Endometriosis: A Cause of infertility

I have previously written about causes of infertility see post here.

In this post I want to explore endometriosis in more detail.i was moved to write about this after reading the story of Lene Dunham, the American actress who spoke about her decision to have a hysterectomy due to endometriosis.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) is outside of the uterus instead of inside and in other parts of the body.

It can be in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.

According to the endometriosis foundation of American

It is a disease of the female reproductive system.

It affects women of childbearing age.

1 in 10 women have the disease.

It is Not easily diagnosed.

It is one of the leading causes of infertility.

Symptoms includes

Pain in the lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period.

Period pain that prevents carrying out day to day activities.

Pain during or after sex.

Pain when peeing or pooping during your period

feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in pee during the period

Difficulty getting pregnant

It can also led to depression as it becomes a big part of a woman’s life.

Diagnosis

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see your Doctor. It might help to keep a diary of your symptoms (see link to a PDF diary below) as at when you get them, this helps to give the doctor a good description of the issue. This is because it is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to other illness.

Your doctor should carry out some test or refer you to specialist (gynaecologist) who may carry out a laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy is where a surgeon passes a thin tube through a small cut in your skin so they can see any patches of endometriosis tissue. This is the only way to determine if the endometrial tissue is present.

Treatment and ways to alleviate pains.

The NHS and journal of endometriosis do recommend the following as treatment options:

Dietary changes: to include food with inflammatory properties can also help.

Cutting out caffeine and alcohol.

Take painkillers – such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Hormone medicines and contraceptives – including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, an intrauterine system (IUS), and medicines called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues. According to the journal many women reports relief after taking the birth control pills.

Surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue.

An operation to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis – such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy)

Having an hysterectomy is seen as an option but medical experts suggests that this should be the last option and only after seeking the advice of medical advice.

Some women take out their womb as well as the ovaries as the ovaries increases the severity of the pains due to the release of estrogen as egg is being released.

However some women do take out their womb and leave their ovaries in the hope of using their own eggs to have their own biological children.

Endometriosis is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Surgery to remove endometriosis tissue can help improve your chances of getting pregnant, although there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get pregnant after treatment.

Surgery for endometriosis can also sometimes cause further problems, such as infections, bleeding, or damage to affected organs. If surgery is recommended for you, talk to your surgeon about the possible risks.

Lena Dunham recently had an hysterectomy but left her ovaries. She has decided to openly talk about her experiences with the disease

Fertility expert recommends freezing one’s eggs to ensure that they remain healthy and not destroyed by endometriosis.

CAUSE OF ENDOMETRIOSIS

According to Endometriosis UK. Cause is still unknown and possible causes range from

Genetics – if the conditions runs in the families, and in certain ethnic group. You may be more likely affected by it.

Retrograde menstruation – when some of the womb lining flows up through the fallopian tubes and embeds itself on the organs of the pelvis, rather than leaving the body as a period.

Problem with the immune system (the body’s natural defence against illness and infection).

Endometrium cells spreading through the body in the bloodstream or lymphatic system (a series of tubes and glands that form part of the immune system).

But none of these theories fully explain why endometriosis occurs. It’s likely the condition is caused by a combination of different factors.-

(NHS UK).

Coping with Endometriosis:

Many women become aware of the disease after unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant.

So talk to your gynaecologist about your symptoms, and join support groups like, endometriosis UK which has a directory of local support groups.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Nadia Sawalha feared miscarriages were a ‘punishment’ – Female First

https://apple.news/A5zQGMNeUR0KCiBqPTDLtGA

I have previously written about the grief accompanying an abortion. The feeling never leaves you.

The loss of a child due miss-carriages or abortion never goes away. It hunts you even after going on to have other children. I was taken in by the story of Nadia which highlights the heartache caused by a abortion.

My hope for anyone who is waiting is that you will find peace in the present.

Be rid of guilt and embrace the possibilities of what is ahead.

Your Partner In Hope

D’ebi

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Our Hope For The New Year.

Now the Year is over,

The next has drawn near.

With nothing written in it, yet.

One where we hope our dreams and desires will be fulfilled.

Our eyes are looking, waiting and hoping that this year we will experience greater joy, peace, and unity.

O dear fellow earthly traveller, as you journey into another year, who or what will you lean on?

Earthly strength? Did that help you this year?

Earthly wealth? How did you fare? Perhaps wealth brought you health.

Earthly friends? Did they desert you or where they a present help in your time of need?

Earthly possessions? Did they bring you great joy or sadness?

What did you find comfort in this year?

Was the joy you found lasting or do think something else was needed?

