At Fertility Specialists of Houston we believe it is essential for our patients to understand what is happening to them every step of the way. We want you to maintain a feeling of control about the process. After your initial consultation our physician will be able to determine a preliminary diagnosis and make testing recommendations.
Once the initial work-up is complete and test results are reviewed, a diagnosis can be pinpointed and a treatment plan begun. We will educate you thoroughly about your particular diagnosis, but we have provided an overview below. Please contact us if you have any questions about this information or your own specific situation.
Endometriosis is a common condition that occurs when tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium) expands and attaches to organs outside of the uterus - usually the ovaries and fallopian tubes. While the cause of endometriosis is unknown, the condition is usually benign and many women conceive without the condition ever being diagnosed.
In advanced cases, endometriosis may cause scarring of the reproductive organs, blocking the fallopian tubes and mechanically interfere with ovulation. Two chronic conditions that may result from the presence of this disease are infertility and/or pelvic pain.
Endometriosis can be managed successfully through surgery, medication or a combination of both. Surgery involves removing the endometrial tissue on the affected areas in the pelvis. The surgery is usually performed via laparoscopy and is very precise, leading to, if successful, conception within a few weeks of the procedure. Subsequent pregnancy rates and relief of pain will vary depending on the extent of disease.
Since endometriosis is stimulated by estrogen, medical therapy has been used to suppress this hormonal stimulation. A particular approach temporarily places a woman into a 'medical' menopause for a period of up to six months. This treatment may assist in relief of pain and subsequent fertility depending on the particular condition. In a large percentage of patients who undergo medical therapy, an important implantation protein, integrin, is not present in the endometrium which could possibly decrease conception. Several months of estrogen suppression has been shown to treat this problem and improve pregnancy rate.
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