An Uncommon Cause:Adenomyosis

The causes of infertility are varied and can also be missed or mildly diagnosed. 

Before our 3rd IVF treatment I was not particularly diagnosed as infertile but was classed as unknown cause and prescribed clomid, an hormone stimulating drug to stimulate my ovaries to produce more eggs. 

This  did not work and so the process of fertility treatment started with no specific diagnosis.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and always felt this may have an impact on why we were not getting pregnant. We were fortunate enough to find a clinic that looked after our particular circumstances. 

Some women may not have a specific diagnosis but will have to go through the IVF process and be successful. While others may have several attempts without success. 

This was the experience Gabrielle Union had,  in an interview with the stylist she  talked about how she went undiagnosed through multiple rounds of IVF, with different leading doctors.

She suffered from a condition called adenomyosis

According to the NHS, this is a condition where the cells of the lining of the womb are found in the muscles wall of the womb (myometrium). The condition affects 1 in 10 women.

The most common symptoms are 

Heavy or painful periods,

Premenstrual pelvic pain. 

Feeling of heavy/discomfort in the pelvic.

Less common symptoms are:

Painful sexual intercross.

Pain related to bowel movement.

It can occur in women who still have periods but are common in women aged 40-50 and in women who have had children.

The cause of adenomyosis is unknown but It is believed that it may be related to genes, hormones and the immune system. 

Adenomyosis will not present itself as other causes of Infertility and about a third of women will not have any symptoms. 

It is not routinely diagnosed and may be found during a routine scan. Hence the reason lots of women may go undiagnosed. 

Like other causes of infertility, this is a condition which affects several areas of a woman’s life, their emotional well-being, relationships, and daily routines. It is disheartening to know that this is only coincidentally found during a routine scan.

Reason for delay in diagnosis is due to the fact that some women have no symptoms at all, hence a routine scan may be the first indication of a problem. 

Women have different symptoms and these symptoms may be due to other illnesses as well,  such as (pelvic inflammatory disease or irritable bowel syndrome).

The similarities to this illness and other diseases means that many women suffer infertility for years without being diagnosed, and diagnosis may be late in coming at a time when many have given up hope or are in menopause.

For Ms Union, her doctor delves into her past as a young woman asking lots of questions about her menstrual cycle, which led to her diagnosis. 

What to do if you suspect or have any of the symptoms above.

Speak to your doctor about your experiences with your periods, request for an MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this will produce a picture of the inside of your body

Available treatments 

Get the details about the available treatment before making a decision. 

The delay in diagnosis unfortunately has led to lack of treatment specific to the illness. the symptoms rather than causes can be treated with prescription for heavy or painful periods. 

  • If you suffer from  heavy or painful periods, you may be prescribed non hormonal medicines like tranexamic acid and mefanamic acid).

  • Contraceptive pills to stop bleeding.

  • Induce false menopause by injection, causing her lining of three women to shrink.( No usually for long term use).

  • Uterine artery embolisation – injecting tiny particles into the blood vessels, the aim is to cut off the blood supply to the adenomyosis. This is less invasive and may help to prevent infertility. But symptoms may return in future.

In Gabieller’s experience, she was diagnosed after several failed IVFs and only a change of doctor and detailed investigation led to the correct diagnosis. 

Her doctor was honest and after explaining the difficulty she’s faced, prescribed Lupron.

Although Lupron gives a 30% chance of pregnancy, . they decided against it in favour of surrogacy and are now the happy parent to a beautiful baby girl.

Next Step.

Remain persistent with your doctor, you need to be responsible for your health and well being so do not settle for a simple explanation if you have failed after several attempts. 

Do not be discouraged if your doctor dismissed your concerns. Ask for  a second opinion.

The party parliamentary group on women’s health revealed a lack of awareness on what is considered a ‘normal menstruation’ may that indicates a more serious issue.

  • Explore other options earlier on in your fertility journey and avoid delays which may lead to difficulties later on. 

Do all that is within your capabilities to get pregnant and hope for a successful end. 

I hope you have been better informed by this and inspired by the story of Gabrielle Union not to give up.

 If you suspect your symptoms are those described above you can find more from the adenomyosis association’s website at www.adenomysisassociation.org

For more help and advice contact the NHS choice at www.nhs.uk

Your partner in hope

D’Ebi

Related content 

https://faithfulwait.com/2020/03/10/surrogacy-finding-a-surrogate/

https://faithfulwait.com/2020/02/29/surrogacy-i-call-it-a-helping-hand/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/06/13/causes-of-infertility-in-men/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/01/20/whatever-you-do-dont-stop-trying/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/13/single-women-and-ivf/

How to come back from a Painful loss.

