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The Link between Infertility and Endometriosis

Are you thinking about starting a family soon? Perhaps you’ve put all the plans in place to begin this very important time in your life – a time that should be exciting and wonderful, filled with joy and anticipation.

But what if all the plans you’ve laid hit a bump in the road? What if you have trouble conceiving? You may feel as if your pregnancy hopes are just that – and will never become a reality.

Well, don’t give up on those hopes just yet.

Infertility can be caused by a number of factors, but for some cases the inability to conceive could be direct result of endometriosis. If you suffer from this condition, you are not alone – according to the Endometriosis Association, over five million women throughout the United States and Canada suffer from endometriosis.

So what can be done to overcome this widespread condition – and possible baby-blocker? Let’s take a look at the facts . . .

Endometriosis Defined

Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (and is discharged during a woman’s menstrual cycle) instead grows on the bladder, ovaries, bowels or other areas where it shouldn’t naturally occur. It can also grow around areas affected by abdominal surgery. The effect of endometriosis is often painful, causing discomfort in the pelvic area, back and lower abdomen, and can lead to internal bleeding, adhesions, bowel disorders, and the inability to become pregnant.

Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

The exact cause of endometriosis in unknown, but symptoms can be alleviated with pain medications and hormones (the kind used in most birth control pills) can help. Surgery may be required to remove the abnormal tissue growth, and in extreme cases, a hysterectomy may be necessary.

If you are concerned that endometriosis is the cause of your pain or fertility woes, discuss the possibility with your doctor. To determine a proper diagnosis, your doctor may need to conduct a laporoscopy, an outpatient procedure during which a lighted tube is inserted into the abdomen to view tissue growth.

A Natural Approach

If you’re wary of taking pain medications or hormones, or the thought of surgery sends you into hiding, there are natural solutions that may help. Dandelion has been used to help treat the symptoms of endometriosis, particularly pelvic pain. Black cohosh has a similar effect. Chasteberry caplets can generally be taken over the long term to ease regular symptoms. Commonly associated with menstrual relief, yarrow can held reduce related bleeding and inflammation. In addition to its pain-relieving benefits, valerian can also easy anxiety and sleep disorders brought about by endometriosis.

Of course, it’s best to discuss these and other possibilities with your personal physician to determine the best course of action and decrease the possibility of side effects.

Whether endometriosis is behind your infertility, or it has become a source of pain and discomfort on a monthly basis, you can take charge of the effect it has on your life. With these options in your health arsenal, you’re already one step further in putting your family plans back in motion.

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