January 30 2018 was the day we finally started getting some answers about our fertility struggles.
After changing fertility specialists I was scheduled in for a laparoscopy to see if there was endometriosis, and at the same time to check out my tubes again and also do a D&C to clean out my uterus.
Usually I try and find out as much as possible about any procedure or test beforehand. Partly so I’m mentally prepared, but also because I just like to know as much as possible. But I actually avoided doing that before my laparoscopy. I also told hardly anyone I was going in for surgery. A couple of people at work who needed to know, my husband of course, and my family – but I only told them the week before my surgery. Looking back I think this was actually a way of minimising the fact that I was having surgery. If I didn’t tell anyone it was happening or read anything about it being serious, or having serious side effects it couldn’t actually be bad. Not quite how it works I know.
The day before my surgery I did end up reading this great blog entry from Michelle at Endohope about preparing for your laparoscopy and recovery, which was really useful for me and helped me get in the right headspace for my procedure. I still freaked out big time as I was sitting in my hospital gown waiting to go into surgery. But no amount of pre-reading would have stopped that happening.
The surgery went well.
I have endometriosis.
It was all on the left side of my uterus, and I had an endometriosis cyst on my left ovary. My fertility specialist removed all of the endometriosis, and also flushed my tubes. Even though he said my tubes were all fine, apparently it did take the a bit of time to flush them out.
I felt very lucky that in the post-op recovery room the nurse looking after me had also undergone a laparoscopy. She was so lovely and went out of her way to look after me, and offered advice and tips for my recovery.
I was just desperate to get home. They won’t discharge you until you have had a pee, so I was skolling water and ended up having the tap running while I was in the bathroom and just willing myself to pee.
Since my surgery I’ve had two appointments with my fertility specialist. Apparently the six months following a laparoscopy is when you have a greater chance of falling pregnant. But we’re not just waiting for it to happen. We’re taking control and doing ovulation induction. It finally feels like we’re being proactive in trying to get pregnant, and not just hoping for the best.
This month I went in for a pelvic ultrasound on day 11 to measure my follicles. My biggest was 12mm, and my fertility specialist said that we could do another scan and then trigger ovulation but there was not much point. Instead if we don’t fall pregnant this cycle then I’ll start clomid and we’ll do a scan between day 10 and 12 to see if we should trigger ovulation. I am a little freaked out by the thought of having to inject myself. Fingers crossed it happens naturally before then!
As well as having endometriosis, I also found out that I have a MTHFR (Methylene-TetraHydroFolate Reductase) gene mutation. (The only way I can remember the acronym is by thinking of motherfucker). The one I have causes clotting so there’s potentially a greater risk for miscarriage. I also need to avoid folic acid, the synthetic version of folate, as my body doesn’t process it properly. So I’m taking preconception vitamins with methylfolate, as most of the preconception vitamins on the market have folic acid in them.
After desperately wanting some sort of answer for at least a year now, I finally have one and I feel a mix of relief and sadness.
I’m still trying to process what it all means, especially the endometriosis diagnosis as I’m now living with a chronic illness. (I think, but does it count as a chronic illness if you can still go about your daily life without being impacted by your illness?)
I have been incredibly lucky that my endometriosis has not caused me the extreme pain you often hear about. But I do wonder what other symptoms I have experienced that are caused by my endometriosis. Apart from my infertility of course.
I’m off to continue reading up on all of this.
Until next time,