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Endometriosis & Miscarriage — an article on the Smart Living Network
June 24, 2008 at 11:32 AMComments: 32 Faves: 1

Endometriosis & Miscarriage

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The uterine lining, called the endometrium, helps prepare a woman's womb for pregnancy by providing a hospitable environment to a fertilized egg. Each month, in response to the hormonal signals of ovulation, the endometrium thickens. If fertilization does not occur, the uterine lining sloughs off and a woman has her menses.

Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. Pockets of endometrial tissue are usually found somewhere in the pelvic area, on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, etc. This tissue, like the normal tissue in the uterus, thickens and bleeds in a monthly cycle. Unfortunately, this blood and tissue does not have an outlet. Instead, it builds up inside the body and can cause inflammation and the formation of cysts, resulting in discomfort and pain.

Infertility and Miscarriage

Half of women with endometriosis will have problems with infertility. Many of these women (up to fifty percent) also miscarry when they do finally become pregnant. In comparison, the rate of spontaneous miscarriages for the general population is about ten percent. So why do women with endometriosis have so much more trouble becoming and staying pregnant? There are several factors related to endometriosis that make it difficult for women to conceive and carry to term:

Abdominal Adhesions

The blood and tissue leaked by endometrial tissue into the abdomen can be harmful. In an attempt to protect itself, the body surrounds these patches with fibrous scar tissue. This scar tissue, combined with the blood from the implanted endometrial tissue, can cause these patches to stick to other organs in the vicinity. Depending on which organs become glued together, effects may vary. If the fallopian tubes become stuck to the ovaries, or if the fallopian tube is pinched off in some way, this will prevent the egg from traveling from the ovary down through the fallopian tube. This, of course, results in infertility. Depending on which organs are connected and how, these abdominal adhesions can also result in miscarriages. Ectopic pregnancies, pregnancies outside the uterus, are also more common in women with abdominal adhesions.

Implant Secretions

The endometrial tissue secretes many important hormones that help facilitate pregnancy. The endometrial implants secret these same hormones, but instead of secreting them into the uterus where they belong, they'll secrete them into the abdominal cavity or other parts of the body. These misplaced hormones may interfere with the pregnancy process. In addition, the implants often secrete hormones later than the cells lining the womb. This may cause the body to become confused and continue ovulating, even though a fertilized egg has already been implanted. When this occurs, the uterus sheds the old lining, including the egg, and a very early miscarriage results.

The Immune System

It is possible that the immune system may also play a role in the high infertility and miscarriage rates in women with endometriosis. The developing embryo is a foreign organism. A healthy immune system can identify it as a non-threat, but since the immune system of women with endometriosis does not functioning properly, it may not be able to make this distinction and might attack the embryo, resulting in miscarriage. If you have endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant, talk to your doctor. While most of the treatments used for endometriosis do not improve fertility, some types of surgery may make it easier to conceive and carry to term.

Sources:

http://www.endo-resolved.com/infertility.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infertility

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32 Comments

  • Thank you for this information. I have endometriosis and I have had a miscarriage. I was never really given a reason for my miscarriage, just told it was from my endo. This article provides a lot of info on the reasons this happens to so many women.

  • I too had a miscarriage at 6 weeks but my doctor did not give me a reason why. I know I have a severe case of endometriosis and have been trying for over 6 years. I was just blessed to know after all these years, I am able to get pregnant and have that glow.

  • We truly wish you well, Harper!

  • I have endometriosis, and just suffered a miscarrige 6 weeks ago. I have just found out I am very early pregnant again, and I am so worried it will happen again. Does anyone know what the percentage of it happening again is?

  • I also just went through a miscarriage last week, I was 6 weeks along. I was also pregnant 2 years ago and it was an ectopic that nearly killed me. I also have severe endometriosis. I have had my left tube and ovary taken out. I have had surgery to burn my adhesions. If this is something that is going to continue to happen I dont think my heart can take it. Any suggestions on medication or procedures to increase the chance of sucess?

