Reproductive health experts have advised women to have more children so as to prevent the risk of getting endometriosis which is a leading cause of infertility.

According to Dr. Meshach Asimba, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Fortis Suites, endometriosis is a disorder that occurs when the special lining in the uterus called the endometrium gets deposited in other areas of the body apart from the inner uterine wall.

Wanyoike Gichui, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi,  noted that during pregnancy, progesterone hormones (those responsible for birth control hence no periods) are at high levels which hinders endometriosis as it is oestrogen dependent.

“If you have many children, you will either be breast feeding or pregnant and in such a case endometriosis cannot thrive,” he said while speaking at a medical symposium on Friday.

Gichui advised women to only consider surgery as the last resort of treatment and advocated for a three month therapy drug and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to diagnose endometriosis as opposed to laparoscopy (a surgical procedure that allows surgeons to view a patient’s inner organs, and do small surgeries with the aid of a fibre-optic instrument).

“Why should you operate? You may damage those ovaries. When you have a scalpel, ask yourself, does this woman have children, and does she want to have more? In some cases, the lesions are tiny and cannot be seen through laparoscopy, ” he advised.

How endometriosis causes infertility

Endometriosis can lead to infertility by causing tears which distract the sperms from reaching the ovum for fertilisation. The sperms may also reach the ovum when deformed hence unable to fertilise the egg.

Kireki Omanwa, a fertility expert from Kenya  Obstetrics and Gynaecologists Society (KOGS) revealed that infertility affected at least 15 per cent of the Kenyan population.

“That is why we are discouraging repeat surgeries on endometriosis patients. We do not need you to reduce the ovary reserves, which are already threatened by the condition,” he said.