If you have been following along so far, you’ll know that in part one, I covered what exactly endometriosis is, and part two covered how I finally received a diagnosis. So today, we’re going even further into my journey to discuss something that is a bit emotional, but also important. I also want to provide a bit of a trigger warning here as we are going to discuss fertility, and issues relating to it.
So, as I mentioned in part two, I received my endometriosis diagnosis after laparoscopic surgery. Well, a couple of years after that, I started seeing a fertility specialist because I was, at the time, trying to conceive. During this time, after lots of testing on myself and also my ex, I was told that I had “unexplained infertility”. Basically, that’s what they tell women with endometriosis who can’t get pregnant because they don’t really understand why.
I was both relieved, and also upset. I knew deep down that I didn’t want to be pregnant at that time. However, when something you think is a possibility suddenly becomes out of reach and no one can tell you why, well, that can make you angry, and sad. It should also be said that this diagnosis didn’t only affect me. I remember when my sister got pregnant with her second child, she told me she was so scared to tell me because she knew it might be something I can’t have and she didn’t want to make me sad. I could also tell my mom and other family members I discussed this with were sad, they wanted little babies running around (especially ones like me, let’s be real, I’m awesome!).
Of course, I was upset about this diagnosis and I was incredibly sad for myself. I knew that at some point in my life, I wanted to be able to plan a big reveal and tell my family I was pregnant. It’s like, you have this idea in your head (and maybe on your Pinterest, let’s be honest, haha) of what your life is going to look like and when things diverge from your plan it can be terrifying and unsettling.
Soon after I found out I was dealing with infertility, I found out that I had developed uterine fibroids. My doctor removed them via a procedure called Hysteroscopic Myomectomy. A scope is passed through the vagina and cervix to the uterus where the doctor can locate and remove fibroids with a wire loop – while invasive, there are no incisions and I was able to go home the same day. After the surgery, I made the decision to go back on birth control to try and help with pain, excessive bleeding, and cysts.
That was close to five years ago and I have been on birth control ever since. While it helps, I still deal daily with pain, and have breakthrough bleeding, pain with sex, and deal a lot with exhaustion. But, some good things have happened since I found out about my infertility as well. In September of 2018, I got married to my absolute best friend. Beginning a family is something we both want for our future and he is well aware of my past and knows about my infertility issues as well. Luckily for me, he is someone who has been incredibly supportive of my illness and issues with infertility.
Dealing with infertility is not an easy thing – especially when you want a child. There are moments when I cry and feel helpless because I saw an adorable baby at Target and I feel like I’ll never get to do that. Overall, I have been able to come to a point in my life where I know I will be content if it’s something that doesn’t work out, even if it’s painful to think about. Now, I know I have options such as IVF or IUI, I’m just not sure that’s something I want to do. Not only is there no guarantee – but it’s also expensive as hell and not something insurance generally covers.
On top of my endometriosis, I was also diagnosed with MTHFR which is a blood clotting disorder that basically means my body doesn’t absorb folic acid in the way it should. It also greatly increases the risks of miscarriage and endometriosis also increases those risks again. There’s a lot to deal with when you have endometriosis and want to become pregnant – which is why I will reiterate that it is so important to have a doctor that you trust and who listens to you.
I should also mention that if you are dealing with endometriosis and infertility (or either of these separately) there is no shame in seeing a therapist. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health and can really help give you the tools you need to deal with your diagnosis, whether it’s brand new – or you’ve been dealing with infertility for years.
I don’t know everything there is to know about infertility, and whether or not I will ever be able to conceive on my own. This is just my personal experience so far, I know I still have a long way to go and we’ll see what happens when the time comes for me to try to start a family. For now, I am trying to focus on being healthy, not only will that help my mental health, but I have read a lot about being active and having a healthy diet helping women with endometriosis and infertility. And, I know that should I ever have a family I want to be the healthiest mom I can be.
Please share with me in the comments if you would like, I know fertility can be a hard thing to discuss, so if you’re not ready to share, that’s okay, just know there are people who care and will listen.