctor Rayner explains that depending on your individual circumstances, you may be recommended this option.
Diana says that in her case it was mainly IVF that helped her conceive and give birth to a baby girl named Siima.
The mum said: “When you have had so many losses and you get pregnant you don’t relax at all.
“In total, I had four rounds of IVF, it was a very private, personal and painful journey but every day I look at Siima and I am so in love.
“I am so glad I didn’t give up. She turned two on 1 November 2021, which wonderfully happens to be National Fertility Awareness Week.”
Doctor Rayner explained that in some cases conceiving with IVF might be difficult: “Unfortunately, the chances of IVF being successful are lower depending on how severe the endometriosis is.”
However, the doctor stresses there are different options available for endometriosis patients trying to conceive.
Even though laparoscopy didn’t work in Diana’s case, it still can be a helpful option for others. If you also suffer from ovarian cysts, the doctor suggests it might help to have these removed to increase your chances of natural conception.
Doctor Rayner also offered advice for when you manage to get pregnant: “Having endometriosis does increase your chance of having a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy – pregnancy outside the womb.”
“So, it is important to seek medical advice if you find out you are pregnant and experience vaginal bleeding, stomach pain, particularly if on one side more than another, or pain in your shoulder.
“However, this is rare and the majority of women will have a healthy pregnancy and birth,” the doctor added.
She advises anyone thinking about getting pregnant or trying to conceive to seek advice from their GP, endometriosis specialist and also to get input from fertility specialists for the right support.
Doctor Rayner added: “It is important to know that even with severe disease, natural conception is still possible.”