Endometriosis and IVF: Will endometriosis affect my IVF treatment?

Tamara HunterBlog

Endometriosis and ivf | IVF specialist Perth WA Tamara Hunter
Endometriosis and IVF are issues that are frequently dealt with by fertility specialists, with findings that left untreated the outcomes of IVF are far less successful for women suffering from the condition.

How does endometriosis affect fertility?

For women with endometriosis, problems are often multifactorial. Not only do they deal with significant pain, very uncomfortable heavy periods, and even bowel problems, but it’s also strongly associated with infertility.

What’s more, it’s a common gynaecological problem, affecting as many as 10 percent of women during their reproductive years (Priorities for Endometriosis Research: Recommendations From an International Consensus Workshop, Rogers PAW et al, Reprod Sci, 2009).

So, we often see women at our Perth fertility clinic asking about endometriosis and IVF and the chances of success.

Endometriosis affect on fertility

Can IVF help women with endometriosis?

Today, endometriosis and IVF-related questions can be answered more comprehensively thanks to the large amount of information collected during IVF. The success rates of IVF for women with endometriosis have been found to be mixed. While IVF definitely has helped many endometriosis sufferers to conceive, the results are not as promising as they are for women without the condition.

Fertility specialists have learned that unfortunately abnormalities found in the embryo’s development in women with endometriosis is six times higher than in women without the condition. And we know that embryonic abnormalities are one of the major reasons why IVF is either unsuccessful or why women have miscarriages.

How endometriosis affects IVF success rates

The connection between endometriosis and IVF success rates appears to be attributable to the impact the condition has on ovarian reserve and the quality of eggs collected during the oocyte pick up stage. But there are also questions about whether endometriosis also compromises what is known as endometrial receptivity, which is essential to a healthy pregnancy. When considering endometriosis and IVF success rates, therefore, fertility specialists need to take all these factors into account when considering the best way forward.

How treating endometriosis can improve IVF success

The first step for women with endometriosis should be treatment by a fertility specialist. This can vary from pain medication to hormone treatment to surgery, which is what we recommend for women with multiple growths, severe pain, and infertility problems.

Our Perth practice is committed to identifying all the issues associated with your endometriosis and treating them thoroughly before carrying out IVF treatment. Taking all these factors into account, with the combined endometriosis treatment followed by IVF treatment, your chances of a successful pregnancy are greatly improved.

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Read about other Fertility related problems and other challenges on your fertility journey that I can assist with.


Perth gynaecologist and fertility specialist Dr Tamara Hunter is a regular guest on Channel 9. In this video she talks about the causes and the treatment of endometriosis.