Endometriosis UK
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Do I skip my wedding and try for a baby or should I stop panicking?!

Hi ladies!

Just discovered this forum this evening following a gyny appointment and think the collective experience and advice from you all is invaluable. So to give you a bit of background, I'm 28 and had severe pain and issues with my periods since they started (age 14.) As a teenager I had days off school every month without fail; the first two days always being the worst. As I grew older they settled somewhat, due to being on the pill I believe. But after a few years the pill caused me plenty of new problems (we just can't win, right?) I tried every pill available I'm sure after that, and none agreed with me so I haven't touched them since I was about 23.

The pain, sickness, bowel issues etc returned and have progressively got worse; peaking over the last couple of years. I managed to get an ultrasound (turned into an internal, eww!) about a year ago and was told I had a hemorrhagic cyst on my ovary and it was nothing to worry about. The symptoms really increased in severity after this. Like many of you it seems, I've basically nagged and nagged at my GP and various health professionals to help me, eventually being referred to a gyny. So I had the appointment this evening, he did another internal ultrasound and he says all the signs and symptoms point to endometriosis (obviously cannot be sure unless a laparoscopy has been performed.)

He had previously asked about whether I had planned to have children soon; I explained that my partner and I ideally would like to complete some work on our new home, get married and then start trying. So we were thinking in 2-3 years. Having said this, we could cope just about financially if we had a child now, we would just prefer to have certain things in place first. Because of this we have had what we call a 'if it happens, it happens' sort of attitude over the last couple of years, but as far as I am aware, I haven't fallen pregnant (I do suspect I did and miscarried in the summer, but that's another story for another day!)

Which leads me to the gyny's suggestions this evening; he has basically told me to either have the laparoscopy now and possibly treatment at the time if needed, or try and fall pregnant as he says it can help to resolve the issues. Online I've seen mixed reviews of the latter option. He said that if we were planning on trying in the not so distant future anyway, why not try in the next year as it may help 'reset everything.' He also said it was worth trying first, then if we have difficulty, go for laparoscopy after this.

My main concern is my ability to fall pregnant; we desperately want children and would start trying immediately if we knew delaying would risk our chances of conceiving. However in an ideal scenario, we'd finish the work on our house and get married first (having been brought up a Catholic, it does feel quite important to me to be married first.) Given so many of you have so much more experience and knowledge of the condition, what would you ladies advise if you can? I know each woman is individual and her decisions should be based on her circumstances; I'm just hoping your genuine experiences can help me reach a balanced decision.

Sorry for such a lengthy post, my mind is swimming! Any thoughts/advice would be so much appreciated! xx

10 Replies
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Hey, I'm so sorry to hear your diagnosis. I also have endo and it was only diagnosed at 33 after 3 failed years of ttc, a lot of tests and a laparoscopy. While I understand that some women find relief in pregnancy, from my research it is by no means a cure. I had excision surgery done in the summer to remove extensive endo, 3 cysts (affecting both ovaries) and on my bowel. It's been suggested there is likely damage to my tubes which is why ivf is now my only route to children. However, I am in the minority, many women with endo conceive naturally (I believe something up to 70%) and also many do after a laparoscopy where endo is treated so don't let my case panic you or rush you into a decision.

If you are ready to have children, then definitely go for it and see what happens. If there's an issue, many NHS GPs won't refer you for fertility investigations until you have been trying for at least 2 years, so that might also give you the time to finish your house and get married.

It's a stressful enough time having this diagnosis so don't put your life on hold just to focus on ttc. If it's a problem, it will become apparent and take over your life then. Continue your house work, plan your wedding and do lots of research. Best of luck xx

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If your 28, your young enough in my view to have the lap, recover from that and then try for a baby say around the age of 30. All the best x

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Hey,

A similar thing happened to me (from a Catholic family, though not religious myself; I understand the issues). This way of thinking within the nhs annoys me, it takes no account of religious issues and even less consideration of personal choice. I find that the whole institution has become rather chauvinist (but that’s a rant for another day).I had my lap privately in the end. I have hypothyroidism and didn’t like the idea of pushing more of my hormones into a state of further imbalance and the pill had never agreed with me in its various forms but the only options I had with nhs was removal and ivf or the coil. When I had endo removed I felt much better (not perfect because I have adenomyosis too). I spoke to the doctor who performed my operation and asked about children, he said that I should be able to have them without problem but if I get pregnant I should have a scan at 6weeks as there is a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. I do have fertility issues but from what I’ve read this can be a mysterious issue affecting some people with adenomyosis. My point is, it really depends on how badly the endo has affected ovaries and the womb but if they’re not seeing this in a scan then you’re probably alright for now. I’d ask about the possibility of freezing eggs, has anyone done this?

