IVF After Extensive Endo Surgery?

Hi All,

I've just had a robotic surgery to remove extensive Stage 4 endo, really glad to have had the surgery as have had a pretty difficult time with finding the right Drs etc to diagnose and treat this condition. My surgeon in the end was one of the best and a lovely man who made me feel relaxed.

The background is I am came off birth control last year after getting married and tried to conceive for a few months (after a previous surgery to remove my appendix which was found to have endo). I am now 38 years old.

I am well aware that I am fertility wise in a very difficult situation. The Dr has said that I can try and conceive as ovaries, tubes are clear and free after the op. I was ovulating and getting my periods regularly prior to surgery. (Very painful though.)

I have spent my recovery time reading up about IVF etc as I know it is highly likely that we may need this. The rate of success that I have been quoted is quote low - maybe 15-20% and due to where we are living currently very expensive, but we could afford a cycle if we needed to. (Multiple cycles are unlikely because of the cost and I know people usually need three of four).

I am very confused. I'm still healing I know and possibly feeling rather depressed because of the struggle its been to get proper treatment. I'm worried about the Endo coming back if I try and conceive naturally and if we go for IVF. I am not sure if I want IVF as it will mean time off work (I am sure work are getting sick of me - two major surgeries in two years and my job is stressful.) We should be in a position in a year to move and have IVF covered by insurance (hopefully) but I will be 39 years old. I am aware of course that time is a huge factor. I had an AMH test about six months ago and it came back with a good result for my age.

I probably need proper counselling. But I am hoping for advice for those who have been through the process. Please does anyone have any words of wisdom for me? I feel like I am going through hell and find it very difficult to talk to friends and family about this.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

Star7 xx

9 Replies

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  • Hi Star7, sounds like you've had a tough time but the surgery was obviously a positive step. I'm also 38 (39 in Nov!) and feel like time is a real factor. I'm fortunate enough not to have any issues and my AMH is also good or what it should be for my age. However, after 3 years of trying we have failed to conceive (unexplained infertility) and are due to start IVF in July. We are lucky to be funded by NHS but it's been a long wait. I'd advise some counselling as I think it really helps and you have to decide what's most important to you.

    I had a great job working for a U.S. Law firm in London and I commuted every day. The job was very stressful and I was working 8-12 hour days with 4 hours travelling on top of that. My career had always meant a lot to me but I realised that I didn't want it to the detriment of having a family. So I made the decision to quit and got a job locally, I almost halved my salary and was so scared, but I couldn't be more happier. My days are shorter, I'm not constantly stressed (which doesn't help chances of conceiving) I get home in time to enjoy the evening sun, go to the gym and have dinner with my husband. I honestly wouldn't go back for triple my salary! I know that by making some life changes I have increased my chances of getting pregnant and even if I don't I've done everything I can. Sorry for the long reply but I'm just trying to say work out what is important to you and go for it, you'll regret it if you don't. Good luck xxx

  • Hi Anjel, thanks for the reply. It sounds as if you have made some positive changes in your life. Waiting for three years must be hard but you are moving forward soon which is great.

    We've only really tried for six months before I was in so much pain that the dr decided I needed to go on a hormone treatment for endo, it then took another 5 months to find the right dr for surgery.

    I'm really torn, I don't want to waste more time but am fed up of invasive treatment after the two surgeries and am still perhaps foolishly thinking we might get lucky now the endo has been removed.

    Best wishes with the ivf, hope it is successful.

  • You should definitely take some me time, have some counselling and maybe book a holiday if you can, sounds like you could do with a break xxx

  • I think you are right, we have a couple of trips booked this summer, one is for our wedding anniversary! X

  • Hi, I haven't had endo but have had ivf. I think you need to take a bit of time after your surgery to heal, both physically & mentally. Coming to terms with having ivf is difficult for most but it sounds like there's still a chance you can conceive naturally. You've been through so much with 2 major surgeries, it's understandable how you are feeling.

    I have seen a counsellor & she explained that infertility is a grieving process, except its ongoing. How we all feel is a normal reaction. It might be worth you seeing a counsellor if you feel you should. I'm so glad I went to see one. I don't think I would have moved forward otherwise. It does sound like a lot of things are happening for you, including considering moving home.

    Ivf itself does need some time off for scans etc but where they can they usually do this around you work (mine did anyway) and if work are flexible that could help. Then need time off for egg collection & transfer.

    Look after yourself. Make time to do nice things. This can all be overwhelming but you're not alone. Good luck with everything & wish you a speedy recovery after your op x

  • Thanks Dee for your reply, I have had a brief chat to a counsellor about the issue but I think I need to discuss the ivf more fully. I know the hospital offers ivf prior to starting it but I wonder if it is unbiased.

    I think the chance of natural conception with my condition and age are very low but I have found a few positive stories online. I just feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. If we have ivf where we are living it costs a fortune!

    Thanks for your good wishes and I hope things are going well for you x

  • I found an independent counsellor, one with an interest in fertility issues, prior to even being seen for IVF. I can understand you feeling stuck but it's a positive step that you're talking about it. I have managed to deal with it all better, over time. It still hurts at times, that we're in this situation but just keep moving forward x

  • Thanks for your reply Dee, I'm just trying to make that decision about moving quickly towards ivf or giving it a bit more precious time.

  • It is really good to be looking at all of your options and trying to understand how it would all work, but be careful not to get too bogged down in this, especially statistics, which really are meaningless in relation to you as an individual. Remember, statistics are a) other people and b) history. Maybe this year the statistics will improve and you will be part of that improvement!

    I was in a similar situation and had multiple surgeries, had 40% chance to conceive naturally (but didn't) and then a 10% chance at IVF working. First time did not work but then I got pregnant from a frozen transfer - even though the stats were for less than 10% success that time.

    My advice, if you feel better for knowing what the options are then definitely look into it, but tell yourself that there is no reason you cannot be the positive statistic.

    x

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