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Am I infertile because I have endometriosis?

Probably not, women diagnosed with endometriosis are not all infertile. In medical terms, infertility is defined as not reaching pregnancy after 1 year of regular intercourse. It is estimated that 60-70% of women with endometriosis are fertile and can get pregnant spontaneously and have children. Therefore, women not wanting to get pregnant should discuss their options for contraception with their doctor.

A proportion of women with endometriosis and fertility problems will stay involuntarily childless, but there are no exact data on how many. Of the women with fertility problems, a proportion will get pregnant, but only after medical assistance, either surgery or medically assisted reproduction (IUI or IVF). There is no evidence that hormonal treatment or alternative treatment enhances the chance of spontaneous pregnancy in women with endometriosis.

There is no best option for aiding infertile women with endometriosis to get pregnant. The decision on which option to take, surgery of medically assisted reproduction, should be based on type of disease, the doctor’s preferences and the patient’s preferences.

There is no strong evidence that women with endometriosis have a higher risk of complications in pregnancy (birth defects, miscarriages), but please inform your doctor or midwife of a diagnosis of endometriosis. You can be assessed for individual risk. 

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