The previous post talks about the painful decision of trying and coping with loss.

What do you do when your world has seemingly turned upside down?

How do you recover and rebuild again? This post looks at how to come back from a loss or failed treatment cycle.

That’s the question we are faced with after a failed treatment.

Speaking from my own experience, I know that the days immediately after a failed cycle or loss are the worse.

I remember going around  like a zombie and feeling loss, helpless and alone.

I did not know what grief looks like, looking back now, I was grieving but carried on as normal. As the days went on, I slowly came round to the ideal that another treatment had failed and I had to deal with that, but how?

How?

First thing for me was crying I cried the first few days, I was so emotional I refused to eat. Not many people knew the pain I felt because they did not know I had undergone treatment.

Since I was unable to open before the treatment, I decided to spare them the details of my demise.

Crying was my outlet, but a temporary fix.

Temporary because whenever I saw a pregnant woman or baby the emotions came back anew.

I then had to think seriously about  my mental health and how to ensure my body returned to health. Crying for me was a temporary fix providing a temporary relief. Another helpful way I dealt with it was to

Speak out.

I remembered a few friends who had gone through similar situations reached out to me. I was glad they did. They were very supportive and did not attempt to reason my pain away.

One friend in particular just sat in silence with me and we said nothing, that was all I needed. No words, no reasoning.

Often people mistake our grief for an opportunity to offer advice, one has to be sensitive at such times and not assume anything in that moment.

Sometimes all we need is that silent nod which says,  “I care”, “I am here”, “I got you”.

Energy Outlet

To gain new insight into the situation, I channeled my emotions into learning how the next cycle will be better, I asked myself these questions.

“What was was done now”, what could be different“?

Firstly, I nurtured myself to health. I researched how my existing illness could be a contributing factor and the more I read, the clearer it became that it was.

I researched clinics and the type of treatment on offer. I read stories of others who had failed cycles – and how they overcame it.

As a result I gained useful information on clinics and treatments options.

Positivity.

I surrounded my myself and mind with positive vibe, I realised that this is not my fault. It is an illness which needed treatment.

By learning more about the situation and my particular illnesses I was comforted that perhaps there is a treatment option tailored for me.

I prayed

This should be number 1, but it wasn’t, it was difficult at first. But as the days went by, prayer offered a consolation which was a far better relief,

I was able to get rid of negative emotions. Which afforded me the opportunity to speak to a higher power.  

I am a Christian and I know that God helped me through this process and the dark days which accompanied it. So whenever I felt lonely or deeply sad, I talked to him.

I found hope in his assurance as well as being amongst like minded people encouraged me to keep going.

So on this national infertility week, be encouraged to look above, ask for help.

You may not apply these steps exactly, but I do hope that you have gain some perspective on how to deal with a loss or painful situation.

It is very easy to throw in the towels and give up, but never ever lose hope. The rain may be falling now, but the sun will shine again..

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post:

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/10/23/a-painful-decision/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/14/speak-out/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/06/17/6-ways-to-deal-with-fathers-day/

Unfair Generosity

be the momI often hear statements like these “life’s not for”, or ‘this is not fair’. We uttered these words during times of hardships or whenever we are faced with difficult circumstances..

For me, I saw life as unfair when I failed to get pregnant while a young girl who has no means of taking  care of her child keeps getting pregnant.
Life isn’t fair when those who have no business having kids, do and the kids end up being abused.

I will never forget the day I cried after watching the sentencing of a couple who murdered their child, ‘it’s not fair I wailed!’

Surely, God should have seen this coming and placed that child in a lovely home to parents who will raise them better. 

Life isn’t fair when another friend tells me she is pregnant by accident….really? Is there any such thing? I often wondered. Why not me? ‘I would love an accidental pregnancy’ ”Lord”… 

Unfairness seems to be everywhere I looked as a waiting woman. It doesn’t matter the blessings I enjoyed, I looked at them with the eyes of unfairness. I would enjoy it better if I had kids, “ I reasoned”.

It dawned on me that there will never be a fairness in life as long as I chose to view every situation from “my cup is half empty”…

Let me ask these questions of you as I asked myself while going through my waiting period. How many times have you asked, ‘why me for each blessing you received’? For being promoted at work? Or receiving an unexpected gift. 

Surely it’s unfair to find strength to face this situation, while others struggle to keep their marriage and lose their health. Some folks didn’t make it as far as you did.

Is life unfair when We are repeatedly blessed financially? 

Is life unfair when God constantly provides to meet our needs with funds for each treatment and medication? No, we never considered that some people will never be able to afford a treatment for infertility. 

