Pregnancy and Endometriosis
Have you previously been told that "pregnancy is a good treatment for endometriosis?" Wow, for those who wanted to become pregnant, that was good news, and a potential two birds with one stone catch because the hope was that you would both achieve pregnancy and be (at least temporarily) relieved of the pain of endometriosis. For those who were either not ready for children, or done with children, that probably was a set back, talk about expensive treatments getting pregnant just to treat a gyno condition, not workable for most. Pregnancy was always thought to be good for endometriosis, because the placenta makes hormones we use to treat endometriosis. It has always been thought specifically high levels of progesterone in pregnancy would send endometriosis into dormancy. But it is not not universally true that everyone with endometriosis gets better in pregnancy. What progesterone tends to do is not just stay in the blood stream unchanged, but progesterone from the placenta will stimulate the enzyme that converts our main estrogen, estradiol, to a weak estrogen or estrone. But some progesterone in pregnancy is around to create other benefits on endometriosis. Progesterone also can eliminate menstrual periods (so no shedding of the lining into one's abdomen as long as you are pregnant) , quiet the uterus so there are not so many contractions (this is perhaps the path by which progesterones prevent that retrograde menstruation) and perhaps that contributes to less pelvic pain , as well as progesterone having direct effects on the estrogen receptors in the nucleus of endometriosis cells to quiet those implants. But apparently the lesions do quite in pregnancy, but don't really die off.
Now it was reported by researchers in the United Kingdom including Dr. Ivo Brosens that endometriosis can cause internal bleeding in pregnancy, adversely affect how the placenta implants and therefore cause problems in the pregnancy itself. Now it is thought that women with endometriosis are not just at risk for infertility, but at risk to delivery prematurely, have medical complications of their pregnancy like hypertension and pre-eclampsia, and be at greater risk for c-sections. infertility patients with endometriosis could be at risk for miscarriage, that has not usually been shown in most studies. Although previously, it was reported that In Japan, led by Ueda, they have been reporting that the risk of endometriosis in our ovaries is becoming so great, that actually the most common mass in pregnancy of the ovary is what is known as the endometrioma. A Dr. Basaran reported in Colorectal Diseases in 2008, in a little known study, that endometriosis of the appendix is promoted by the hormones of pregnancy. Not just the hormone progesterone, which should be beneficial, but the hormone estrogen, which is also produced by the placenta and potentially harmful to endometriosis. Other factors, yet undetermined may be at work. Pregnancy causes HPV flares and HPV has been linked with endometriosis.
So before you go and try birth your own swim relay, basketball team, or entire soccer team in an effort to quell your recurrent endometriosis, maybe you better have a gab with your gyno!