Everything to know about endometriosis during pregnancy

Everything to know about endometriosis during pregnancy

Endometriosis is a condition where the uterine tissue, (inner layer) grows outside the uterine cavity. It can occur in ovaries, fallopian tubes, or outside the uterus. It can also be found on the surface of the bladder, ureter, intestine & rectum.

Studies say couples with endometriosis, 2-10 % of women will be successful in getting pregnant.

Some of the symptoms of endometriosis actually get better during pregnancy as it halts the painful periods & heavy menstrual bleeding temporarily. Increased progesterone levels in pregnancy suppress and shrink the endometrial growth. However, the rise in estrogen and the growing uterus can pull and stretch the misplaced tissues causing more discomfort to the women. In most cases, symptoms of endometriosis return after the pregnancy is over.

There are a few risks and complications associated with endometriosis in pregnancy including Miscarriage, Preterm Birth, Pelvic pressure and chances of placenta previa.

Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta partially or fully cover the neck of the uterus. It interferes with the normal delivery of the baby. A patient suffering from this condition usually requires a cesarean surgery.

According to systematic review dating 2017, endometriosis during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage by 80%. The chances of complications in the second half of the pregnancy are seen higher due to uterine ruptures, bowel perforation etc. If the expectant mothers experience bleeding during pregnancy and cramps, it’s recommended to meet the doctor for a thorough check-up.

How do we treat symptoms during pregnancy?

In most cases, medicines, and hormonal therapies used to treat endometriosis are not recommended during pregnancy. Only with the recommendation of the doctor, painkillers or any over-the-counter medicine must be consumed. For temporary relief, expectant mothers can go for warm baths, consume fiber-rich food (to avoid constipation), and do prenatal Yoga for severe back pain.

How can we go ahead with endometriosis in pregnancy?

Women with endometriosis can still dream to become a mother and have a successful delivery. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Any unusual symptoms seen in pregnant women must be reported to the doctor as they are at higher risk of miscarriage.

Their pregnancy must be monitored at every step so that if there are any complications the doctor will treat the patient with their medical history in mind.

Dr. Tasneem Shah

Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Manipal Hospital Whitefield
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