DH and I have been TTC for the last 8 months. DH's SA was normal and so far all my hormone tests, uterus and ovaries look normal. I am on my 3rd round of clomid this cycle (though I ovulate normally on my own) and my Obgyn said that next step would be a lap and dye. She said I could have endo when I told her I get severe lower back pain the first day or two of my period during heavy flow. I don't feel ready to do surgery when we haven't been trying a full year but also don't want to waste time as I'm 34.
Has anyone else had laparoscopic surgery or been diagnosed with endo? Anyone else get pretty intense lower back pain (cured with ibuprofen)?
I've had a few laparoscopies to remove cysts, and they found endometriosis as well. (level 3, I believe.) This wasn't done as part of fertility investigation but when I was younger (not interested in having kids) and simply had pain from the cysts and endo.
Now I still believe I have endo again, because of the massive pain I get, but not one of the fertility doctors (4 clinics) that I've seen have ever made any mention of it being a problem although I tell them I have had endo. I was barely 28 when I saw the first specialist, and we had male factor. We were told to begin with IVF and ICSI and the only investigation they did on me was regular bloodwork and ultrasound.
Now I'm at another clinic, and they did a hysterogram (or whatever that thing is with the dye) and ultrasounds but never suggested anything about the endometriosis causing trouble. I'm going to one of the major/top NYC clinics currently, and I figure they know what they are doing... yet I have read many blogs of women who have been told to do surgery and that their endo is a problem.
With that first IVF at age 28 we had only a handful of eggs retrieved. Four fertilised, two were transferred at day 3, and only one was frozen at day 3. I had a + beta and home tests, but it ended up being a chemical.
While I'm concerned that I may still have endo and that it is hurting our chances the doctors are not. Between the endo and immune issues (Lupus) I wonder if more should be done, but the doctors continue to treat those as non-issues. So...
Here is my take: Frankly, the surgery hurts plenty and I'd be wary of doing it when you have concerns about it. If you may be moving on to IVF I'd be pushing to begin it sooner rather than later. Too many women end up finding that their egg quality is poorer than anticipated when they did get to IVF rounds. Endo may not even be your real problem. (I'm so sorry if that sounds hurtfully negative. I really hope you get through this with a baby as quickly as possible. I've read many infertility blogs though and so these scenarios regarding egg quality are on my mind.)
I did have bad pain, and ibuprofen helped somewhat but not enough. I also had random pain and issues with my digestive tract from the endo. Some people have no pain at all and yet discover they have it.
If you are concerned about the surgery I'd press the doctor to find out how necessary it is. Is your doctor a fertility specialist? (It doesn't sound like it.) If not you better go to one instead, because there is no comparison. The clinics really know what they are doing, and beyond Clomid a regular gyno just isn't the right track for this.
I had a lap and dye in March of 2015. It is a useful tool in finding any other abnormalities that ultrasounds don't pick up on. It's a pretty minimally invasive surgery. The incisions on me were healed very quickly, though internally it seemed to take a bit longer.
As for the back pain, yep! When I was a teen and in my early 20's I always knew that when the back pain set in my period was expected the next day. Now days (I'm 29) I get severe lower back pain, pain in one if not both hips and severe cramps. Usually Pamprin Max will take care of the pain.
Endo is a tricky beast. It affects everyone differently. My pain can be crippling but when I had the lap & dye done, the doctor made it sound like the endo I had wasn't severe. Then there are others that have no pain at all just to find out they have stage 4 endo.
I do agree with AlbaNY that you should press your Dr for their reasoning, but it sounds like you've had all the typical tests done already and this may be the next step. Ultimately it's up to you though and don't let the doctor think otherwise.
I had laparoscopic surgery twice in my life so far -- once was unrelated to fertility (I had an appendectomy 7 years ago) and once was this summer. I was having a uterine polyp removed (they did that through the vagina) so while they had me "under" the doctor also wanted to do some exploration on my tubes/ovaries so they went in laparoscopically as well. They did find a small patch of endo (not even sure where) and blasted it. The entire process was pretty straightforward. I'd had surgeries before so I knew what to expect. It is quite painful the first few days after the surgery but they give you meds to manage the pain. I didn't need the strong meds beyond day 2. You will need to take at least a week off of work to recover (depending on what you do. I work in an office so I just took one week). I had some issues with one of my incision sites (my belly button) where it was on the verge of getting infected so I just had to be careful. I never ended up needing antibiotics or anything but it was uncomfortable. That may have been because the stitches were done on scar tissue from my last surgery. The first time around I had no issues at all. You will have small scars on your belly button and pubic area (but they are very tiny -- like under an inch).
All in all, it is a surgery and that entails going under anaesthesia, etc. so there are risks associated. Make sure they tell you all of the risks as well as their expected benefits to doing the procedure. I definitely don't regret having it done, but again I was prepared for what it would entail and I trusted my surgeon a lot. Best of luck with whatever you decide!
Thank you for sharing your experiences, ladies. I see my Obgyn again today for a mid-cycle ultrasound to monitor my follicles and will ask her more about her thoughts. I've read conflicting research regarding conception rates after a lap. I have not had an hsg yet and am wondering if I should just do that first (she was going t do lap and dye together).
I had a lap and dye two weeks ago today and I'm fully healed pretty much. I had it done on Friday afternoon and was back to work as normal on the Monday.
I've always had very painful periods with sore back and achy thighs and I was diagnosed with stage 2 endo.
I'm glad I had it done, I know for sure what is happening in there now. A hsg only shows 75% of what a lap and dye can. I never responded to clomid but now I might have a shot as my ovaries were also drilled.
I had a lap and dye may 17th 2011 as we had been ttc 3 years with no success
It came back all clear everything was fine and on may 31st 2011 I found out I was like 5ish weeks pregnant baby was due 2/2/12
By my dates I was alredi pregnant when I had the lap and dye but I still think it helped I have since had another two boys ! So whatever happened I went from not being able to conceive to being able to
My boys have 2ish year age gaps 13/2/12 4/3/14 12/1/16
Good luck girls I really hope it's all ur times soon! Ino how hard it is waiting x
I had a lap and dye when I was TTC. We had been trying for over a year with no success. I also had a "cyst" that would not resolve, but no other symptoms. It turned out the "cyst" was actually another rare type of growth and although it did not affect my fertility, it needed to be removed.
Lap and dyes are pretty minor surgery, but I still understand your concern. Unfortunately, there are some conditions that can't be diagnosed without a lap. Many women suffer from endo without knowing it and conceive immediately after it is removed.
I really had to push my doc to perform a lap on me even though I had a cyst, but I think doctors vary greatly on how gung-ho they are about the procedure.
If you're not ready for it and don't see the need for it, it doesn't sound like this is something you should do just because your doctor told you to. But keep your mind open to it as time goes on and if no other cause is found for your infertility, especially if you're starting to consider IVF.
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