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A woman holding her abdomen in pain while a doctor comforts her.

Can pelvic pain affect my ability to become pregnant?

Some pelvic conditions that are associated with pain also are associated with difficulty getting pregnant.

These include:

  • EndometriosisUp to 30% to 50% of women with endometriosis are not able to get pregnant,1 making this condition one of the top three causes of female infertility.
  • Pelvic adhesions. Adhesions that form on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus can make it difficult or impossible to get pregnant.2
  • Uterine fibroids. Most women with fibroids do not have problems with fertility and can get pregnant. If a woman’s fibroid is located in the uterine cavity, she may face an increased risk of early pregnancy loss. Some women with fibroids may not be able to get pregnant naturally, but advances in treatments for infertility may help some of them get pregnant.

Some treatments for pelvic pain also can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant. For example, hormonal birth control commonly is used to treat endometriosis. Hysterectomy, which is surgery to remove a woman’s uterus, may be an option for women who are not helped by other treatments, but it makes pregnancy impossible. However, a woman may still be able to become a mother through other means, such as a surrogate carrier.

Citations

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  1. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2012). Endometriosis: Does it cause infertility? Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://www.asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/Resources/Patient_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Info_Booklets/EndoDoesItCauseInfertility.pdf External Web Site Policy (PDF - 250 KB) [top]
  2. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2008). Adhesions: What are they and how can they be prevented? Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://www.asrm.org/FACTSHEET_Adhesions_What_Are_They_And_How_Can_They_Be_Prevented/ External Web Site Policy (PDF - 12KB) [top]

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