  • I just found this site researching endo because I was just diagnosed and wanted to know what I am up against. These are sad stories and I am terrified now. But all of you ladies are in my prayers and I hope that everything works out for all of you!

  • To all of you that have suffered miscarriages my heart goes out to you. My husband and I miscarried last June, we were suppose to be going into our 12th week only to find out that the baby stopped growing. The Doctor had no explanation of what caused this only told us after 3 months we could start to try again. I am now finding out that I very well might have endometriosis I have most of the symptoms just never really gave it any thought. (For Charmaine) One of the symptoms of having endo is pain with intercourse. I wish all you ladies the best and may God bless you with bundles of joy in his timing.

  • One of the more common side affects of endo is painful intercourse, but getting through it and having a child actually helps to clear it up, and sex for me wasnt painful anymore.

  • You might consider adopting - I know two families who have adopted foreign children, Russian and Guatamalan
    and have lovely children who are very integrated into their respective families. Best wishes.

  • Hi just had a friend who has endeometrisos. had miscarriage 21/12/09 now states pregnant again from 30/12/09 due date 06/10/10. Can anyone confirm this is possible 9 days after miscarriage with the above medical condition.

    Thanks

  • Hi Elaine,
    When I had a miscarriage it tooks weeks for my HCG (pregnancy hormone) to go down. A test three weeks after the loss still said I was pregnant, but I wasnt. My hormones were still getting back to normal and dont think your friend is pregnant.

  • I am sorry for your loss. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 6 years. I have had two miscarriages and have not known why. We are in the process of being seen by a fertility specialist and have just found out I have a mild case of endometriosis. We were never told what could have been the cause of the miscarriages. I too believe it could be the endometriosis. Both miscarriages occurred between 7-10 weeks. This webpage has been a help. It is good to know that I am not alone.

  • Selena,
    You are wise to get into a support group. There you will find answers and comfort. Your Dr. probably knows of one for ladies in your predicament. Good luck, much prayer.

  • Hi Ladies,

    I know how you are al feeling, im feelin so lost right now i was diagnosed with endo a year ago and found out 2weeks ago i was about 4weeks pregnant, Unfortunatly over the weekend i felt unwell and the hospital have conformed this morning i hav had a miscarraige at 5-6weeks pregnant.
    Im devestated i had never felt so happy as when i was pregnant and long for a child or my own.
    What are the succsess rates of getting pregnant again soon, how do i go about knowing my ovulating period without using ovulating test kits i dont think i can bear to look at another urine sample untill im deff missing a period.
    y thoughts are with your other ladies
    xx

  • hi everyone im 19 had a m/c in march i was nine weeks i had no idea wat caused this until a week ago i found i had endo (choclate cyst) on my left ovary pain is so horrible got to go see gynogolagist all i want is a baby i dont want another m/c i cant take it i dont no wat to do im scared of even being pregnant this site has been helpful

