- Women's Health
Severe Endometriosis and Pregnancy: A True Story
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.
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!
Read more about health:
- Soy: Benefits and Possible Dangers
You see and hear it everywhere on TV, in magazines and newspapers, and even on the radio: why certain foods and dietary supplements are good for you. Some make amazing claims. If, however, you take...
- Prostate Cancer Treatment Options and Side Effects
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you will most likely be faced with several treatment options. These different therapies may be used alone or in conjunction with another...
- Hiatal Hernia: Symptoms, Home Care, and Treatment Options
Appoximately 15% of the people in the US have a hiatal hernia, a condition where part of the stomach pokes through the diaphragm. Actually the number of sufferers may be even higher. Since the condition...
- Fibromyalgia: How to Cope
If you deal with widespread pain on a regular basis, with no apparent cause, you might have fibromyalgia. Sometimes called chronic pain syndrome, doctors are not sure what causes fibromyalgia. Some think...
- HGH: Miracle or Myth
You've probably heard a lot in the news lately about HGH, or maybe you've read about it in magazine or newspaper. So what is this stuff, anyway? And why all the hoopla? HGH stands for human growth...
- How to Raise Your HDL Cholesterol without Drugs
Most health-conscious people are concerned about their cholesterol levels, and for good reason. Elevated amounts of cholesterol in the blood are a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. ...
- Avoid knee surgery with synovial fluid injections - video included
If you have knee pain and stiffness from arthritis or injury and are considering knee replacement, you might be able to avoid surgery with injection therapy. Many doctors, especially orthopedic surgeons, are...
- Important Vitamins and Minerals for Seniors
Its amazing the power some vitamins and minerals have. Funny, these things have been around forever, but thanks to the multitude of scientific studies, scientists and doctors are just beginning to unlock...
- Anti Aging Supplement: Resveratrol
How can the French consume large amounts of fat and cholesterol - in cheeses and cream sauces - and still have fewer heart attacks than residents of the US or other western nations? The secret might just...
- Menopause: What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You! Doctor Video Included
I know menopause. I suffered through it with my mother, and Im just now coming out of it on the other side, myself. Im writing this in an effort to help other women who might be going through what my...
- The Twins' First Mammogram
This little adventure happened last summer, and it's 100% true - embarrassing, but true. At the age of 50, I'm ashamed to say that I had never before had a mammogram. I guess I was scared. I've heard so...
- Improving Fertility without Drugs: 25 Tips
Fertility rates in the US have sharply declined over the last few decades. Thousands of couples today have trouble conceiving. Doctors are not completely sure what has caused the decline, but several...
- Night Sweats: Causes and Treatment, with Helpful Videos
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night sweating, even in the winter. And we keep our house cold, so I dont think its because Im overheating. It's a strange feeling and difficult to explain....
- Primary Peritoneal Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Clinical Trials
Primary peritoneal cancer, or PPC, is a rare type of cancer that attacks primarily women and is often considered to be a gynecologic cancer. Its a very aggressive type of cancer and can spread quickly to...