How Is Chronic Pelvic Pain Related to Fertility?
Chronic pelvic pain is a term used to describe pain in the pelvic region lasting longer than six months. Pelvic pain can be characterized in a few different ways, as it may be sharp or dull, constant or intermittent, or range from mild to severe. Frequently, chronic pelvic pain is associated with underlying conditions of your organs in that region.
Chronic Pelvic Pain and Fertility
Although pelvic pain may arise from issues with your intestines, bladder, or pelvic muscles, some common causes are problems with your reproductive organs. Conditions affecting your reproductive system can often lead to issues with your fertility.
Infertility, or the inability to conceive children, impacts about 12% of people in the United States and may develop from a number of complex and painful GYN conditions, including:
- Ovarian Cysts
Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain
The four prominent causes of chronic pelvic pain that may affect your fertility are:
The most common complex GYN condition that can lead to chronic pelvic pain is uterine fibroids. Fibroids are benign growths that develop in the uterus, and they range in size from small, pea-shaped growths to large masses that irritate the abdomen walls. This condition can cause significant pelvic pain and heavy bleeding during menstruation.
There are four primary types of fibroids:
The growths may cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes and interfering with embryo implantation while increasing the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it, sometimes growing on other organs in the pelvic region. Those with endometriosis often experience heavy bleeding and chronic pain that may be exacerbated during:
- Sexual intercourse
- Bowel movements
There are four stages of endometriosis, but the stages do not always align with the severity of pelvic pain. When left untreated, endometriosis can lead to infertility, occurring in up to 50% of people with this condition. The three leading causes of infertility due to endometriosis include:
- Tubal Scarring: hinders egg transport down the fallopian tube
- Inflammation: prevents egg transport and lowers chances of embryo implantation
- Endometriomas: destroys ovarian tissue and reduces the number and quality of eggs
Adenomyosis occurs when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus on the myometrium or uterine wall. These abnormal growths often result in an enlarged uterus and may thicken, break down, and bleed during periods. This condition is difficult to diagnose, but it most frequently develops in women with a history of:
- Early-onset of the menstrual cycle
- Cesarean sections
Several studies have shown that women with adenomyosis have poor reproductive outcomes compared with those without adenomyosis. The experts at the Center for Innovative GYN Care (CIGC) believe that the severe inflammation caused by this condition may prevent embryo implantation into the uterine lining.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form on the ovaries. They are often benign and resolve on their own. However, when they grow larger, ovarian cysts can lead to:
- Dull ache in your lower back and thighs
- Pelvic pain, especially during menstruation and intercourse
- Nausea, vomiting or bloating
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
Some ovarian cysts such as endometriomas can affect your fertility.
Treat Your Chronic Pelvic Pain at CIGC
If you are suffering from chronic pelvic pain, you’re not alone. Fortunately, CIGC GYN specialists have developed revolutionary minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat the conditions that cause chronic pelvic pain, which may be affecting your fertility. If you are interested in finding pelvic pain relief and preserving your fertility options, schedule a consultation with one of our specialists today.
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