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Endometriosis: An Overview from Grain Fertility Empowerment Coach Kimberly

As Endometriosis Awareness Month comes to end, it's crucial to continue to shine a spotlight on this often misunderstood and under-diagnosed condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. As a fertility nurse, I've witnessed firsthand the impact of endometriosis on individuals' lives, its impact on their fertility journeys and their quality of life. 

Woman in pain with endometriosis
Endometriosis can be debilitating for women

In this blog post, I aim to raise awareness about endometriosis, share insights on its effects on fertility, and offer support to those affected by this condition.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis (“Endo” for short) is a chronic and often painful condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus, commonly on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even up to the  pelvic organs. Despite affecting an estimated 1 in 10 individuals of reproductive age, endometriosis remains widely misunderstood. 

What Endometriosis Is Not? 

“Just painful periods”. Unfortunately, because the most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, it is often dismissed as anything more than a painful period. This misconception often leads to women going months to years without a diagnosis and potentially continue to experience unnecessary pain without proper treatment and guidance. 

How Does Endometriosis Affect My Cycle?

Each month the endometrium, or the inner lining of your uterus, grows in response to hormonal fluctuations between the brain and the reproductive organs. The endometrium will begin to thicken in the middle of a cycle around the time of ovulation and peak during the luteal phase (post ovulation). The endometrium thickens to create a nice cozy hospitable environment for an embryo to grow & develop in. If a pregnancy does not take place, the brain signals the uterus to shed the endometrium lining. Women often experience cramps due to uterine contractions and the endometrium can safely exit the body through the vaginal canal.

This becomes problematic for women with endometriosis. With endometriosis, endo-like tissue will begin to grow in neighboring organs outside of the uterus and it will act just how it does within the uterine cavity. If a pregnancy does not take place, the endo tissue in the pelvic and/or abdominal cavity will shed as well. The problem is it will have nowhere to go and the endometriosis tissue will shed into the pelvic/abdominal cavity causing pain, inflammation & scar tissue. 

Impact on Quality of Life:

Endometriosis may cause debilitating pain that may prevent a woman from going about her day to day activities. Women often talk about sudden, sharp pain that is crippling, taking breath away and making them nauseous.

Signs & Symptoms to look out for:

  • Pelvic pain 

  • Excruciatingly painful menses

  • Dyspareunia (painful intercourse) 

  • Pain with bowel movements or urination

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Infertility 

Unfortunately, a number of these signs & symptoms may be overlooked by a healthcare provider and be mistaken for menstrual cramps. This may lead to a misdiagnosis and a delay in treatment. 

Endometriosis & Fertility: 

One of the most significant concerns for individuals with endometriosis is its impact on fertility. The presence of endometriosis can lead to a number of fertility challenges, including:

  • Pelvic Adhesions: Endometrial tissue can form adhesions or scar tissue, causing organs in the pelvis to stick together. This can impair fertility by affecting ovulation, fertilization, and implantation of the embryo.

  • Ovulatory Dysfunction: Endometriosis can disrupt the hormonal balance necessary for ovulation, leading to irregular menstrual cycles and difficulty conceiving.

  • Reduced Egg Quality: Research suggests that endometriosis may be associated with decreased egg quality, potentially affecting embryo development and pregnancy outcomes. (

  • Increased Risk of Miscarriage: Individuals with endometriosis may have a higher risk of miscarriage due to factors such as inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and uterine abnormalities.

As a fertility nurse, my role extends beyond providing medical care; it also involves offering support, education, and advocacy for individuals facing fertility challenges, including those with endometriosis or who think they may have endometriosis. During Endometriosis Awareness Month and throughout the year, it's essential to:

  • Raise Awareness: Educate individuals about the signs, symptoms, and impact of endometriosis on fertility to promote early detection and treatment.

  • Provide Support: Offer resources to individuals with endometriosis as they navigate their fertility journeys. Support groups, online forums, and counseling services can provide invaluable support and encouragement.

You may be wondering when is a good time to talk to your OBGYN if you think you have endometriosis?

Here at Grain Fertility we are all about patient advocacy and encouraging you to be your number one advocate. It may be nerve-racking to face the reality that you may have endometriosis, but the sooner you work through it with your doctor, the sooner you may be on the path to greater quality in life. 

If you are in your 20’s-40s’ and you are experiencing pain, painful menstrual cramps, chronic lower back pain and pain during sex, it may be time to talk to your healthcare provider.

At Grain Fertility, Premium Users have the opportunity to work 1:1 with our dedicated Patient Empowerment Coaches. They will help you prepare for your upcoming consultations with your provider and they will provide resources tailored to your individual needs. Our PEC's are committed to supporting you throughout your fertility journey. You can become a Premium member and take advantage of a risk free two-week trial by signing up today at

Endometriosis is a complex and challenging condition that can significantly impact fertility and quality of life. As we commemorate Endometriosis Awareness Month, we want to reassure all of our users here at Grain Fertility that we are here to support you and your battle with endometriosis.

By fostering understanding, empathy, and empowerment, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those living with this condition and help them on their journey towards building their families and achieving their reproductive goals. 

About Kimberly

Empowerment Coach Kimberly
Kimberly Shamroth, RN

Kimberly Shamroth, RN has worked as a fertility nurse at a top clinic for 5+ years, helping patients through some of the most difficult parts of the fertility journey. She provides guidance and detailed explanations to encourage self-awareness, confidence and continued motivation. You can learn more about Kimberly at


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