Monday, March 19, 2012

Endo Awareness Week 3 -- Fertility

I confess....the back pain's "winning".  Part of me hopes the MRI on Monday is clear but part of me hopes they see something so I can get some plan for relief.  I tried to spend a few hours out of bed on Saturday to enjoy the lovely day....I'm writing this on Sunday, back in bed where even staying still isn't providing much relief. 

This week's Endo Month topic is fertility.  I debated skipping this week since I don't have personal experience in this area but I want to continue to be a part of the informational effort of this blog group and to support other women who struggle with this disease.  Endo is a tricky beast, in part because it can manifest itself in many ways.  For me, it is largely about pain and it is the pain that led to my diagnosis.  For other women, they don't suffer from pain and only find out they have the disease when they have difficulty conceiving.  For many, it is a dual blow of physical pain and the emotional struggle with fertility. 

Endo is one of the leading causes of infertility but not every woman with endometriosis will struggle with their fertlity.  My doctors believe that the nature of my endo growths are such that they should not interfere should I ever want to try to conceive.  That said, the pain itself presents a fertility challenge.  I manage my endo by taking continuous hormonal birth control.  Missing even a single dose pretty much guarantees me a couple of days that mark very high on the pain scale.  Obviously, trying to conceive would mean going off the hormones.  That's a scary thought.  And pelvic pain doesn't exactly make the prospect of, well...the acts needed to make a baby...all that appealing. 

I've been a part of several support communities and watched so many women struggle to fulfill a dream of motherhood.  For some, that dream is a long haul of medical procedures.  For others, it is the legal complexity of adoption because endo has robbed them of the opportunity to carry their own child.  It is maddening that with all our medical knowledge, endo makes motherhood so difficult for so many good women who have so much to give.  Although my own struggle has not been the same, my heart goes out to every "Endo Sister" who has fought the fertility-challenging (or robbing) aspect of this disease.  May all of you find your path to motherhood and may science advance so that future women don't share your struggle. 


EndoJoanna said...

I thank you for posting even though your aren't currently experiencing any issues. Your support for all of us endosisters is sooo appreciated and I wanted to tell you a very heartfelt sorry for all of your pain. I struggle with both pain and infertility, but my heart breaks for anyone who must physically suffer as you have. Much love friend.

Annabelle said...

I'll have to come off my meds if I want to have a baby too, which is likely to be uncomfortable but probably not as painful as it would be for you, or life-threatening as it would be for my college roommate. I'm glad that you at least have the option if you choose to exercise it, though. And I feel for everyone whose endo makes having children even more difficult than that.