Patient Profile: How We Helped One Woman Overcome Endometriosis to Have a Baby

At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we specialize in helping women get pregnant when they’ve had difficulty conceiving naturally. Dr. Timothy Gelety and the rest of the team at the AZCREI were able to help one woman achieve a pregnancy after she had unsuccessfully been trying for more than two years.

When she and her husband came into our clinic, they hadn’t yet sought any treatment or evaluations. This is probably the most common scenario. Oftentimes, when patients have difficulty getting pregnant, they see their OB/GYN who completes a few rudimentary tests, and can’t determine the problem; everything seems normal and everything checks out.

That’s where we come in—it’s our job to figure out the cause of the infertility and find a solution. Here’s how we helped this couple finally get pregnant.

 

Our Initial Consultation

During the first visit with this couple, we talked about the odds of getting pregnant naturally. The fact that they had tried for two years without success suggested that there might be a problem with infertility. We explained the typical processes that go into achieving a pregnancy—regular menstrual cycles and ovulation, a high sperm count, no complications with the uterus and fallopian tubes—and discussed the tests we’d need to perform to narrow down what the issue might be.

This was also the time for the couple to ask any questions they had and for us to create a plan to identify the possible cause.

 

Identifying the Problem

To start with, we completed tests to make sure the woman was ovulating regularly and producing proper hormones. We also did a semen analysis to determine if the man’s sperm count was high and the sperm mobile. Those results were inconclusive, so we continued testing with an ultrasound and hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to check the uterus and fallopian tubes for abnormalities that may have been preventing a pregnancy.

Everything seemed normal with this couple; the woman was ovulating, there were no issues with her uterus or fallopian tubes, and the man’s sperm was normal as well. This raised our suspicion of an unseen cause of infertility, which is typically endometriosis in women in their early 30s. We then decided to try empiric treatment—in this case, several cycles of ovulation induction—to try to increase the woman’s fertility.

The patient began taking medication to induce multiple ovulations to make her more fertile than she would be naturally. We tried this for about three cycles without success, which again furthered our suspicion that the problem was most likely endometriosis.

Many patients don’t believe they can have endometriosis because they’re not experiencing the pain or cramps that women with the condition often endure. However, one of the major symptoms of endometriosis is unexplained infertility. The definitive test to determine if a woman has endometriosis is a diagnostic laparoscopy. Once we scheduled and performed this procedure, we saw that the patient had significant endometriosis, which we were then able to treat.

 

Achieving a Successful Pregnancy

Within the first cycle of treatment after the laparoscopy, our patient got pregnant. It’s actually very common that once we treat the endometriosis, the problem is solved and a pregnancy follows fairly easily.

Many of our patients appreciate that we treat the underlying issue of endometriosis because it typically solves the problem for any future pregnancies. There are some couples who would prefer to jump straight into in vitro fertilization, skipping the laparoscopy, and that’s an option that would typically result in a pregnancy as well. The difference, though, is that if a couple was to decide to have another child, they would have to opt for IVF again because we were never able to officially determine the cause of infertility without the laparoscopy.

Endometriosis makes it more difficult to get pregnant, but once a pregnancy is achieved, it doesn’t make the pregnancy any more difficult. The treatments we performed will not influence the outcome or the rest of her pregnancy.

Once our patient got pregnant, everything went well. We followed her through her first trimester, and now she’s off to her OB/GYN who will oversee the rest of her journey.

If you and your partner have been struggling to get pregnant without any clear reason as to why, contact the AZCREI today by visiting us online or calling 520-326-0001. Our proven success has made us one of the best clinics in the country, and we look forward to helping you overcome your infertility and grow your family.