There can be a number of reasons that lead to infertility in women. Endometriosis is one of them. It is a benign condition where the endometrium, which includes the tissues that form the lining inside the uterus, grows outside the uterus. Apart from infertility, it may also cause pelvic pain in women.
There are no such symptoms of endometriosis apart from pelvic pain and it cannot be detected without surgery. Thus, it is very difficult to diagnose this disease and state how common it is. However, research says that the prevalence of this disease in women in their reproductive age is between 3 to 10 per cent.
It is found that endometriosis sometimes leads to infertility. Here is how:
- Abdominal Adhesions and Infertility: Normally, the endometriosis implants develop in the abdomen. Then the body surrounds them with connective tissues. The reason for doing so is isolating the implants, so that they cannot harm your body. Now, sometimes these adhesions can create a blockage in the opening of the fallopian tube or may also pinch off the fallopian tube. This will result in obstruction in the fertilisation of egg and the sperm and thus fertilization will not take place; so there are no chances of conceiving. These obstructions when diagnosed can be treated with surgery.
- Secretions from Implants: Endometrium plays a vital role in conception where the tissues secrete a wide variety of hormones and nutrients. Now, the endometrial implant also functions in the same way and secretes those hormones. The difference is that it does not deposit them in the lumen of the womb, and it is released in the abdominal cavity. In these substances, there may be some hormones that are responsible for infertility.
- Prostaglandins: Prostaglandins are other hormones that are secreted by the endometrium normally. It helps in a lot of body processes that include various stages of menstrual cycle and pregnancy. This hormone is required for a lot of functions such as ovulation, sperm mobility, and regression of corpus luteum, immune interaction, menstrual cramps and contraction of the uterus at birth.
Just like the endometrium, the implants also secrete these hormones. And, the problem that is caused by the implant secreted prostaglandin hormone is that they are released in the abdomen and not in the womb. Moreover, they are not secreted at the right time, thus sending a wrong message to the brain.
A woman with a few days of pregnancy may face a miscarriage because the ovary will get a signal to start the menstrual cycle, and the womb lining where the egg is implanted will be expelled.