From a fertility perspective, the main sign of silent endometriosis is recurrent pregnancy loss and/or failed implantation with none of the normal symptoms of endometriosis. Endometriosis affects the uterine wall lining, impacting the ability of an embryo to implant itself and grow in the uterus. The condition can develop outside the uterus to other organs like the ovaries. Women with symptomatic endometriosis often experience painful periods, excessive bleeding, fatigue, and pain during sex. The absence of symptoms makes silent endometriosis harder to diagnose and is the leading cause of unexplained infertility.
Even without obvious symptoms, your OB/GYN or Reproductive Endocrinologist can check for signs of endometriosis before they start fertility treatment. A positive ReceptivaDx test may be the first sign of asymptomatic endometriosis. If suspected or based on earlier tests, a fertility specialist may check for:
Endometriosis causes endometrioma: a blood-filled cyst located in the ovaries. The old blood causes the cysts to have a chocolatey (brown) color. Ovarian cysts affect the oocyte reserves and egg quality, leading to fertility issues.
Specialists find the cysts in the following ways:
- Pelvic exam: Your doctor manually palpates your pelvic area for abnormalities. They can feel cysts on reproductive organs, which can warrant more tests.
- Medical imaging: Using ultrasound and MRI scans can help locate the cysts and determine their exact size. Medical imaging offers an accurate detection of the position of the masses to help plan surgery.
- Laparoscopy: This method involves making an incision below the navel to insert a laparoscope. Surgeons use laparoscopy to confirm the position of the cysts and extract uterine lining for biopsy ahead of surgery.
Abnormal Hormone Levels
Another sign of asymptomatic endometriosis is a hormonal change. Doctors can conduct a blood test to check for abnormalities in hormone levels.
Endometriosis affects progesterone and estrogen levels. These hormones support pregnancy, so abnormalities may make it hard for females to conceive.
To treat endometriosis in the fertility setting, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy to suppress and regulate hormone levels in order to reduce the the growth of endometriosis long enough for the embryo to successfully implant and achieve full gestation. Another option is surgical laparoscopy where the endometrial lining is scoped and abnormal tissue removed. Both methods increase the chances of successful conception or IVF.
Other Chronic Diseases
Women with endometriosis face a higher risk of developing other conditions. Diseases like lupus, thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia are linked to endometriosis. If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, your doctor may actively look for endometriosis.
These same chronic diseases often lead to inflammation. The ReceptivaDx test will pick up inflammation of the uterine lining. While most commonly associated with endometriosis, these other conditions may trigger a positive response. Another common inflammatory condition caused by bacteria is endometritis. Doctors often use a marker called CD138 to look for an endometritis infection. This marker is often added to the ReceptivaDx test request form.
Find the Best Treatment for Silent Endometriosis
Treating endometriosis can improve your chances of getting pregnant. Silent endometriosis may be asymptomatic, but specialists use the best test methods to check for the condition and recommend treatment.
ReceptivaDx is a cost effective clinical test that helps detect endometriosis by checking for a protein marker called BCL6. The high specificity and sensitivity of the test create accurate biopsy results. Contact us today for more information.