Endometriosis UK
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Secondary Fertility

I am incredibly lucky & have a little boy who was conceived very easily (much to mine & my consultant's shock!) just over 3 years ago. However we are struggling to get pregnant again. My endo symptoms vanished during pregnancy & whilst breastfeeding but are starting to come back with a vengeance now. I just wondered if we conceived so easily first time around & I was symptom free so long, if the endo is likely to be part of our difficulty now? Most anecdotal evidence I find suggests that people struggle every time they want to get pregnant, if endo is that issue! Anyone else experienced anything similar? :)

3 Replies

Hi - I delayed trying to get pregnant as I was worried that I wouldn't be able to look after a child being so ill with what at the time was undiagnosed endo. It was the days when we were told a hysterectomy was the only cure for our ill health. At age 40 we decided to try and I conceived at the first attempt and had a text book pregnancy resulting in my only a child - a beautiful boy. Pregnancy was blissful - I realised I hadn't known any semblance of good health in a decade. I now know this is because the oestrogen that drives endo (oestradiol) takes a back seat in pregnancy with estriol taking over, a much weaker oestrogen. But sure enough when I finished breastfeeding I was struck down with the overwhelming fatigue of old and all the rest of it. We tried to conceive naturally again without success and also had 3 IVF attempts that failed. Many years later when learning about endo I studied all my diaries and saw that my cycle (originally a normal 28 day) had reduced to 24 days up to the time of my successful conception but immediately after pregnancy it dropped to 21 days with some as low at 19 and 18 days. I was doing ovulation tests and was still ovulating around day 13 or so. I now know this was not long enough to sustain an embryo. For most women the luteal phase (between ovulation and the start of a period) needs to be at least 10 days for pregnancy to occur and mine had dropped to a max of 8 days which explained the repeated failures. I don't know where you were last known to have endo but certainly your ovaries and tubes must have been in the right place for egg transfer (not bound up by adhesions) when you conceived. I expect you are doing ovulation tests and monitoring your cycles but if your luteal phase is short I should discuss progesterone treatment with your GP in the second half of the cycle to try and maintain your endometrium longer. There are of course may ways in which endo might bring about infertility (and ageing too) but this is something worth looking at. If this doesn't seem a likely cause then you may need a lap to free things up as that will usually give a window of opportunity.


Hi, my situation is almost identical. I had no ebdo symptoms before having my son four years ago, then following pregnancy the symptoms started and worsened over time. Eventually, after trying to conceive for over a year and having no luck, with my endo symptoms getting progressively worse, I was finally diagnosed with severe endo after a lap in November. Lindle's response is far more scientific, and very interesting for me too, but I can certainly say I have experienced what you're describing x


Thank you both for taking the time to respond! Lindle I really appreciate your insights and i'm sorry to hear of your own fertility troubles. I had a lap in 2010 to diagnose & excise my endo and unfortunately they accidentally perforated my ureter during that. I needed 2 years of further procedures until they could repair it. I conceived my son a couple of years after that, so there was no lasting damage but it does mean that any further laps are not recommended due to the build up of scar tissue, which means i'm going to be in the dark a bit with regards to the progression of my endo. I did have a slightly shorter cycle after having my son, but I used Agnus Castus to get it back to 28days - so no issue there I don't think. Yes I am using OPKs and had a scan and i'm definitely ovulating and I also had my hormone panel done, all normal. I am still breastfeeding my son at bedtime, but everything I read says that if you ovulate, BFing should be no issue. I so know what you mean about pregnancy being blissful Lindle - it really brought home the pain i'd lived with for a decade. Amullins12 it is so interesting to hear from someone who conceived their first without and issue and is now having a problem - what is your fertility prognosis now? IVF?


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