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Severe Endometriosis and Pregnancy: A True Story

Updated on December 23, 2012

Endometriosis and pregnancy

Endometrial cells are supposed to grow only inside the uterus. Sometimes, however, these cells grow in other parts of the pelvic area, where they’re not supposed to. When this happens, the condition is referred to as endometriosis or pelvic endometriosis. These cells can attach to the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, the intestines, the bladder, the vagina, the cervix, and on the outside of the uterus.

Endometriosis symptoms include pelvic pain, back pain, constipation, diarrhea, irregular periods, heavy menstrual flow, nausea, fever, and infertility.

Who does pelvic endometriosis affect? Endometriosis or pelvic endometriosis affects about one million women in the United States. Tall, thin women seem to be more at risk, along with women who wait until later in their reproductive years to become pregnant. It also affects more white women than it does African American or Asian women.

When my youngest daughter, Melissa, began to experience endometriosis symptoms, she made an appointment with her Ob-Gyn. She found out she had severe endometriosis, even though she did not fit the typical profile, other than being a white female. She’s not tall. In fact, she stands only five feet. She’s not thin, either, although she’s not fat. A former gymnast and cheerleader, she has a muscular, athletic build. She was nineteen years old when she had her first child, so she doesn’t fit that part of the profile, either.

Severe endometriosis

Nevertheless, she had endometriosis – severe endometriosis. Treatment for endometriosis usually includes anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives, progestins, and other drugs. Her IUD was also removed, thinking that might help relieve her symptoms. None of these relived her symptoms. Melissa had such severe endometriosis that her doctor felt that laparoscopic surgery was necessary.

She had the surgery at a local hospital, and of course, I was there for it. After the surgery, Dr. Drew told us that Mel had many adhesions, especially on her intestines. He got rid of most of them, but he said they would undoubtedly return and that she’d have to have more surgeries. I knew that with endometriosis infertility was a problem, so I was glad that she already had two children.

Endometriosis and infertility

With mild endometriosis fertility is usually not a problem, especially when the endometriosis is limited to a small area; however, with severe endometriosis infertility is usually as issue. I had read about endometriosis and infertility, so I was concerned about Mel not being able to bear more children. This wasn’t a big concern for her. She already had two boys, and while she and her husband desperately wanted a little girl, Melissa figured if she had a third child, it would be another boy. She had made up her mind not to have more kids.

After the surgery, Melissa asked Dr. Drew about birth control. Since her IUD had been removed, she was unprotected. He told her not to worry about getting pregnant. Because of her severe endometriosis, pregnancy was very unlikely.

Endometriosis and pregnancy

A couple of months later, guess what? She was pregnant! This was a little scary. The good doctor explained that with endometriosis pregnancy, there’s a higher risk for an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself somewhere outside the womb. This might be in the fallopian tubes, the cervix, on an ovary, or somewhere else in the abdominal cavity.

Melissa didn’t even tell the boys about her pregnancy. She knew they would get all excited at the thought of having a little brother or sister and would devastated if she lost the baby. She found out via an ultrasound that the pregnancy was normal and not ectopic, but she decided to wait three months before sharing the news with the boys.

Melissa found that being pregnant with endometriosis was no picnic. She still has some of the pelvic pain, in addition to the added stress of pregnancy. When a subsequent ultrasound was performed at her four months checkup, we found out the baby is a girl! I was almost afraid to believe it. They did another ultrasound just last week, and it’s still a girl! We could see her little face from the black-and-white pictures, and she’s beautiful!

Now she’s six months along. We’re expecting the new baby on May 5, but she’ll come early if she follows the pattern set by her older brothers. Both of them were several weeks early, but they were fine – just a little small.

We all feel pretty good now about Mel’s endometriosis pregnancy. We are a little concerned about the future, however, regarding how many more surgeries she might have to endure. For the present, we’re looking forward to meeting our new arrival – I needed another granddaughter to help even the score! I already have five grandsons but only two granddaughters.

I guess this is one of those endometriosis stories with a happy ending, and I hope and pray it stays that way!

Endometriosis pregnancy - entirely possible!
Endometriosis pregnancy - entirely possible!

