What steps should I take if I have endometriosis?
Real Mom Problem
“I have heard of so many women that have conceived after being diagnosed with endometriosis, but I don't feel as if it will be so easy! Just wondering if anyone has any advice for me! I feel so alone.”
- 1. Endometriosis is a condition where extra tissue from the uterus grows in other areas of the body
- 2. Symptoms of endometriosis include heavy, painful periods, and difficulty conceiving
- 3. A diagnosis of endometriosis does not have to mean that you can never have children
- 4. Laparoscopic surgery can be performed to both diagnose and treat endometriosis
- 5. Remember, the answers below are not medical advice and should not be relied on as medical advice or used in lieu of speaking with a medical professional
Real Mom Solutions
Endometriosis affects millions of women and, if untreated, can make it very difficult to conceive. Learn from real women, just like you, how to diagnose and treat endometriosis.
These Moms Had Success After Surgery
I had laparoscopic surgery and now I'm almost six weeks pregnant. Don't lose hope. Once they cleaned me up I got pregnant a month later after trying for about a year.
I had endometriosis. I had surgery for it and I would HIGHLY recommend doing the same. It was very easy, day surgery. They basically burn off all of the endometriosis. I had it on my ovaries and bladder. It's not the most pleasant recovery, but it's really not a big deal. They also say that you're most fertile right after you have the surgery. I had the surgery in April 2010, got married in July 2010, and got pregnant November 2010.
I have Stage 4 endometriosis. I have had three laparoscopies, two of which turned into major surgeries because of what they found--first one a large blood-filled cyst on my ovary called an endometrioma, and the second, tons of adhesions from the endometriosis and previous surgeries. It took me eight years and lots of pain and disappointments, but we are now nearly six weeks pregnant with our first! A laparoscopy and HSG would be two things to look into. I would also recommend contacting The Endometriosis Association for loads of useful resources including doctor recommendations, diet and nutrition, books, pain management, support groups, etc. You don't want just any OB/GYN to do the surgery. They need to have lots of experience with endometriosis; laparoscopies in particular, or you could wind up with major scarring and even more problems. A good book is "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" by Marilyn Shannon. I'd recommend that to anyone trying to conceive, not just those with endometriosis!
I also have endometriosis. And to be honest it really depends where it is and how bad. I have had two surgeries to remove scar tissue and cysts and it did help a lot. They said I most likely would not have kids at all and here I am with two beautiful babies and trying for number three. Everyone I know with endometriosis has it someplace different and placement makes a big difference in my opinion as far as problems, and symptoms, and pain are concerned. If they recommend a laparoscopy I would go for it because I conceived my son exactly six months after my surgery.
Endometriosis causes heavy, painful periods and causes your uterus lining to build up on other areas of your uterus. The only way to find out you have endometriosis is to have laparoscopic surgery and at that time they can remove a lot of the lesions to help with the infertility. If you do have endometriosis you can still get pregnant. It took me many years but I conceived my son after a few laparoscopies to remove endometriosis!
I have endometriosis and I got pregnant about four months after my laparoscopy.
I was diagnosed when I was 17. I went the surgery route the first time, then did hormone therapy twice, and then ended up having another laparoscopy. It was definitely difficult going through all of that at a young age. I also got married at 21 but we knew we weren't ready to start a family; even though my doctor suggested starting early. But at age 25 we finally decided to try and wham, first try we had our daughter and then lo and behold, five months after I had my daughter, I was still breastfeeding, had sex ONE TIME unprotected and ended up with my son. Three years later still using birth control we got pregnant AGAIN. Keep faith. I think anything is possible, and when you become pregnant that also helps the endometriosis for the next time around.
Learn More About Diagnosis & Treatment
I recommend seeing your OB and requesting a laparoscopy and HSG (hysterosalpingogram). While they're in there doing the laparoscopy, they can cauterize and remove scar tissue. And the HSG will check to see if your fallopian tubes are blocked. The HSG also "flushes out" your uterus and tubes. Many, many women who have had these done get pregnant immediately after.
I had a laparoscopy for endometriosis, and drastically changed my diet; taking fish oil, evening primrose oil, B vitamin complex and a prenatal with DHA, and my symptoms have almost completely disappeared. My OB/GYN was trying to talk me into getting a hysterectomy, but I'm just too young for that. I don't know how you feel about natural alternatives, but it might be worth looking into for you. It has certainly helped me.
I had my first acupuncture session five days after laparoscopy to remove more endometriosis and I am convinced that it helped speed up my recovery process. I am currently 11 weeks pregnant! The acupuncture helped speed along my surgical recovery and got me back in the game faster than anticipated. We were giving ourselves two months, no drugs, just acupuncture before moving to IVF and it worked the cycle right after surgery. I am definitely convinced of the power of acupuncture from the hormone balancing to the overall relaxation, and it has been a lifeline with terrible morning sickness through the first trimester.
As far as I know the only way to be sure if you have endometriosis is if you get a laparoscopy. During the surgery is when they also "burn" off the endometriosis. If you've been trying to conceive for over a year with no luck I would definitely suggest talking to your doctor about your options. It was very easy. It's usually an outpatient surgery and lasts about half an hour to a few hours depending on how bad the endometriosis is, and then you get to go home after you wake up. Endometriosis can be a tough thing to go through especially when you feel like you're alone. You're not alone!
Endometriosis can be really detrimental to your fertility. Depending on how bad it is and WHERE it is makes a huge difference. I am sure your doctor will do a laparoscopy if he hasn't already to determine the "damage". Sometimes they can do surgery to remove the endometrial tissue causing problems. Sometimes even birth control can lessen the damage of it, but just talk to your doctor.
I have Stage 4 endometriosis. Surgery helped a TON! I have been trying to conceive for three months now and I have faith I'll do just fine. Don't worry too much about it until you see your doctor, and make sure your doctor has endometriosis experience and knows you're trying to conceive. Write down all your questions and bring them with you so you don't forget anything. Don't let them try and talk you into anything you don't want to do or don't feel ready for yet as some doctors, in my experience, try to do.