When any woman finds out she’s pregnant, she will naturally have many questions. However, for the mother-to-be with endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus adheres to the outside of the uterine cavity, there are even more questions and concerns to be addressed to put her mind at ease.
For some women with endometriosis, pregnancy and breastfeeding can temporarily halt the painful symptoms of endometriosis. However, many women experience pain and discomfort due to the pulling and stretching of the uterus as the baby grows. There is also an increase in estrogen which can feed and increase endometrial growths or even cause more lesions to appear during the pregnancy. How you feel during this time depends on the severity of your condition and how your body responds to your pregnancy. Endometriosis does put you at a higher risk for preeclampsia and placenta previa.
During delivery, women with endometriosis are at an increased risk for a delivery by Caesarean section. This is mainly due to pre-eclampsia and placenta previa that typically develop in the second or third trimester. Thorough monitoring during pregnancy is important as your doctor will watch for high blood pressure and protein in the urine to alert for these. Once the baby has been delivered, aftercare of the mother is very important because pregnancy only temporarily allays endometriosis. Over-the-counter medicine approved by your doctor can be taken. Also, a diet rich in fiber can help with endometriosis symptoms if they return.
What You Can Do
When it comes time for a mother-to-be to embark on this journey, make sure to find a good doctor to care for you during your pregnancy and delivery. Ignoring the dangers specific to a woman with endometriosis may constitute medical malpractice. Ask questions of your medical provider. Make sure you are comfortable with their answers and how they will be taking care of you and your baby. Once you’re pregnant, yoga or a stretching routine will help with back pain, and a heating pad or warm bath can help with cramps. Also, ask your doctor if there are any over-the-counter pain relievers you can take if the discomfort gets unmanageable.
A woman’s journey into motherhood is precious and amazing and comes with many questions. It’s natural to feel a little apprehensive about it. When you have endometriosis, it makes this journey more precarious but not impossible with the right doctor for you.