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    • helptobepregnant profile image

      helptobepregnant 

      6 years ago from UK

      This is truly a lovely story with a wonderful ending. I have had stage 4 endometriosis since around the age of 15, I'm now 35, it is tough and I don't think others without the disease fully appreciate how it impacts on your life each month. I had 4 years of IVF and IUI before the extent of my endo was revealed. After a laparoscopy in 2009, a laparotomy in 2010, losing an ovary, removal of adhesions and cysts as well as a fallopian tube I was left with just one ovary. I was given less than 10% chance of getting pregnant but decided enough was enough of conventional medicine and turned to ancient chinese meds and natural methods and unbelievably they worked! After years of being told by specialists that IVF etc was the best option for me, it turned out they were wrong and getting pregnant naturally was the answer for me! I hope others with severe endo will take comfort and hope from the fact that it can be done no matter what stage of endometriosis you have. Thank you again for sharing your family story.

    • profile image

      Elrese 

      7 years ago

      I know this was posted so long ago, but I am so happy to have come across this. I'm 29 and have been diagnosed with severe endometriosis, it was only found when we visited our fertility clinic after trying for 15 months to fall pregnant, and laparoscopy booked for 15 Nov, I'm am really scared. But your story gave me hope, thank you!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      wow, Jessica - hope you find some relief soon!

    • profile image

      Jessica Pio 

      7 years ago

      Im an 18 year old girl who was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 13. I already had two surgerys and one ovary out. It's very painful.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Sonia. They're doing great!

    • sonia05 profile image

      sonia05 

      7 years ago from india

      very interesting and informative hub! Please accept my heartiest congratulations for your grand-daughter. Hope she and her mother are hale and hearty now!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Sunny, that's great! Endometriosis and pregnancy CAN go hand in hand!

    • Sunnyglitter profile image

      Sunnyglitter 

      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      I was told that I'd never be able to get pregnant as well, and I have 2 children now. Congrats on your new grandbaby!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      she had to be bed-ridden only part of the time. The baby is fine now! she had a rough start, though.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 

      8 years ago

      Dear habee, this is a very encouraging story. You posted the story 6 months ago, how's the baby now ? I suffer from severe endometriosis too. If I may ask, how severe was Melissa's endometriosis ? Did she have to bed-ridden through the pregnancy ?

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Oh, wc, I do hope you get your blessing! I'll say a prayer!

    • profile image

      writingconsultant 

      8 years ago

      Congratulations to your daughter, and to grandma!! I have endometriosis and have recently come off Lupron and have wondered for years if God would ever bless me with a little one, so stories like this are truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing and good luck to your daughter!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Good, Jen! We now have a beautiful baby girl from this, so never give up hope!

    • profile image

      Jen 

      8 years ago

      That story just makes me feel a little better. That is awesome that they are having a girl. I have severe endo also and had a surgey last July. There was so much in there that they couldn't get it all out. I also have 2 endo nodules in the cul de sac. It is very painful. Have had it since I was 15, I am now 31. I just hope I am able to have a baby. My gyno and my endo specialist have both talked about hysterectomy, but I want kids too bad. That story just gives me a little hope. Thanks

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Deb. I never turn down a prayer!!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      8 years ago

      Habee, Congratulations! It has been a rough go for Melanie I think she is a real trooper like her Mom! Glad to hear that she is 6 months along and so far so good! What a strong little girl your grand daughter is becoming already...I am sure her brothers are excited! I too will continue to PRAY that all continues to go well! In His love & Blessings!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you so much, BB, for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers! Hope you are well, my friend.

    • BEAUTYBABE profile image

      BEAUTYBABE 

      8 years ago from QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

      I have also had severe endometriosis as you probably already know Habee.

      I was so sick from all the bowel trouble with ulcerative colitis as well, that they thought if I had a hysterectomy that I might die on the table.

      I had an "endometrial ablation", which is when they scrape the entire contents of the uterus out in order to stop endometrial cells from forming, it is not fullproof though.

      I did get more endometriosis on the bowel wall and this in turn prevented any chance of me becoming pregnant. I still have problems, but I doubt if they will ever do a hysterectomy on me now, not with the risks involved.

