To mark this month’s Endometriosis Awareness Week, here at Lister Fertility Clinic we are taking a look at the links between endometriosis and fertility, as well as assessing how diet can improve endometriosis symptoms.
Endometriosis is a common gynaecological condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found elsewhere, most commonly on the ovaries and the top of the vagina. This induces a chronic inflammatory reaction that causes internal scarring, pelvic pain, painful periods, painful intercourse, and infertility.
The condition affects around 1 in 10 women in the UK and while there is an established association between infertility and endometriosis, those with minimal to mild cases are likely to have no difficulty in conceiving naturally. However as the severity of the endometriosis increases, scar tissue can become more common and the chance of conception can decrease, as adhesions can trap the egg and stop it from moving down the Fallopian tube.
That being said, even with severe endometriosis, conception is still possible. Depending on the severity of the condition and other factors such as age and how long you have been trying to conceive, there are several fertility treatment options available for women with endometriosis.
Surgical treatment of endometriosis is known to help with pain and improve fertility. A gynaecological Laparoscopy, in which a small telescope is inserted through two tiny 1cm incisions inside the umbilicus and in the bikini line, allows a full assessment of the pelvis to look for and treat endometriosis.
In addition to surgical treatment, IVF and embryo transfer is an established and successful treatment option for endometriosis-related infertility. For, as the egg is removed and fertilised outside of the body, it is suitable for women with damaged or blocked tubes.
If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis and want to find out more about the fertility options available to you, book an appointment to see one of Lister Fertility Clinic’s fertility specialists here: Book an appointment
New Advances – Diet and Endometriosis
When a woman presents with chronic abdominal and/or pelvic symptoms, defining the cause – whether endometriosis, IBS or both – can be challenging. This dilemma may in part contribute to the average delay of almost a decade before an eventual diagnosis of endometriosis is made. Both conditions share the key feature of visceral hypersensitivity and around 9/10 women with endometriosis have gastrointestinal symptoms.
According to a recent randomised controlled trial dyspareunia, menstruation affecting bowel symptoms and pelvic pain were more frequently reported in those with known endometriosis. Seventy two percent of these women reported a >50% improvement in bowel symptoms after four weeks of a low FODMAP diet compared with 49% in those with no known endometriosis.
Low FODMAP diet can be quite tricky to adhere to and best done with guidance from a registered dietitian as nutritional adequacies and individual needs would be taken into consideration.
Lister Fertility Clinic now has in- house Women’s health Specialist HCPC registered dietitian Komal Kumar, who is also low FODMAP trained from Kings College.
To book your assessment with Komal, please email Lister.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 881 2043 and leave a message.
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