Endometriosis and Fertility: How Egg Donation Can Help
Affecting about 1 in 10 women, endometriosis is a common condition that can significantly decrease female fertility. As such, many women with endometriosis who want to have a child consider using assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, depending on the severity of the endometriosis case, IVF using one’s own eggs may not always be the best option. Due to the nature of the disorder, patients may instead want to consider IVF via egg donation, which has shown to be successful for women suffering from endometriosis.
How Endometriosis Affects Fertility
In endometriosis, the uterine lining tissue, known as the endometrium, grows outside of the uterus and onto other parts of the body, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowels, and pelvic area. This abnormal tissue growth can cause significant changes to the reproductive system’s structure and functionality.
In some cases, the endometrial tissue growth can obstruct the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg from combining with sperm. IVF is often utilized to overcome this issue by retrieving the eggs directly from the ovaries and combining them with sperm in a laboratory. Any resulting viable embryos can then be implanted into the uterus. However, in other cases, endometriosis can cause more than just obstructions in the fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis and Its Effect on the Ovaries
In addition to the fallopian tubes, endometriosis can also affect the ovaries. Found via ultrasound, endometriomas are cysts that can form on the ovaries of patients with endometriosis. Researchers believe these cysts may cause hormone imbalances that can interfere with egg development, lowering both egg quality and quantity. Additionally, as the endometrial tissue grows in places it shouldn’t, it can cause inflammation, which can create a toxic environment for a woman’s eggs.
How Egg Donation Can Help
Depending on how endometriosis affects your body, your eggs may or may not be viable for IVF. When seeking treatment, your doctor will confirm whether or not this is the case and if so, they may suggest using an egg donor. When using an egg donor, the IVF process is kind of split up among different individuals. An egg is retrieved from another woman and fertilized using your sperm of choice. Any resulting viable embryos can then be implanted into your uterus. In some cases, you may also require a surrogate in order to carry the pregnancy and give birth.
For women with endometriosis who are unable to achieve pregnancy on their own using their own eggs, egg donation is an amazing option. As with all forms of fertility care and third-party reproduction, using an egg donor is a highly personal and emotional choice, so it’s important that it feels like the right decision for you and your family-building goals. To learn more about endometriosis, egg donation, and fertility care, contact MyEggBank today.