As you step into the Next Year, I implore you to

let God be your strength, for His strength never fails.

Let Him be your guide for He leads in the right path.

Let Him be your friend for His is faithful and will never fail.

Let Him be your riches for His storehouses never runs out.

Let Him be your health for He comes with healing in his wings.

Let Him be your help for He is a present help in trouble.

Let Him be your light for He is the light of the World and in Him there is no darkness.

Let Him be all that you need and will ever want, in Him dwells are the fulfillment of everything.

Make a Him your top priority and you will enjoy a peaceful and successful Year.

Happy New Year.

your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Always With Us

Over the course of my life I have no doubt that an unseen hand has guided my path. From the first time I experienced the pains of Arthritis as a 9 year old, to when I was ran over by a car as a 10 year old.

As a little girl growing up in a Christian home I always felt love and cared for by my earthly parents and my Heavenly Father, but it was during the most trying times of my life as an adult waiting for a child I experienced my God with me moments.

God has been with me, every step of the way. Sometimes I felt him really close, other times I could not perceive him.

I never doubted that he was with me when I was hurting and really needed a hug, I knew he was there.

The pain of not knowing when or how was more than the physical ailment. At times I screamed other times I was quiet, my pain etched on my face, tears muffled by sadness.

I struggled with the pain often not being able to do simple chores, how was I supposed to take care of a child.

I reasoned that maybe God didn’t want me to suffer anymore pain than I already had, hence the delay of not having a child.

Somehow he encouraged me with this thought which gave me peace in the moment.

When I eventually had my first daughter and my body collapsed with pains after 3 months, not being able to physically hold or carry my longed for baby, it was those lonely nights of tears I felt him close that I knew without doubt that Immanuel “God With Us”, had a bigger plan for me, he was with me every moment of pain I felt.

When I was told I had to be on a very potent drug to control arthritis after the birth of my second daughter.

An encouraging word or text message or a simple gentle breeze will come to remind me that I am not alone.

God has been with me from the day I stepped into this world.

As you tread this sometimes lonely road of infertility wondering who have you got, or how your story will end, remember that This Child of Bethlehem was the promised company to us in our time of need.

As you celebrate this Christmas morning, open your heart to him and he will be with you till the end.

Merry Christmas

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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To Adopt or Not.

I previously wrote about the various options towards becoming a parent. One of such option is adoption.

Adoption brings as much joy to a couple as if they had conceived the child themselves, in adoption a parent opens up their heart to receive another human. For whatever reason the child has become separated from their birth parents and need a loving home to be nurtured.

In Adoption, a child is conceived in the hearts, not the womb.

I personally think that adoption is the most loving, selfless and beautiful act anyone can perform.

I am reminded of the story of Joseph “the father” of Jesus. As he secretly planned to do away with Mary to avoid the shame brought about by her pregnancy.

The angel of God appeared to him and commanded him to raise Jesus as his own. He was told to adopt the son of God.

Having been told by an angel I am sure he still had some questions but he was assured by the fact that, God has a plan in his story.

As you consider your options, I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal his plans for you and direct your steps to the best options toward fulfilling your dreams.

Some couples have disagreed on adoption as an option and this has led to the break down of their marriages.

If you are one of such people, my heart goes out to you. I pray that you will soon find someone who will share the same vision as you. If you desire to go it alone…May your strength be multiplied.

As you reflect on the Christmas story, remember Jesus was adopted by Joseph.

Whatever option you take towards becoming a parent may it bring you be peace and joy.

Your Partner in Hope.

D’Ebi

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Unplanned Pregnancy

The planning, dreaming, scheming and hopes of the future can be seen in the eyes of newly wedded couples.

They have plans, written and spoke.

Where To live, jobs and career plans, places to visit, number of children to have.

Once settled and and the stage is set for children then begin the wait.

As months turns into years it begins to dawn on them that their plans isn’t going according to script.

We soon realise our plans have fallen through after several test, appointments and disappointments. The dreams and hopes begin to grow deem.

Mary had plans to wed Joseph her sweet heart, only for those plans to be scuppered by an unplanned pregnancy. An unwed mother, what scandal, how will she face the world? Joseph was definitely going to leave her.

Explaining why you remain childless is one of the hardest thing to do. how do you respond to the the unspoken accusation, the questioning looks, the side remarks and unkind comments.

How do you explain that this isn’t part of your plan? This isn’t how it was supposed to turn out.

To us and those around us, the waiting doesn’t make any sense. Just as being a pregnant virgin did not make sense to anyone.

Who was going to believe she was carrying the Messiah, the saviour of the world.

Mary yielded herself to God and trusted that his plans for her are perfect.

