Currently, there is no way of diagnosing Endometriosis without surgery. So it is our responsibility to come together and get really curious about our bodies and menstrual cycles in order to find some clarity.
Endo is a common condition that affects women in their reproductive years. Reportedly 1 in 10 women have Endo. There is likely to be more women with Endo who do not show symptoms and have not yet had Endo diagnosed. Keep in mind it takes an average of 8 years to diagnose.
Together We Wait is particularly interested in the connection between Endo and infertility. We are curious about how this connection affects women in IVF, given infertility is a common symptom of Endo.
For building clarity, other common symptoms of Endo include, but are not limited to:
Abnormal and irregular period
Bladder control problems
Vomiting and bowel problems
Pain during intercourse
In 2015, my ex-husband and I began IVF treatment. At the time, I was given the standard preconception tests required before starting IVF. From memory, the IVF specialist asked only a few questions about my menstrual cycle during our first appointment. Over the years since, I've actually had acupuncturists and other alternative health practitioners ask more questions and get more curious about my menstrual cycle and other factors that may be impacting my fertility health.
After two non-viable embryo transfers and a cancelled scheduled frozen embryo transfer we changed our IVF specialist. The final frozen embryo transfer was non-viable and I was recommended to have a Laparoscopy to check for Endo. In June last year, I underwent surgery and had Endo removed from my uterus. My gynecologist told me afterwards that Endo would have been his biggest concern for me not falling pregnant in IVF.
This news was hard to digest after the failed embryo transfers and the emotional trauma that accompanied. I've met many women who have been through many IVF cycles before getting diagnosed with Endo. Now, that's not to say that Endo for every woman in IVF is the direct reason for them not fall pregnant. Yet, this connection keeps coming up in Together We Wait and it needs attention, especially given infertility is a common symptom of Endo.
There is a need a greater emphasis on curiosity around Endo when treating women in IVF. IVF specialists, if not already a part of their standard practice, should get curious about what is going on with woman's body and their menstrual cycles, and even their lifestyle.
Women in Together We Wait feel that the right tests in IVF can help to gain answers for infertility. These tests are invaluable in determining treatment methods and the IVF approach. In attaining the appropriate tests and diagnosis of infertility sooner, the emotional turmoil can be elevated sooner.
At the upcoming Together We Wait "Clarity in Endo" webinar, we will have some time to share with one and another our Endo stories, so together we can get connect, get curious and create clarity. The most powerful thing you can do to solve a problem is to find, initiate and implement a solution. The only way to do this is to come to together.
I hope you can make it beautiful soul.
To expand Endo knowledge further on Endo visit our family friends on insta @angea_womenshealth_clinic, @the_dietologist and @eatwelllivewell.