  • Oh my gosh reading all these stories... i know the heartache but at the same time I am not ready to get pregnant at this time in my life and have learned that chemical mutations can take place under certain life and environmental conditions that can alter the genome of the baby and this can also be present in the eggs if you live a stressful life or you have had a chronic condition. Through out the year, i have had irregularities in my period, at first it was 3 months late, then almost a month late, and also again with the next cycle... and keep in mind i was on the pill too... but around March i lost my period and didnt get it until the end of April/beginning of May and i thought that my period was heavy due to the fact that it was late but reading about all this and what the symptoms were, i believe i had a misacarriage and did not realize it. Its some type of pregnancy where depending on the blood type of the mother and father and the wellness of the mother, a fetus may not even develop and instead the cells may not be flushed out completely... which can alter the cells in the tissue and create chocolate cysts in the ovaries, endometriomas. I am 23 and i just found out a few weeks ago that i have an endometrioma in my ovary 2 cm in diameter and my gyno didnt catch it in a pelvic exam and i was pretty devastated but she did tell me if you take measures they will work with you to keep you fertile... I found out from a vaginal ultrasound that i have endometrioma.... so i suggest to look into any OTHER underlining health problems that you can have that can cause miscarriages ( aka immune dysfunction, chronic illness etc.) but also make sure you find out and know the your blood type and also the blood type of your partner because it can be a key role along with the possibility of endometriosis or endometrioma being present. Check into family history, but ask for a vaginal ultrasound and also an abdominal ultrasound. A CT scan can also pick up if a cyst is present which then the doctor may want to biopsy the lining of your uterus to check the endometrial cells for any abnormalities. I know it is so frustrating and so incredibly heartbreaking. When i was told i started bawling because i do eventually want to have kids one day and i dont want that grace period cut short... thus i was debating freezing my eggs... Go to the gynocologist about this, call them, tell them your symptoms and your background history and dont take no for an answer... Doctors can be useless sometimes and these are the devastating results of them being useless so be agressive... so here are the doctors : gynocologist, general primary doctor to get a referral for an MRI or CT scan, fertility specialist ( to test for your blood type and his blood type and also compare both of your genetic backgrounds to calculate the probability of having a healthy baby)... and i think those are the main three but make sure all of these factors are covered... I really hope for the best for you and that you will be able to build that family you hoped for... I hope this helps you...

  • Hi Rebecca,
    oops left my own thing... read my post under yours because it was meant to be a response to yours... i pray for only the best for you and that you can figure out everything...

  • Im sorry for your losses. Endometriosis can only be diagnosed by a LAPAROSCOPY. I know what your going through I was diagnosed with endometirosis at 18 and my husband and I struggled to get pregnant the first time. We now have a beautiful baby boy who is two and two angels in heaven. Ive had 2 miscarriages in the last 5 months. I hope you get a little miracle.

  • I lost my little baby at four and a half months. I thought I was in the clear. My doctor said I might have endo. My heart goes out to everyone that has felt the same why I did. Its been four months and my heart is still broken. My relationship was destroyed over this. I don't know what to do...

  • I was never told by my doc any reason for my 10 week miscarriage it was only 9 weeks ago and im really scared of getting pregnant again not because i don't want to me and my husband want nothing more but to think it may happen again is just unbearable. I asked my doctor if my endometirosis caused my loss and he said no, now reading all these messages im unsure as at the time all my pain during the miscarriage was in my left side were i get all my pain when im on a period im really confused after trying for 3 years and the only getting to ten weeks i no i can not give up but im scared as im sure you all feel the same.

  • thank you for that, i am 20 and have just been diagnosed with endometriosis, i have known something wasnt right for a while. i had a miscarriage 4 months ago at about 6weeks along which is very saddening, and its upsetting reading this to know that i may struggle to conceive and may even miscarry again as i want kids badly, but it is good to learn some of these things as well so i am aware of what could happen. Thank you

  • My heart and prayers go out to each and every one of you. I have several friends whom have experienced miscarriages and other difficulties in trying to conceive... the pain they went through is simply heart wrenching. I wish each and every one of you good health and happiness. In whatever form that presents itself in your lives...

  • I have endometriosis and I have had 4 miscarriages in the last year and a half. The last pregnancy was twins after doing IVF. Our doctor just informed us that endometriosis can play a part in miscarriages but that it doesn't mean you can never carry to term. We are trying again soon but I am obviously disheartened. I wish there was more information about steps one can tke to mitigate the adverse effects of endometriosis once pregnant.

  • I am 36 yrs old and was diagnosed with endo when i was 20. I tried for 3 yrs to get pregnant,to no avail,so had surgery and was put onto treatment. I got married when i was 27 and atarted trying for a baby right away,got pregnant and had a baby she is now 10,i then went on to have another 2 children,3 altogether one of 4 and one of 2. I found out i was pregnant again last week,but knew right off something was up,even at 5 wks pregnant test was still so faint and i had no pregnancy symptoms.I started to bleed yesterday and it has just got heavier and heavier,and i know in my heart i am miscarrying my baby,i am devastated! I know i have other children but it doesnt make up for the one that i have lost. My husband said mayb we could try again ,but i am terrified as i think mayb this pregnancy started out as ectopic as i had horrible pains in my right side and bfore i started to bleed i cud feel ripping in my right side. Im thinking if it was ectopic im lucky that it came away but wot if i get pregnant and its ectopic again and this time it doesnt come away. My endo has always caused problems with my ovaries,twisted and stuck onto my bladder. So hard to know what to do, should i just be happy with what i have or risk having another?

