Infertility and Fibroids

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for six months now. I'm a bit concerned due to many reasons, some being family history and others being of a medical nature.

My first concern is that it took my mother a long time to conceive me. She never was on any type of birth control. She had me at the age of 27, after 10 years of marriage. I am an only child, although my parents did try to conceive again, but were not successful. My mother calls me her miracle child.

Well I am now finally married at the age of 33, and my husband and I are trying to conceive. I know I don't have ten years to wait to try and become pregnant so in my effortless triumphs I have decided to get checked. One reasons is that as soon as I went off the pill I was having extreme pains in my lower abdomen area. It concerned me and my husband, and we figured I should have it checked out.

I had this particular pain some years back I went in for a check up with my GYN/OB and she had ordered an ultrasound. It was determined I was producing eggs, and that the pain was due to ovulation. At that time in my life, I was on and off the pill. I was never regular with it, until I started dating my husband.

So when this pain returned with a vengeance I realized that I need to go back to the doctor, especially since we are talking about having children. The doctor again ordered to have an ultrasound done. The news that has wrecked and haunted me is that I have fibroid tumors on the outside of my uterus. Life seems to stop for me.

I referred by my family doctor to an OB/GYN for a second option, and how this may affect me trying to get pregnant. Went I went to this doctor she informed me that surgery may indeed be the way to go, and that after that "if" I become pregnant that I would have to do a c-section delivery. I felt like I lost all hope at that moment.

The doctor suggested that we try for six months and go from there, if nothing takes that I should consider the surgery. I am worried. My husband and I have been following all the rules we can. We have sex about every other day. And nothing yet. He has children from previous relationships, so there was no problem conceiving with the other person. I feel that this weight is upon me.

So my question is when we do have sex, after ejaculation, he stays inside for a few minutes and then when we leave, a lot of semen is still on his penis. It's like it never went farther than needed. We have tried numerous positions and variations to try and control this, but it seems not to work.

I am just wondering if this could be from the fibroid tumors, or something else medically related? Could it be that I have something closed off? I'm afraid to go to the doctor to be tested in fear of hearing the worst, but I also would like to know if this is something to be on the rather normal side? I feel that if I go through the surgery and still can't conceive that I will feel like I have failed as a woman. I appreciate any insight on this matter.

Thank you,
Melissa

ANSWER

Without examining you and seeing your medical chart, I can only go by what you say, so you need to take this feedback with that in mind.

Usually, if the fibroids are on the outside, they do not interfere with getting or keeping a pregnancy, but they can cause pain for the woman. If you do decide to have surgery for the fibroids, be sure to shop for a surgeon who has dealt with your particular type of fibroid and had successful pregnancies afterwards, as the quality of the surgeon can make a big difference.

It's true, they might have to make an incision in your uterus to solve the problem, and if they did, depending on where they needed to cut, you might have to have a cesarean in the future. Sometimes they can solve the problem in such a way that you would still be a candidate for a vaginal birth, but it depends on what's going on and also on who your surgeon is. After abdominal surgery, it is best to wait 9 to 12 months to try to conceive, as you want the baby to be born at least 18 months after the surgery.

Second, the fact that you are ovulating is great news! Imagine if you were not ovulating how much more complicated things would be. Third, just because you see semen doesn't mean that the sperm haven't headed straight for the egg -- they are highly motivated cells with one purpose in life! Virtually all are gone from the vagina in less than 5 minutes.

If you really wanted to know that the highway to the egg is clear for the sperm, you could get something called a hysterosalpingogram to check. They usually wouldn't do that until you had been trying to get pregnant for 6 to 12 months. It's an uncomfortable (not painful) procedure, but it does tell the story.

I understand your fear about hearing "the worst" but truthfully, SO many fertility problems can be solved pretty simply these days, and it is better to get them solved sooner rather than later if you have any.

Good luck!
~Cynthia