About Fertility

Vitamin Supplementation Can Improve Endometriosis Symptoms

Vitamin Supplementation Can Improve Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis is an extremely challenging disease. When women with endometriosis are trying to conceive, treatment options are particularly limited. A recent randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that vitamin supplementation can improve endometriosis symptoms. The combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin E significantly reduced painful periods, pain with intercourse, and overall pelvic pain for women with endometriosis. These authors speculate that the combination of Vitamins C and E may have reduced some of the inflammation and oxidative damage induced by endometriosis, thereby resulting in a reduction of symptoms.

These findings are very encouraging, as Vitamins C and E are safe, inexpensive, and widely available. Most importantly, women who are trying to conceive can safely use them (unlike most other treatments for endometriosis). More studies are required to further explore the relationship between antioxidants and endometriosis symptoms. In the meantime, these findings certainly warrant consideration in patients with endometriosis who are trying to conceive.

What Causes Endometriosis?

The cause of endometriosis is unknown, although, many theories have been proposed. The most popular theory of what causes endometriosis is retrograde menstrual flow in which tissue shed during the period flows into the pelvis. Another plausible theory involves a genetic predisposition influenced by hormones or other signals causing a reaction of cells lining the pelvis, within the ovary, or elsewhere to differentiate into tissue that looks and acts like endometrium. Endometriosis is not a sexually transmitted disease nor is it caused by an infection.

Endometriosis and Infertility Treatment Options

Treatment decisions are more complex for those with endometriosis who are having difficulty becoming pregnant. In mild cases, coordination of intercourse with ovulation may be all that is necessary. Laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis in some cases may also facilitate pregnancy, although recurrence of endometriosis usually occurs within a year of surgery. For moderate and severe endometriosis, more advanced fertility treatments are often needed including in vitro fertilization (IVF).

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At Fertility Centers of New England, patients come to us because they are struggling with infertility and/or miscarriages. If you have more questions about how vitamin supplementation can improve endometriosis symptoms or if you are having difficulty conceiving, please contact us for a free consultation.

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