      I do hope that everything goes well with Melanie. The Drs. these days are very up-to-date with everything they need to know re: endometriosis in Pregnancies. I will pray for her that all goes well, because it doesn't hurt to have a few prayers being said as well. God Bless all of you especially Mel and her family love Beautybabe.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Glad to hear you're doing better now, Pollyanna! I have been fortunate in this area. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      8 years ago from US

      I am very familiar with this also,I was 4 years getting pregnant I had trouble before ever becoming pregnant and the doctors said pregnancy can sometimes clear it up while pregnant, all I know was this was the 70's and I was told by more than one Dr nothing was wrong and I got so bad I had to crawl to the bathroom, I could not straighten up. My uterus was wrapped and pulled straight up instead of normal position and standing pulled it making it unbearable besides the cysts and all that, I suffered many years begging Doctors to believe me. I believe this would be like an erect penis tied and pulled down and back.I would wish that on many Drs. Two surgeries and a hysterectomy finally cured me, the Dr said he was afraid to leave even a piece of ovary it was so bad which they try to do to produce estrogen.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Ivor, I didn't either until this. We were lucky!

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 

      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Habee, I hope the best for your daughter. I had no idea that an ectopic pregnancy was related in any way to endometriosis. My second pregnancy was ectopic, but I don't have any of the signs of endometriosis.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Oh, Veronica, I appreciate that so much, my friend!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I hope everything goes well habee. Please let your daughter know that she has a lot of people keeping her (you are as well) in their prayers and hearts.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Please do, Misty. I've known so many women who were told they couldn't conceive, only to prove their doctors wrong!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Habee, I'll let you know if my luck ever changes on the pregnancy front.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Misty, so sorry to hear that. Don't give up hope!

      I did not know about the endometrial tissue in the brain - wow. That's amazing!

      I'm sending up a prayer for you, my friend!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Excellent hub Habee. I too have suffered from severe endometriosis for years, and I am only five foot three, although I am very slim. It has resulted in severe adhesions within my reproductive orgns, and I too have been told I am unlikely to ever get pregnant. I just hope they are wrong, but other factors such as my AMH levels seem to indicate that sadly they could well be right. I have hubbbed about it in my "Desperate for a Baby Diary" Hub and my "IVF" hubs.

      Did you know endometriosis tissue has also been found as far afield as in the brain too?

      Anyway, I hope I am as lucky as your daughter and I wish her all the success in the world with her new miracle baby.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Ethel. I'll tell Melissa what she has to look forward to!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Sorry to hear that, Greg. Does she have children? If not, tell her not to give up!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Sage, I'm glad your sister was able to have children! thanks for reading.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Audrey. We're very excited about having another girl!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, HH. I worry less the further along she gets! Thanks for the kind words!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Had endometriosis so that is one bonus to the menopause :) Happy that it turned out well for you all.

    • Greg Cremia profile image

      Greg Cremia 

      8 years ago from Outer Banks

      One of my daughters has to live with this.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 

      8 years ago

      I am very familiar with severe endometriosis. My sister suffered with this at a very young age. She actually had one ovary totally removed at the age of 17 and was told that she may not be able to have children.

      This was many years ago and I am proud to say that I have a beautiful niece and a really terrific nephew.

      Best of luck to your daughter Mel and you're new little grandchild. Keep us posted!

      Sage

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Bless her heart - will keep her in my thoughts and so happy she is getting her little girlie! Nothing like it and to have gone through so much. I had a friend with severe endometriosis and she got pregnant, too and had a beautiful little boy. From my medical report transcribing, I want to say it decreases as you get older but then the getting there is not so fun. Keep us posted and have to have pics of that bouncing baby girl! I might even be able to remember the date since it's almost Bob's birthday!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, habee, for sharing this worrrying time with us. All my best wishes to you and your family.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Lockerman! I believe in miracles!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Bpop, for your warm wishes!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks you, Maita. Good to hear from you!

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 

      8 years ago

      Congrats and I will be sending positive thoughts your way. Sounds like a miracle to me.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      I will be thinking about you and your daughter and wishing you a happy ending and a bright beginning.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      8 years ago from US

      good one now I know about this one, used to hear it, am done with pregnancy habee,

      I hope it goes along well for Melissa, as a mother I know you worry, and she lucky she can have more babies,

      Thanks, Maita

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