When I had my laparoscopy done in October of 2013 the doctor showed me a few pictures of some very small spots that he removed that he called endometriosis. The impression I got from his explanation is that these spots were not the direct cause of my infertility. Endometriosis is classified in four stages, Stage I—Minimal, Stage II—Mild, Stage III—Moderate, and Stage IV—Severe. These stages are based on the severity, location, extent, and depth of the endometriosis. After my surgery I was not classified as having a particular “stage” so based upon that and the impression I was getting from the doctor it had to be pretty minimal. Dr. G, my previous doctor never gave me a specific diagnosis as to the cause of my infertility.
Once I met with my new doctor’s PA at our first appointment, after reviewing our medical history, she said it appeared that we had “unexplained” infertility which is what I have figured over the last year and a half of treatment. But after our new doctor reviewed the notes from my lap surgery, he believes that I actually have Stage II—Mild endometriosis. I’ll be honest, I was kind of shocked! I really had no idea that it was that bad. When I say bad, I should explain, I have no debilitating pain from endometriosis. It’s a chronic disease that affects millions of women and some have to endure flare-ups and pain that I can’t imagine. Some follow special diets in order to prevent these types of things from happening. For me I’ve never experienced one symptom in my life that would indicate that I had it. By bad, I mean I guess I had no idea what was going on in there since I didn’t have any of these symptoms.
After speaking to Dr. LdM at our consultation, I realize that my endo is more of a problem than I thought. Now he wants me doing a Lupron Depot as part of the IVF protocol and wants to do the hysteroscopy to make sure everything is clear in my uterus. It really kind of saddens me that my previous doctor did not express more of a concern for what I really had going on in there. Now that I know this is more than likely the culprit, I have to raise more awareness of this terrible disease. Not that I hadn’t before because I thought it didn’t directly affect me, but now that I have a clear answer as to what my issue is, I feel like I need to better educate myself and advocate for awareness.
There is something else that seems to be causing an issue as well. It stems from some poor choices back in my college days, and that is the damaging effects of chlamydia. Luckily it was found and treated very quickly, but chlamydia can damage the cilia that carry the embryo through your fallopian tubes. There is really no way to tell how much damage was done, but the lesson that I’ve learned is that those poor choices really can come back to haunt you in ways you’ve never thought possible. I guess I am thankful that I didn’t walk around for months with this awful disease; I believe it was only a couple short weeks, and I guess I can’t say enough how important women’s health is once you are sexually active. I can thank my mom for making me see a gyno once she found out that I was which was at a young age.
I guess I’m kind of rambling here, but what I’m getting at is that endometriosis is very serious and it’s very common. It’s the leading cause of infertility in women and if you are concerned about it, definitely ask your doctor. I feel as though I’ve never really been given a true answer as to what the causes of my problems are. Now I feel assured that it’s definitely a combination of the endometriosis and the damaged caused by the chlamydia.
In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month I’ll be sharing a little more information throughout the month on the blog to better educate myself and my readers about the seriousness of this disease. The color that represents endometriosis is yellow so if you’ve got it, flaunt it this month and show your support!