Painful periods preventing conception?

August 29, 2013 12:00 AM

Q: Is it possible to treat painful periods and still get pregnant?

A: Painful periods and heaving bleeding are hallmarks of a  common condition called endometriosis that prevents pregnancy. Treatment for endometriosis often includes medications such as birth control pills and Lupron, both of which prevent pregnancy. It is challenging for women who are symptomatic from endometriosis to try and conceive since each month that they are not pregnant, their menses will be painful. Additionally, endometriosis has been associated with infertility as it may alter pelvic anatomy, or interfere with oocyte development or peritoneal function. Some women with endometriosis can conceive on their own, but for those who are struggling, a reproductive endocrinologist can  help these patients achieve pregnancy through fertility medications or in vitro fertilization if their fallopian tubes are not functioning properly due to the endometriosis.

Dr. Elizabeth Barbieri, Board certified specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Oregon Reproductive Medicine.

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