Endometriosis: The Fear of Pregnancy

image.pngLately, everyone I know is getting pregnant or is already a mother…

Now, I am only 23 years old but watching my high school friends (and everyone I am in contact with lately) have kids and it is starting to stress me out. I cannot help but think what I am doing wrong? If anything?

I am an athlete, full time student, I work and I battle with my body everyday. But now I get the daily baby topic lingering inside my brain.

Now, here is why. Having endometriosis makes many sufferers infertile. I don’t know for a fact if I am infertile, but some doctors when I was newly diagnosed (looking at just the cysts on my ovaries) said this could easily be a stage 2 of endometriosis.

Now, still a stage 2 is not that bad. But this was in 2009/2010 ish. We are now 6 years later (approximately) since the diagnoses. About 5 attempted trials of birth control pills and 1 laparoscopy surgery later.

My body has rejected every type of birth control pill I have been told to try. Either making me overly emotional/depressed or causing me to throw up violently almost all day that I was losing a good 1pound to 2 pounds a day. Because of this, the doctors held off on the birth control injections (which they wanted to use) but in the end never did. All because if the symptoms would flare it would take minimum 3 months for the symptoms to reverse.

The laparoscopy surgery was to fully confirm the Endo diagnosis (though going in, it was 99.9% sure I had it based on symptoms & images) as well to burn as much of the scar tissue as it could. But my body had different plans going into the surgery. Once I was under my stomach was contracting and was not allowing the doctor to get a full view of the images. With several attempts and my blood pressure dropping, the safest bet was to end the surgery.

Since the surgery, the symptoms elevatated by almost 80%  and now doctors are not sure why.

Symptom 1: I call this the new symptom. About 1.5 weeks before my expected period, I get so emotional and moody that my thoughts scare the hell out of me (and the very close people who know about this)

Symptom 2: Periods that went from 3-5 days are now lasting as long as 15 days.

Symptom 3: Period pain that I am getting is so crucial I have to take several types of pain meds at the same time. And mostly all they do is knock me out so I can sleep through the pain. They don’t even take the pain away. (Also went from missing 0-1 day of school to missing quite a bit).

Symptom 4: (This symptom had one of my many doctors tell me the Endo is no longer a stage 2 but most likely a stage 3) A week before my period-during my period-week after my period, the swelling in my stomach gets so severe it presses into my bladder and I’m needing to pee every 30 mins. Even during classes I have to leave several times (always why I sit by the door). But not only does the swelling affect my bladder, it affects my appearance too. Some days I can look 9 months pregnant and there’s no reasoning behind it. I’ve gained so many stretch marks that most people who I know that have been pregnant, haven’t had them.

So now, are you all wondering why I started this post?

Prengnancy scares me. And I’m not even sure which part is the scariest part? The part about sex not being pleasurable because of the intense amount of pain this disease brings. Or the part where I may be infertile and struggle to have kids/not be able to have them at all. Or the part where if I do get pregnant there is a chance I will miscarry and a lot of doctors only put you in the clear at 7 months… instead of the first trimester.

And if all the above wasn’t enough of an emotional burden. What about your partner? I’ve tried to date and when I do I am completely honest about my health. When the topic of kids comes up, and the possibility of not being able to carry my own kid is mentioned, the guy usually takes off.

Having your own kids doesn’t mean pregnancy for a lot of people with endometriosis. There are many options, yet it still feels like a burden when it’s constantly on your mind.

Now, looking at my life…I know I am not in a settled position to have kids. Yet, I’ve been told by many doctors that having them can cure endometriosis. (In most cases this is not true).

And I am at a point with this disease that I would do almost anything to take away the Endo pain… Which made me consider putting my life on hold to have a kid, but then I realized what if it’s not going to help? Yes, I could have the baby I’d always dreamed about having, but nothing to provide the kid with, unfinished education etc and then still having the pain.

Other options I’ve been given is (partial or full) hysterectomy, yet at 23 years old I don’t even know how this was even an option? Especially when they couldn’t get the camera in me to check during the first surgery.

So what’s next: I will let the stress set in and I have to find anyway possible to preserve my body for when I ever become ready to be a mom (I want it to be all for the right reasons) and not to cure a disease. Imagine the scarring it could do on a child when not fully ready and then it doesn’t help in the end? Or even the feeling when if you have a girl and she ends up with the same dreaded disease? This would be something I would not be able to rush into and would have to let the nature of my body take its course on what it’ll one day decide.

 

 

 

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