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How Endometriosis Affects the Ovaries

Endometriosis is a gynecological disorder that impacts women. This condition arises when tissue resembling the endometrium, a liner of the uterus, starts developing on the ovaries. Women experiencing endometriosis are likely to face issues like unexplained infertility. Here are a few ways endometriosis can affect ovaries, leading to unexplained infertility:

Formation of Endometriomas

Endometriomas, or chocolate cysts, appear if endometriosis invades the ovaries and fills them with thickened tissue. It is one of the main causes of unexplained infertility. These cysts occupy the ovarian tissue. The presence of chocolate cysts greatly disrupts the ovaries’ functions. The cysts produced by endometriomas cause hormonal changes in a woman’s body. These changes might cause the failure of eggs to mature and release, and the disruption or interception of the normal discharge of eggs from the ovaries causes unexplained infertility. Women with endometriosis often experience this issue.

Disruption of Folliculogenesis

Ovulation is the process of folliculogenesis in which the ovarian follicles develop and grow to the next stage. Endometriosis can interfere with this process. This may cause dysovulation. Dysovulation occurs when a woman has an irregular, infrequent menstrual cycle. Sometimes the disruption of folliculogenesis may cause ovulation not to occur at all, leading to anovulation. This disruption happens because endometriosis brings hormonal changes. These changes inhibit the processes related to the maturation of ovarian follicles and regulation of the endometrium.

Scar Tissue and Adhesions

Endometriosis may lead to the development of ovarian and related pelvic scarring and adhesions. The presence of abnormal tissue in the ovaries causes irritation and inflammation. This leads to the development of scar tissue as the body tries to heal the affected area. The body’s response to these scar tissues can cause the formation of adhesions, and this kind of adhesion leads to distortion of the reproductive organs. It blocks the passageway of the egg through the fallopian tubes. These distortions alter the body’s structure and specifically affect the reproductive organs. They reduce the likelihood of the egg coming into contact with the sperm, affecting fertilization. Endometriosis tissues also interfere with the normal functioning of the ovaries, disrupting the release of an egg for fertilization. 

Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Endometriosis can result from chronic inflammatory changes and oxidative stress. The presence of the endometrial tissue outside the uterus provokes inflammation, which is capable of creating lesions on the section of the tube with the follicles. Such hostile inflammation poses a risk to the quality of eggs, which affects fertilization and embryo development. Oxidative stress is also a cause of imbalance between the body’s generation of free radicals and antioxidant defenses. Due to the negative effects of oxidative stress on ovarian follicles and eggs, individuals may experience increased chances of infertility.

Impact on Ovarian Reserve

Ovarian reserve is the quality and quantity of eggs a woman has in her ovaries. The human body has a limited number of eggs. As the status of the ovarian reserve declines, the possibility of conception reduces. This factor makes conception challenging for women with endometriosis-related infertility. Women with endometriosis may experience a diminished ovarian reserve, which minimizes the number of eggs that can be fertilized.

Learn More About Unexplained Infertility

Unexplained infertility affects many women and can impact their ability to become pregnant. Endometriosis is one of the major causes of infertility. This condition affects the ovaries, making it challenging to conceive or carry a successful pregnancy. In case you have been trying to start a family without success, contact a fertility specialist to learn more about unexplained infertility. They will perform tests, walk you through the test results, and help develop a quality treatment plan.

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