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Fertility and pregnancy

Endometriosis may also impact your fertility and plans to become pregnant. Many women with endometriosis will become pregnant without any medical help. But 30–50% of of women with endometriosis find it hard to get pregnant. This may be due to things like scarring of the fallopian tubes and ovaries, or changes to pelvic organs.

Having endometriosis and problems with fertility may make you feel worried, angry or depressed. You can talk to your doctor, counsellor or psychologist about how to deal with the diagnosis and decide what to do next.

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Fertility treatment

You may have keyhole surgery (laparoscopy), which can reduce pain and improve fertility.

In some cases, even after surgery, some patients have difficulty conceiving. If so, you can discuss other options with your doctor.

For example:

  • the Endometriosis Fertility Index (EFI) – to help predict natural or assisted pregnancy
  • in vitro fertilisation (IVF) – if your gynaecologist has assessed your endometriosis and recommends the treatment.

You might be worried that IVF, which involves hormonal stimulation, may make your endometriosis worse, but there is no evidence that IVF will result in a significant increase in endometriosis.

Starting on fertility treatment can make you feel happy and excited, but it may also make you feel frustrated, disappointed and sad.

If you decide to try fertility treatment, it’s important to get support. Most IVF units have counsellors who will support you throughout the assessment and treatment process. Counselling before fertility treatment can help you to:

  • prepare for the emotional journey ahead
  • discuss your feelings
  • cope with any unsuccessful treatments or miscarriages
  • cope with other people's pregnancies and births.


Pregnancy does not cure endometriosis, but symptoms may improve because you don’t have periods during pregnancy. Hormone changes during pregnancy may also improve symptoms.

Some women continue to experience pain through their pregnancy. This can lead to feelings of worry and concern. While there are varied research results about how endometriosis affects pregnancy, most women with endometriosis have a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy.

After delivery

Some women find their endometriosis symptoms improve or go away after giving birth. But for many women, endometriosis symptoms come back after they stop breast-feeding and their period returns. It's important to continue with medical care for your endometriosis after your baby is born.

This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at January 2023.

This con­tent has been reviewed by a group of med­ical sub­ject mat­ter experts, in accor­dance with Jean Hailes pol­i­cy.

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Counsellor VS. Endometriosis. A clinical and surgical review. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1938;36:877
Maheux-Lacroix S, Nesbitt-Hawes E, Deans R, et al. Endometriosis fertility index predicts live births following surgical resection of moderate and severe endometriosis. Human Reproduction. 2017;32(11):2243-2249. doi:10.1093/humrep/dex291
Benaglia L, Somigliana E, Santi G, Scarduelli C, Ragni G, Fedele L. IVF and endometriosis-related symptom progression: insights from a prospective study. Hum Reprod. 2011;26(9):2368-2372. doi:10.1093/humrep/der208
Leone Roberti Maggiore U, Ferrero S, Mangili G, et al. A systematic review on endometriosis during pregnancy: diagnosis, misdiagnosis, complications and outcomes. Hum Reprod Update. 2016;22(1):70-103. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmv045
Horne AW, Missmer SA. Pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of endometriosis. BMJ. 2022;379:e070750. doi:10.1136/bmj-2022-070750
Last updated: 
19 March 2024
Last reviewed: 
31 January 2023

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