Endometriosis is a chronic condition where endometrial tissue (the cells that line the inside of the uterus) implants outside of the uterus. This can be associated with chronic pelvic pain and/or infertility. There are many theories as to why endometriosis causes infertility, but one current theory is the displaced tissue provokes an inflammatory reaction that kills sperm and eggs. Stopping menses is an effective method of controlling endometriosis though this is not a cure and treatments usually preclude pregnancy. Laparoscopy and ablating (destroying) the endometriosis is another therapeutic option though it too is not a cure. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) offers a very effective way of "bypassing" endometriosis.
Specialist vary tremendously on their opinions as to what should be done for the infertile couple with endometriosis. There is supportive evidence for most of the different treatment types which makes things even more confusing for patients seeking "the right thing". Our program has had very good success achieving pregnancy in patients with endometriosis judiciously using invasive procedures in a minority of patients.