Endometriosis is a chronic disease suffered by 170 million women worldwide, although many of them are still undiagnosed. This is because pain, one of the main symptoms, is sometimes confused with normal menstruation. In fact, many women claim to feel misunderstood since the disease often prevents them from living a normal life.
Although some patients are asymptomatic, many others do have pain, but remain silent out of embarrassment or fear of being labeled as weak. This is why it is also known as “the silent disease”.
Lidia learned she had endometriosis at age 16. She went to the gynaecologist because of the severe pain, then they discovered that she had several cysts, as they are also known.
“The cysts decrease or increase in size, depending on the treatment I get prescribed. When they are large I cannot exercise because of the risk of ovarian torsion or cyst rupture, nor can I adopt certain postures or gain weight”, says Lidia.
The endometrium is a layer of cells that covers the uterus and thickens to nestle the embryo in case of pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, this layer is shed, leading to menstruation. In women with endometriosis, endometrial tissue appears outside the uterine cavity in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and even the intestines, invading these parts of the body in such a way that they become contaminated and damaged.
Infertility and endometriosis
Infertility and endometriosis often go hand in hand. The disease can affect female fertility in several ways: scarring in the fallopian tubes or ovaries, toxicity on the sperm and the egg, endometrial alterations that affect the implantation of the embryo, endocrine disorders that diminish the quality of ovulation.
Lidia, who suffers from severe endometriosis, knows that if she wanted to be a mother she had to be early, she was not going to allow this disease to end up deteriorating her eggs.
“My only option if I wanted to be a mother was an In Vitro Fertilization treatment due to the adhesions I suffered after an operation to eliminate the cysts and the deterioration that endometriosis had caused in my organs” says Lidia.
Time was against Lidia and Carlos (her partner), endometriosis was gaining ground. They looked for referrals and recommended that they see a fertility specialist.
The importance of the right diagnosis
“In the first consultation with Dr. Sergio Rogel, we left convinced that we wanted him to be in charge of the whole process. Everything seems simple, normal and hopeful. He likes challenges and I was one of them”.
Lidia’s case was really complicated, to the sequels of the disease was added that Lidia has a malformation in the uterus that limits its uterine cavity.
Before being able to extract the eggs to fertilize them, Lidia had to undergo two punctures to empty the liquid from a cyst present in her ovary. The operation was a success and the healthy part of the ovary could be accessed to obtain quality eggs.
Due to the malformation of her uterus, the medical team at IVF-Spain advised her to implant only one embryo and not to compromise the viability of the pregnancy.
The day of the transfer
“The moment of the embryo transfer was very exciting, from a single embryo and it came out at first”.
In addition, the couple had the peace of mind offered by a leading center in reproductive medicine, capable of providing state-of-the-art technology . Such as the Geri Plus incubator with Time-lapse that sorts the highest quality embryos and guarantees the selection of the best embryo for implantation.
“They studied my case knowing that each person is different, since the type of treatment that is viable for one woman does not have to be for another. The entire IVF-Spain team offered us personalized, empathetic and friendly treatment“.
Today, endometriosis is no longer her biggest concern, even though she is awaiting further surgery. Now the reason of her sleepless nights has another name: Eneko, her beautiful son.