Endometriosis is a an extremely painful condition. During the monthly cycle, the lining of the womb thickens in anticipation of a fertilised egg. When a patient has Endometriosis, these endometrial cells attach themselves to other parts of the body outside of the womb. It can attach itself to the ovary itself affecting egg health and can also attach itself to the fallopian tubes, creating a blockage between the fallopian tube and the ovary.

The condition can affect women of any age and can be a debilitating condition.


  • Heavy periods
  • Pain that worsens during your period in the lower abdomen and pelvis
  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • Pain passing urine or stools
  • Difficulty in trying to conceive.


The cause of Endometriosis is unknown; however, it tends to run in families and can affect certain ethnic groups. Endometriosis affects 10% of reproductive age women globally (190 million). Without severe symptoms, it is difficult to diagnose so it is important to recognise that any of the above symptoms are NOT normal! So, do seek medical advice to help you manage the condition. The only way to get confirmation of endometriosis is through a surgical procedure called laparoscopy performed by a gynaecologist. Here, they make a small incision in your stomach and pass a small tube through with a camera to see the patches of endometriosis. The procedure can also remove endometriosis tissue often reducing pain and improving fertility chances.

There is no cure for endometriosis however the symptoms can be managed with painkillers, hormone suppression drugs  and laparoscopic surgery as a last resort to improve the condition.



Trying to conceive

Endometriosis often affects the lining of the endometrium where the egg sits. If the lining is not a smooth surface, chances of success are dramatically reduced. If you have already been diagnosed with endometriosis, IVF may be the right decision to achieve pregnancy.

However, we now know that many women who seek IVF are asymptomatic (no symptoms) and unless you are checked for the disease, multiple transfers may be necessary before you have a successful pregnancy.

Checking for the disease in the past meant only laparoscopy but recently, new protein markers such as “BCL6” tested through an endometrial biopsy and a simple laboratory stain, have proven to be very successful in finding women with likely endometriosis.

Treatment through surgery or hormone suppression drugs have shown great success once identified.  In most cases, Endometriosis patients will still need IVF to conceive but the outlook for many is now improving. Discussing endometriosis right up front with your fertility specialist is always prudent.

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We understand that infertility is a complex condition that can be very frustrating, but knowledge is power and we encourage you to get in touch and ask us for advice. If you need specific medical advice then we will happily put you in touch with one of our reliable healthcare partners.

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