Endometriosis: Fertility and Pregnancy

The HMC Endometriosis Centre is a major centre of expertise that receives referrals from all over the country. A dedicated team of gynaecologists, radiologists, surgeons, urologists and nurses see more than 150 new patients every month who are suspected to have this condition. We are also one of the few centres in the Netherlands where many highly complex operations are performed.

In march 2024, there have been various activities to raise awareness around endometriosis, and our team has appeared regularly in the media (magazines and radio) and at patient meetings.

For some women who want to have children and suffer from endometriosis, it can be more difficult to get pregnant. Sometimes they need help, for example through IVF. Painful periods can also make waiting longer for a spontaneous pregnancy unbearable, and this can provide another reason to switch to IVF treatment. At HMC, the Fertility Department is closely involved with the Endometriosis Centre. For example, multidisciplinary patient consultations are frequently held. Moreover, three of the endometriosis specialists are gynaecologists specialising in IVF. It’s very convenient for women, because we know everything about their health and endometriosis, so their endometriosis treatment can be smoothly transferred to the Fertility Department.

It’s not commonly known that endometriosis can also affect a pregnancy. Because we see many women at the HMC Endometriosis Centre who want to have children, and often support them through their pregnancies, we have a lot of experience with the impact of endometriosis on pregnancy.

We also know from the literature that pregnancy with endometriosis can be more complicated, even if the endometriosis has been treated with surgery. The chances of high blood pressure, or of the baby growing more slowly than normal, are slightly higher, and labour can also begin a little prematurely. Women who needed highly complex surgery, for example because the endometriosis grew into their bowel and a piece had to be removed, sometimes have to have a Caesarean section; together with the patient, we make a plan and decide what is best for her and the baby.

 To provide prospective pregnant women with adequate information, we can see them before conception if required. We can educate them so they have a better idea of what to expect; they find that reassuring. We also offer telephone consultations to women from outside the region, but most women prefer to come to HMC in person, often with their partner. Through these measures, we have seen many healthy babies born here at the MKC!

 Dr Kim Boers

For preconception consultations: +31 (0)88-9791459

Do you think you might have endometriosis? Take the self-test (check the QR-code) which comprises 16 questions. Based on the answers, we can estimate whether this could be a possibility. The questions will also give you an insight into the symptoms associated with endometriosis.