Do you feel like your plans for a baby has been hijacked? let the story of a virgin Mum inspire you. Believe that the end of your story holds something good.

For the best laid plans are those planned by the master.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Fearful Wait.

Do I dare to hope?

Do I dare believe?

Do I dare trust that it will all work out?

Do I dare take a peek at the future?

Do I dare dream that this will be a reality?

The story of the waiting soul goes through endless questions which may seem stupid?

Hope, faith and trusts don’t come easily to the soul that’s weary from waiting.

The roller coaster of emotions we feel is as a result of the uncertain brought on my our demise.

I remember how I felt after being told “my condition was unexplained”. I couldn’t get the thought that medicine had no explanation for my ailment. I was deeply troubled. How can I embark on a treatment without knowing the cause?

I had questions without answer. I feared that I was going to face life without kids. Every appointment was fear filled, every test result waited upon with apprehension,

Fear and uncertainty are constant companion to those waiting.

Mary the mother of Jesus was afraid at the news that she was to become an unwed mother to the promised Messiah.

So many thought ran through her mind.

Fear Not”, said the angel.

She was reassured it would be alright and she held on to that word.

Fear not fellow travellers, when the road seem endless and you become weary from waiting.

Release your fears to the messiah and he will soothe them away.

Trust the path he has chosen for you and walk in faith.

Your Partner in Hope.

D’Ebi

Infertility: A lonely Journey

I grabbed a magazine and waited my turn in the Dr’s waiting room. I decided against reading and instead struck up a conversation with the lady next to me. We immediately bonded and exchanged tales of our plight. Half way Into the conversation she commented, it’s so lonely though, to which I replied,  yes it can be.

I previously shared how lonely infertility can  be here; Christmas and waiting:: Although we do have friends and family who care, when it comes down to it the pain of disappointment is all yours, nobody else’s. The trips,  appointments for endless test and procedures are all yours. Just you and your partner’s as the case maybe

How do you explain a pain so deep to those who are not in it. How do you explain the constant tears, how do you talk about the ache from that first, second and third loss? It is unexplainably and our reaction to it is can also seem unreasonable.

Loneliness at Christmas is especially pronounced. Sitting at the dinner table with the laughter of nieces and nephews only serves to highlight the empty nest waiting for you back home.

If you feel especially lonely now or at any other time, remember the name ”IMMANUEL”. Meaning God with us.

This is one of the names of the promised Messiah. “God with us.

He is with us

In the waiting room,

At the dinner table,

At the operating theatre,

As we suffer another miscarriage

As we face the questioning stares and audible alterations of others.

The promised Messiah is with us. Holding, soothing, caring and reassuring us.

His presence brings peace, hope, joy and answers.

He was certainly my hope and strength during my wait. I had his presence which gave me strength every step of the way. Some people questioned my lack of intense misery and mistook my inability to conceive as a conscious decision not to have kids. The opposite was true.

I exhibited my pains in his presence and he in turn he infused me with joy for the journey as a result of his presence, the journey was no longer lonely. I can talk with him and pour out my heart to him because he is with me.

Be encouraged today, the promised child is the risen saviour who is always with you. You can count on his present as you journey through Infertility.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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A Huge Cost:

40 years ago the first IVF baby was born. Since then thousands of babies have been born via this process at a huge cost.

The decision to undergo the IVF process is very often the last resort after other means of conception has been tested without success.

It is the last choice for couples because undergoing the procedure comes at a huge cost. And very few couples succeed at the very first try. We certainly didn’t. It took 3 attempts before we fell pregnant.

What price would you pay to have a child? So many couples have remortgage their properties, incur huge debt and lost their health in their quest to have their precious baby.

As I ponder over the Christmas story it struck me that God gave Christ to us at Christmas to redeem the world.

Redeeming mankind came at a huge cost to him. He gave up something precious to gain many sons and daughters.

If you are struggling and trying to come to terms with the cost you have to put to get your a child, be conformed in the knowledge that your Heavenly Father took a very painful decision to give up His Son for the redemption of mankind.

You may have paid a great price in your quest for a baby. Subjecting your body to endless probe and test, enduring the pain of lost pregnancies and stillbirth,

and determined to try again.

Your Heavenly Father walked where you walked, he suffered lost for a greater joy.

At Christmas while Earth welcomed a baby, heaven moaned a lost.

My prayer and hope for you this 4th day of Advent is that you too will have the outcome you so desire. That your pain will not be in vain and the price you have had to pay will be worth it in the end.

Because, He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:32

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. Luke 1:68.

Your Partner in Hope.

D’Ebi