  • I am pregnant now, and was diagnosed with endo years back. I had two chemical pregnancies (also years ago) and never thought I would get pregnant. I was told in 2009 I had chocolate cysts. Now I am terrified to be pregnant. Counting the minutes till I can see the doctor. I feel all of your pain and can only pray for us in the future. I pray that I can come back with a story to bring you all hope that its possible to overcome all odds to make a family.

  • i was at the beginging of my 2nd trimester when i had my miscarriage. if i didnt have it i would be holding my new born baby right now in my arms instead of looking up all this endrometriosis on the computer and trying to get a better understanding about it. this all terrifys me and this has destroyed my relationship and my relationship with my family. im sitting here crying and hoping that we all can find some kind of happiness and recieve some kind of merical. i dont understand how something like this could happen to deserving caring people who would probably be the most amazing mothers. its just not fair. i havent had any surgrys yet because im only 17 and they dont want to perform yet. but im scared of becoming pregnant and going through the same thing my heart couldnt handle it i think about this from the time i wake up to the time i go to bed..all ive wanted out of life is to become a mother not only to those who dont have one but to my own and the thought of that never happening scares me and breaks my heart i just done know how to handle this anymore and a couple of these stories has helped me get a happier out look when they say they have babies of there own. i will pray for all of you and wish the best to you all no women should have to go through something like this

  • I am 26 years old and was told I had endo when I was 18. I was put.in surgery due to a grapefruit sized cyst. They took my left tube and ovary. They said I could not have children. A year later I had my son. Four years after that my next. Back in July of 2014 I lost what should have been my third boy at five months. I was devestated and still am. I never thought that endo could be the cause. I sit here and read your stories and it breaks my heart. Know your not alone and miricals happen everyday. When its time it will happen. Be strong never give up. I wish you all the best. I hope one day to come back to this site and see all ur stories of babies come true.....

  • Hi I saw all this stories and very scared . We are trying since 9 months and when not get success I have done HSG test and came to know that my left tube is blocked .three months after this test my doc diagnosed that I have endometriosis and that's why my tube is bloked ...I am scard to concive now....please advise me how to cure endometriosis

  • Please see our website page on endometriosis I think it will answer many of your questions. Endometriosis is a symptom of underlying autoimmune disease and both need to be addressed if you have had miscarriages with endometriosis.

    http://www.preventmiscarriage.com/Reproductive-Immunology/Non-Immune-Causes/Endometriosis.aspx

  • Hi I'm 28. I was diagnosed with endo about 4yrs ago. I had some removed but the rest was unreachable without giving me a hysterectomy. I was told I would not be able to get prego without fertility help. The day I went in to start the process I found out I was prego. It took almost a yr. I've had to kids since I was diagnosed. I just found out today that I most likey missed carried. I would be 6wks 3days. I'm very devastated by this loss. I'm just hoping that my endo hasn't spread and is gonna make getting pregnant hard. For everyone out there with endo keep ur head up. I have 4 beautiful children & 2 of them were conceived after I found out I had endo. It may take time but never give up.

  • I am reading this stuff crying. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis 3 years ago as of a few days ago. I had two surgeries within 1 year and I was pregnant shortly after my 2nd surgery and miscarried. Then last May I was super excited I was pregnant again and this time I was 6 weeks when me and my husband found out, but by 12 weeks our hearts were again broken my 2nd miscarriage that year. Then again the same fate in November and now last Saturday again the same situation. 4 miscarriages in less then a year. On top of having Endometriosis I also suffer from large Ovarian Cysts, Cervical Dysplasia, and Interstitial Cystitis(IC)

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