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Endometriosis Infertility Treatments - Drugs, Procedures and Options

If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis and are having problems with falling pregnant, you have a variety of infertility treatment options open to you. You may be one of the 40% of women with endometriosis who have fertility problems caused by the endometriosis or there might be another reason for your difficulty with conceiving.

The first step is to determine whether endometriosis is the culprit; you may be referred to a gynecologist to have this investigated if you are not already seeing one. Both you and your partner will be investigated for possible causes of not conceiving and you may be given some strategies to try to improve your fertility as a couple.

When a diagnosis has been reached and the cause of your infertility is clear, suitable treatment options will be discussed with you. The type of treatment will depend on the problems that are present, your age and that of your partner, your medical and family history and the probable causes of you failing to conceive. Usually, simple treatments are the first step and more complex options are considered if these are not successful.

Hormones are often given in the early stages of infertility treatment, in an attempt to correct imbalances in hormone levels in both you and you partner. These infertility drugs can improve sperm numbers and quality in the man and correct ovary mal-function by inducing or regulating egg production in the female. These drugs work just like the naturally-occurring hormones – FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone, LH or luteinizing hormone.

Fertility drugs that are frequently used include clomiphene, under brand names Clomid and Serophene, which stimulates ovulation. This is an oral medication which increases the amount of LH and FSH released and stimulates follicle growth. FSH, with brand names Bravelle and Gonal-F, gonadotropin as Repronex, Pregnyl and Ovidrel are injectable drug options used to stimulate ovulation and the maturation of egg follicles. GnRH analogs might be given to change hormone levels.

Treatment with fertility drugs may increase the likelihood of having a multiple birth, with injected medications producing a higher risk factor than oral medication. When these drugs are used, you will be monitored closely with hormone and blood tests as well as ultrasounds.

A surgical infertility procedure may be a treatment option for you if endometriosis is suspected of being the reason for your infertility. Laparoscopy is a common procedure for both correctly diagnosing and locating endometrial implants and for removing them. During this procedure, a small incision is made in your abdomen to allow a small camera to be inserted to view the abdominal cavity. If endometrial tissue is located on or in the ovaries or fallopian tubes, this could be interfering with fertility.

Endometriosis can be treated with a number of drug approaches or with laparoscopy surgery to relieve pain and other symptoms. However, these are not always successful options for endometriosis infertility. You are more likely to be treated with one of the ovulation therapies to regulate or stimulate correct ovulation or with IVF, which is in vitro fertilization, when eggs are taken from your ovaries and joined with sperm in a laboratory and then implanted into the uterus. IVF is just one of the procedures that are used as part of Assisted Reproductive Technology or ART. ART involves a team of medical and scientific professionals who support and assist couples as they aim to conceive a baby of their own.

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