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The World Health Organisation predicts that infertility will be the third most serious health condition in the 21st Century
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Endometriosis is a common condition, affecting at least one in 10 women at some point during their menstruating years. It's a condition that can affect you anytime from when your periods first start right up until the time you enter menopause. It involves tissues that normally line your uterus (the endometrium) growing in abnormal places around your pelvis and, more rarely, other parts of your body.
A number of our patients and former patients who've experienced infertility due to endometriosis have kindly agreed to share their stories with you. Read on to learn more about their journeys.
Endometriosis is a common condition, affecting at least one in 10 women at some point during their menstruating years. It’s a condition that involves tissue that normally lines your uterus (the endometrium) growing in abnormal places around your pelvis and, more rarely, other parts of your body. Read on to learn how one of our patients overcame this condition to realise her dream of taking home a healthy baby.
After suffering from the physical and emotional pain of endometriosis and infertility for five years, it now all seems like a distant memory. I had four surgeries to remove endometriosis lesions from my ovaries and abdominal cavity, which never really improved pain management or fertility. I was still on strong pain relievers 20 days out of every month with excruciating pain at my body's attempt at ovulation through diseased tissues.
The use of ovulation predictors, acupuncture, fertility diets, thyroid medication etc were never successful at helping us to conceive so I started IVF at the age of 34, thinking it would be a terrible physical and emotional roller coaster. Surprisingly, the drugs used in IVF suppressed my endometriosis symptoms and I felt better than ever. I only had a bit of bloating, light headache and nausea, but otherwise felt very well.
I had a general anaesthesia for the egg collection because of the endometriosis in my ovaries. I had six eggs collected, four of which fertilised normally, and we had one embryo implanted. The embryo transfer was so quick and painless, and two weeks later I had a positive blood test!
My baby boy is now 18 months old and my endometriosis symptoms have all but disappeared. In the 18 months following his birth I have used light pain relievers only three times. Overall, IVF was a great experience and not at all as difficult as I had expected. I hope to be able to use my three frozen embryos in the future. Good luck to everyone undertaking IVF and motherhood!
This is a real Genea patient story (some details have been changed for privacy reasons).
Here is my (long) story,
My husband and I started trying to conceive five years ago and, at 22, we thought that we would just stop using contraception and then we will become pregnant, easy!
Boy, were we wrong!
After 18 months to two years we did some blood and sperm tests and were referred to a specialist at another high profile IVF clinic where we were diagnosed with "unexplained infertility". We were told that we could do either IUI or IVF. As I was a long haul flight attendant at the time, we thought IVF would be our best option. We started a stimulated IVF cycle and we were shocked when we got a negative result. So we went straight into a frozen cycle and again we were saddened by a negative result, to us it did not make sense that two healthy 25 year olds were not pregnant yet!
I then demanded a hysteroscopy from my specialist to see what was going on as I always had heavy, painful periods, my cycles were always long and I just wanted to see what was going on!
Two months later I had my hysteroscopy and as I recovered from the anaesthetic my specialist explained that they could not access my uterus and I was to come back two weeks later for another hysteroscopy with a guided ultrasound. So two weeks later as I was recovering from the anaesthetic, my specialist explained to me that I had a large uterine septum that went all the way down to my cervix and she could also see what looked like endometriosis. I was just glad to have some answers. So she referred me to another specialist and as soon as he examined me he said I had Stage 4 Endometriosis and it was one of the most aggressive cases he'd seen! Great, just my luck! So two months and $7,000 later, I had a double operation – a hysteroscopy to remove the septum and a laparoscopy to remove the endometriosis.
I was then told try naturally for six to 12 months and that we should have no problem falling pregnant.
Seven months later I decided to transfer my last frozen embryo and again we got a big fat negative result! It was then I decided to switch to Sydney IVF (now Genea) and I have never looked back!
We had our first appointment with Dr Alison Gee and we liked her straight away, she was thorough and caring. Dr Gee suggested we try Clomid for a few cycles and if it didn't work then we would move to IVF. I was hopeful for the first time in a long time.
After the first month of Clomid I got my period and I was feeling very down so when I took the tablets the next month I thought it wasn't going to work so I sent all of my IVF paperwork in readiness to start the next month. Then on the day my period was due I was feeling crampy & irritable and knew my period was due any moment. That afternoon I did a home pregnancy test & I couldn't believe my eyes! It was positive! I was in shock!
Unfortunately, at our eight week dating scan we were told that the baby had no heartbeat and stopped growing at six weeks. I had a D&C the next day. We were beyond devastated!
After seeing Dr Gee again we agreed to stay on the Clomid for a few more months then go into IVF. After four months my periods became heavy & painful again and I had a gut feeling that the endometriosis was back. So I booked in with a different specialist & after some ultrasounds and examinations, he confirmed that the endometriosis was back and the septum was back from the scarring. So again I had a double operation to remove it all and recovered by spending last NYE in Hawaii.
Then in February, we went back to Dr Gee and told her we were ready for IVF! We started later that month but we were a bit disheartened when we only ended up with one good Day 5 embryo which we transferred in mid March.
Well that one little embryo was all we needed as in late March the nurses rang with the best news ever ... we were pregnant!
Nine months later I had a healthy baby boy! Then 10 months later we went back to Genea and did another IVF cycle and boom, I'm pregnant again on the first try this time!
So here I am, 14 weeks pregnant with another healthy baby! I feel so blessed and am so grateful to Dr Alison Gee & the team at Genea.
At times I felt like I couldn't keep going with my infertility journey but my experience at Genea has made it so worth it!
This is a real Genea patient story (some details have been changed for privacy reasons).
Are you looking for some clues about why it’s not working or for advice on what to do next? You're not alone. Contact our Fertility Advisors and let them point you in the right direction - towards your goal of a baby.
Embryo as a term is used to describe everything from a fertilised egg (or...
A common condition in which tissues such as the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), grow...
The lining of the uterus, which contains the endometrial glands and the endometrial stroma....
When an egg (oocyte) is fertilised by a sperm outside of the body it is via a...
The female organ that produces eggs, or oocytes. In healthy women this will be located on each...