Women today are very much career-oriented. They are no longer the damsels-in-distress waiting for Prince Charming to rescue them and live happily ever after. They have become more strong-willed, more driven, more empowered, and more confident to take on all of life’s challenges single-handedly. Though most of these women prefer to be swinging singles, still, there are those who remain to be true to the essence of being a woman, which is, being capable of motherhood.
These are the women who dream of having children someday and will do almost anything just to have a baby of their own. There are also some single women who, after getting hitched unexpectedly, would still want to keep their babies, with or without their partners. However, some women can have troubles getting pregnant due to medical conditions like infertility and endometriosis, among others. If you are a woman who is interested in getting pregnant, learning about your reproductive and sexual health is a crucial first step in your journey towards pregnancy…and motherhood.
A woman’s pregnancy may be affected by the changes in her reproductive system. Changes in the menstrual cycle can be indicators of fertility problems which can reduce a woman’s chances of conceiving.
Infertility may not manifest in physical symptoms but there are some apparent signals that may be experienced by a woman who is having difficulty getting pregnant. Some of these infertility symptoms may indicate a serious complication affecting the female reproductive organ while others could only affect the chances of getting pregnant, and may be easily identified by a physical examination.
Some of the most common infertility symptoms include menstruation and ovulation problems, hormonal disruptions, infection, pelvic abnormalities, and pain.
Endometriosis affects women in their reproductive years usually around 25-30 years without them knowing it due the condition’s lack of symptoms. Rare cases of endometriosis have been reported in girls as young as 11 years of age. This condition, however, is unusual in post-menopausal women.
Endometriosis and infertility have always been regarded as being somehow related. Endometriosis is a condition where there is a growth of cells similar to endometrial cells, those that form the inside of the uterus, but are found in a location elsewhere outside of the uterus. These endometrial cells are the same cells that are being shed each month during menstruation. But the cells of endometriosis attach themselves to tissue outside the uterus and are called implants or lesions. The implants or lesions are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. Sometimes, they may also be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder, although less commonly than other locations in the pelvis. In very rare cases, endometriosis implants or lesions can occur outside the pelvis, on the liver, in old surgery, and even in or around the lung or brain. But these implants or lesions are generally benign, which means, they are not cancerous.
Endometriosis occurs more commonly among infertile women with severe forms of disease, but the condition usually does not fully prevent conception to fertile women. However, the mechanisms for a decrease in fertility may be due to both anatomic and hormonal factors which are “hostile” to normal ovulation, fertilization of the egg, and implantation of the embryo. Endometriosis can also cause scar tissue and adhesions to develop which may distort a woman’s internal anatomy. These may lead to an advanced stage wherein the internal organs fuse together, causing a condition known as a “frozen pelvis.”
Almost 70% of women with mild to moderate endometriosis will still be able to conceive within three years without any specific treatment. Possible treatment options for infertility associated with endometriosis involve a combination of medical therapy, surgery, and assisted reproduction techniques.
Generally, women suffering from this condition do not show any signs or symptoms except for pelvic pain and infertility. Severity of pelvic pain depends on the location of the implants or lesions which produce substances that circulates in the blood stream and causes pain.
Other symptoms related to endometriosis may also be symptoms of other conditions. It is important that your physician should be well-informed of your medical history in order to make the correct diagnosis. These symptoms may include lower abdominal pain, diarrhea, and/or constipation, low back pain, irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding, or even blood in the urine. In rare conditions, chest pain or coughing blood may be caused by endometriosis in the lungs while headache and/or seizures can be caused by endometriosis in the brain.
Women having difficulty getting pregnant is advised to undergo fertility tests to assess the exact causes of fertility problems. A variety of fertility tests can excellently diagnose different fertility problems as well as assess your chances of getting pregnant.
So when your date with the stork is taking too long, do not be hard on yourself. You wouldn’t want depression, stress and anxiety to make the situation worse. Be kind to yourself. A positive outlook can improve one’s chances of getting pregnant.