Infertility: Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis
When it comes to fertility, pelvic pain is usually associated with the menstrual cycle. Most women experience a painful sensation in their pelvic area before menstruation starts, while there are a few women who experience little or no pain. It is important to note if there is a distinction in the pelvic pain that you experience.
If you are familiar with the pain caused before or during your menstrual cycle then it may cover up another symptom that is causing the pain. In other words, if you notice that the pain you feel is stronger than usual or is not in the same area, it will be advisable to seek the opinion of a gynaecologist. Also, take note of when the pain occurs. Although it may feel like the usual period pain, if it occurs throughout the month and not necessarily when you are due to have your menstruation, then something else could be wrong.
With endometriosis, pelvic pain is a common symptom. Pain may be felt before, during or after menstruation. It could also be felt during ovulation or in the bowel during menstruation. It’s possible to feel pain when passing urine, during or after sexual intercourse or in the lower back region.
There are also other symptoms associated with endometriosis which include diarrhoea, constipation, or abdominal bloating that are all connected with menstruation. Heavy or irregular bleeding is another symptom as well as fatigue. Another well-known symptom of endometriosis is infertility. An estimated 30% to 40% of women with endometriosis are considered to be sub-fertile. It is important to note that you need to consult with a gynaecologist or fertility doctor to assess what your symptoms represent. Endometriosis causes infertility by means of distorted adnexal anatomy that prevents ovum capture after ovulation. It also interferes with oocyte development or early embryogenesis. It can also result in reduced endometrial receptivity.
In certain cases, there are no or few symptoms associated with this disease however it has decreased pregnancy rates despite little visible organ damage. In general, endometriosis lesions can be found anywhere in the pelvic cavity. It could be on the ovaries, on the fallopian tubes or on the pelvic sidewall. In other cases, it could be found on the uterosacral ligaments, on the cul-de-sac, in the pouch of Douglas or in the rectal vaginal septum. If you are concerned about any pelvic pain that you may be experiencing, you will need to visit a gynaecologist for a pelvic examination.
By Aziza Cassim