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I wasted they weren't going to give me a Lap til I was "old enough to want kids" ( I was 18 at the time and always knew I wanted kids young) as they said it would give the best chance. However I really wanted to know what was going on so had my lap last year and was told things are fine, which has put my mind at rest as now I know we can plan the wedding without a rush to have kids. If you're looking at kids in 2-3 years then you could always have a Lap now and then if they find endo, you could always have another a few years down the line to give you the best chance at conceiving x

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I think a laparoscopy would probably help you to fall pregnant, as others have no doubt said, pregnancy isn’t really a cure.

Having waited to be married and now facing forty with no children after a long and difficult infertility road (not because of endo but that’s not the point) I would say get on with having children. Time goes very quickly and waiting lists are long. If you’re with the person you’re going to marry, do it sooner rather than later. Money wise, marriage is about the marriage not the wedding day, so even if you can’t afford a big fancy wedding now, I would still get married. This is my personal opinion based on my own experience though, and I know others might disagree.

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Hi,

I can totally relate to this, I would ideally have left my wedding until later but due to wanting to try for kids and the endo I brought the date forward. I think you have to decide what’s right for you, but I would echo what others have said about waiting lists. My first lap they just found it and didn’t remove any due to bowel involvement. I then had to wait for an MRI, wait for a sigmoidoscopy, wait for a follow up appt (this would bring me to about 7 months following the lap), then to be told there would be a 40 week waiting list for my elective surgery due to NHS crisis and complexity of my endo.

I’ve now had the op and been told that ovaries tubes etc look fine but obviously this has been quite a long time since my first lap. Just wanted to give you a bit of a heads up on some of the wait times but obviously this will differ depending on where you are (I’m in south London).

X

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Hi huni,

I was in the exact same position as u in summer last year. I was so upset with it all. I said to my partner should we just start trying now because I don’t know how long or even if we can have kids. We both thought long and hard about it. I knew deep down my ideal plan would be to get married first and then try, my patent also agreed. We got engaged in October and we get married next April. If you really want to get married first, why don’t you have a v small intimate wedding, and perhaps throw a big party later on at some stage, if u want to keep costs down.

I’m 29 so although still young, I still Feel the clock is ticking! Our plan is to try a couple of months before we get married :).

I hope this helps you!

Best of luck with whatever u choice.

Always go with your heart and what YOU want, not what anyone else wants or what u think is the right thing to do. Do what is best for you and your partner :). X

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From what you've said, you haven't used contraception in some time, is that right? TBH if you're not using it but you haven't got pregnant then alarm bells should be ringing and you need to make sure your gynae is aware of it.

Personally I can only say that houses and weddings don't have a time limit on them but fertility does, and the window is even smaller when you have endo. If you have the sort of disease that means you need fertility treatment, the chance of it working is higher the younger you are. We were fortunate to have had our kids relatively young (at 26 and 30). When we had the first, the house was a mess, we didn't have any money, we'd had a low budget wedding and everyone thought we were crazy and told us we were rushing in to it, but I went on to be diagnosed with severe disease at 38 by which time my tubes were damaged and I was infertile and probably had been for several years. If we'd waited we wouldn't have any children. A couple of years is a long time to delay when your fertility window is small, especially if you'd like to have more than one child, and to be really blunt, the success rates for fertility treatment are rubbish. Most of the time it doesn't work so can't be relied on to fix things once the disease has caused infertility.

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Wow thank you so much to everyone that has replied! I honestly didn’t expect such a quick response from so many people, it’s so much appreciated! So helpful that some of you have shared your own experiences because it really helps to put things into perspective rather than just looking at facts and numbers. I hadn’t even thought about how long I could be waiting for various tests or procedures so that’s real food for thought as well. My hospital is under so much pressure that many clinics are sending patients to other hospitals and private providers so I would imagine the waiting lists would be pretty atrocious.

I have plenty to think about and discuss with my partner now 🙈 Thanks again to you all and I wish you all the best of luck with the condition!! It’s very reassuring to see there’s so much support here xx

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I was faced with this exact dilemma, having had three operations, five solid cysts and severe endometriosis and my partner and I just went straight to trying and when that didn't work, IVF. Second IVF attempt worked and my beautiful girl appeared and changed my world way beyond how any wedding would and then nine months later I fell pregnant naturally. Nine months after the birth of my second daughter I've been diagnosed with more cysts/ endometriosis and facing more surgery. I've never been more relieved that I didn't wait any longer to try for a baby. I have two beautiful girls who I love so much, and we squeezed in a registry do while pregnant with our second. Not to everyones taste but it ticked a box for us. You never know what's round the corner, and there's no such thing as a right time but I'm so glad we didn't miss our opportunity Xx

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