Is life unfair when your spouse or partner showers you with unfailing love even in the midst of infertility? Some marriages couldn’t withstand the pressure of waiting and trying.

Our obsession with comparing ourselves to others has bred a generation of ungrateful beings.

Have you ever stopped to think that your blessings is viewed as unfair by someone else? 

The workers in the story in Matthew 20, viewed their employer’s generosity as unfair… They wanted a decent pay for a good day’s work… However they were surprised to find that even those who started work at the close of day got as much as those who started earlier. 

“O”, how unfair” they cried…how can we who started at six, put in a day’s job, get the same wages as those who started at the end of the day.

They failed to realised that the farmer’s generosity wasn’t based on an hourly rate. It was a daily flat rate regardless of the time worked. They negotiated the Daily rate deal for those who were to come after…

Those who got the same for doing less never complained, only those who did more for the same

No, we never complained when we are at the receiving end of a blessings only when we deemed others more blessed than they should be or more blessed than us…

Who determines who gets what? The wage giver and in his time he will give what he deems fit to everyone who asks.

Did he not promise everyone who ask receives? Not he who asked first, or ask last. 

You may have asked longer than the newly wedded couple down the road, who just welcomed their first baby … they are the labourers who just entered the farm.

Regardless, you will be rewarded with the same blessings, a child…long wanted, who will be welcomed, wrapped in fine clothing, a gift for your labour.

 It won’t matter how long you have waited then… faithfully wait and do away with the comparison.
What is viewed as unfair is someone’s blessings. Let’s learn to celebrate others as we wait expectantly for our blessings.

 

Your partner in Hope

 

Debbie

The Pain of Misscarriage

what to do when you feel stuck (1)In today’s news was Gordon Ramsey and wife who had suffered a miscarriage at 5 months. I was particularly drawn to this story because I too suffered a few miscarriages. As I read their story something struck me, it doesn’t matter if you already have 4 lovely kids or are waiting for your first child, the pains are just as raw, cruel and real. It doesn’t matter if you are wealthy or poor, miscarriage knows no class.

What it feels like:

I know first-hand what it feels like. For a couple or woman suffering from infertility, falling pregnant and having a miscarriage is the worst nightmare. when we finally fall pregnant with the baby we’ve waited for, we were in disbelief. It’s funny how we gap in disbelief when something we have been waiting for finally happened.

When I found out I was pregnant, I walked around in disbelief for days, no one knew, except my hubby. We did not jump in excitement but just went about numb, until the 6th week, when it felt like we can begin to hope.

HOPE DASHED

Hope is a beautiful thing, it fills your heart with joy, and gladness. I walked around like I was carrying a secret, which I was.

Hope brings happiness and offers peace eternal. Until my story changes, I lost my baby at 11 weeks, no heartbeat. Something was wretched out of me.

How can this be happening to me? God no, how can I have waited so long for a baby only to have my hope dashed again? Is this going to be another story of infertility and loss. I can remember thinking I can suffer one, but not both.

I hoped it won’t happen again and I was wrong. I lost two babies in a row, hope gone. The worse part was I had to bleed it out, I had to have a mini labour. It was not a pleasant experience as I watched my child slowing bleed away as I called it.

YOUR REALITY

You too may have suffered the same fate, and feel at your wits end, perhaps you are well in age and wondering if you will ever fall pregnant again, or you maybe young and feel the uncertainty of the future, as you feel helpless, lonely and hopeless.

Tears were my frequent companions most days as my heart became too heavy from the burden I bear. I felt as if life was having a laugh at my expense.

I wanted answers but none was fought coming:

It happens” was the response from doctors,” just try again was what I got from friends”, it was with dread I went to my appointments. Even now the pain is still real.

I HOPED AGAIN:

But I found the strength to go on, to live again, to hope and to try again. There is an appointed time for everything under the sun, I reasoned, my season will come. My help comes from the Lord, who helped me to hoped again, dreamed again and believed again. what to do when you feel stuck

Although my questions remained unanswered, He became my partner in hope: I found comfort in his word:

  “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5

He gave me strength to wait again:” I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.  Psalm 130:5.

Waiting is always the hardest part through it all: with Infertility, we are constantly waiting, waiting for the test to show positive, waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting at for the test results, waiting more waiting: But with his strength, the wait was made easier, as I place each disappointment in his care.

My wish for you is that you will keep hope alive, no matter what, and when the wait seems endless just draw strength from his word which will infuse you with peace and the patience you need to keep try again.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

feel free to share with your friends and please comment if you have found it useful.

Your partner in hope

Debbie