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Dealing With Endometriosis While Pregnant

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  • Endometriosis may affect pregnant women, although the symptoms may not be as painful or pronounced
  • Studies have shown that endometriosis can raise a pregnant woman’s risk for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, preterm birth and hemorrhage
  • Other pregnancy-related risks linked to this condition are stillbirth, placenta previa, pre-eclampsia and Caesarean delivery

Endometriosis typically affects 2% to 10% of women between 25 and 40 years old.1 Pregnant women may not be spared from endometriosis, although the Mayo Clinic highlights that some indicators linked to this condition may improve during this period.2 However, if you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis and you get pregnant, increased caution and attention is needed.

Endometriosis May Put You at Risk of a Miscarriage

A study presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s Annual Meeting in June 2015 found that pregnant Scottish women diagnosed with endometriosis had a higher risk for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. As Dr. Lucky Saraswat, a consultant gynecologist from the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in the U.K. and the study’s first author, explains:3

“We believe such changes in the pelvic and uterine environment could influence implantation and development of placenta, predisposing them to adverse pregnancy outcomes.”

Results showed that compared to other pregnant women without endometriosis, women with the condition had a higher risk for miscarriage (the loss of a fetus before a pregnancy reaches its 20th week4) and ectopic pregnancy (characterized by the implantation of a fertilized egg cell outside your uterus.5,6)

The authors also concluded that women with endometriosis face an increased risk for preterm birth (babies born before the 37th week of a pregnancy7), antepartum hemorrhage (noticeable bleeding from or in the genital tract after the 24th week of a pregnancy8) or postpartum hemorrhage (increased bleeding after the baby’s birth9), especially if their pregnancies last more than 24 weeks.10

Other Pregnancy Complications Linked to Endometriosis

Although a definite link between pregnancy and endometriosis still needs to be fully determined, other research has shed light on these possible complications:11,12

  • Placenta previa — According to authors of this 2016 study, pregnant Japanese women who had endometriosis were more likely to deal with placenta previa.13 This is an issue wherein the placenta develops in the uterus and causes it to cover some areas or even the entirety of the cervix.14,15
  • Caesarean delivery — Authors of a 2017 Danish study revealed that women with endometriosis may be more likely to deliver their babies via a Caesarean section, no matter what assisted reproductive technology is utilized.16
  • Pre-eclampsia — The same Danish study also highlighted that pregnant women with endometriosis are more likely to struggle with pre-eclampsia. This health problem mainly occurs after the 20th week of a pregnancy. It can lead to high blood pressure levels and indicators of organ damage, and adverse complications to both mother and baby.17
  • Stillbirth — According to the CDC, a stillbirth happens when a baby dies after the 20th week of a pregnancy.18 A 2018 meta-analysis published in the journal Human Reproduction noted that babies born to pregnant women with endometriosis were more likely to be stillborn, need to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or are too small for their gestational age.19


Endometriosis: Introduction

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis Causes

Is Endometriosis Hereditary?

Endometriosis Stages

Endometriosis Treatment

Endometriosis in Pregnancy

Endometriosis vs Adenomyosis

Endometriosis Prevention

Endometriosis Diet

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