"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. "

31 January 2010

Another fun filled Friday night

This past Friday night, I had my first (and hopefully my last) Laparoscopy. (Warning: the link has a few pictures you might not want to see)

It went pretty well. They found 2 areas of endometriosis and were able to remove it all. Other than not having anything wrong, this is the best possible outcome I could have hoped for. In fact, I actually wanted them to find something.

You see, we've been on this journey for 3 years starting next month and up until now, we really haven't had any explaination of why we can't get pregnant. B's got good swimmers, I make great eggs, they seem to fertilize, so why the hell aren't we getting pregnant??? Well, there's that whole implantation thing that I guess seems to be our problem. Even if we're making good embryos, they still need to be able to implant their way into the uterus and the uterus has to accept the embryo and allow it to snuggle in for a good 9 months or so. Unfortunately, this is the one area of baby-making that the Reproductive Endocrinology world doesn't really agree on how to fix, or if it can be fixed at all.

So, when faced with a problem that isn't straightforward, I usually turn to Dr Google and research the crap out of the issue at hand. Which is exactly what I did with this. After our 3rd failed IVF, I began to see a pattern in my body's response to putting healthy embryo's back inside. Each time, after we transferred 2 or 3 healthy embryos into my uterus, and before I was supposed to get my period, I would develop a fever-ish feeling. The first time this happened, I thought it was just a coincidence. But after the 2nd and 3rd times, I really felt like this was a trend and most definitely a clue into why we aren't getting pregnant.

What could cause this type of reaction?

One theory, is that women with mild/moderate endometriosis develop an immune reaction that doesn't allow an embryo to implant, or attacks the embryo as it tries to burrow into the uterus. Because there is misplaced endometrial tissues outside of the uterus in the pelvic cavity, the immune system sees it as an invader. But the immune system doesn't know how to differentiate between the misplaced endometrial tissue and the correct endometrial tissue in the uterus and therefore attacks both areas. So, the heightened immune response inside the uterus inconveniently causes implantation issues. This of cousre is just a theory, and in fact, many women WITH endometriosis do actually get pregnant.

This is the problem with science and medicine (coming from a very analytical, research oriented person). As a doctor, they have to treat to trends and theories backed by peer-reviewed, randomized, double-blind studies. However, as a somewhat desperate patient trying to figure out how to get pregnant, even anecdotal evidence, or theories that have yet to be shown true in such studies are good enough for me to pursue if they aren't too invasive or expensive. In my mindset, a laparoscopy fits this bill.  However, because I don't fit the typical endometriosis patient profile, I had to basically beg my OB/GYN to perform this surgery on me. I did have some suspicions that I do have endometriosis, but I won't get into those here. It would make an already long post, even longer.

And now I can go back to him in a few weeks at my post-op meeting and say "I told you so!!!" in a very nice and thankful way for taking this chance with me.

Where does this leave me you ask? Well, studies have shown, that in the next 3-6 months after a laparoscopy, success rates increase, no matter how you try to get pregnant (on your own, IUI, IVF)... So we now have a little more hope that maybe it could possibly work on our own!!! But I'm not ready to let myself feel that hope yet. After 36 months of trying, getting your hopes up, and then being let down each and every month, I just can't really get my hopes up too much.

Although, who am I kidding... I'm hopeful.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for being hopeful!! I think you have every right to be hopeful and I'm happy you are satisfied with the outcome. It will be really interesting to see what he has to say in the post-op appointment. Glad it all went well!!