My Endometriosis Diary Part II

Never opt for IVF unless you’re ready to have a baby, and are in the happiest mental state to do so. I’m not trying to scare you - IVF is definitely not as physically painful as its made out to be but when I look back, I wonder if going though five rounds was really worth it.

I’ll tell you when it becomes a problem: You get into IVF all positive and hopeful that you won’t require a second cycle, and most often you do. Hopefully the second time it’ll work. But there are chances that it won’t. The problem lies not in the disappointments but in nourishing ourselves between cycles. I don’t know how it was for you, but for me it was all about having this baby. I forgot that the point of getting into IVF was to cure my endometriosis. So one cycle would end, then I would mope around and start planning for the next. I would pump myself with supplements, and spend hours on the internet looking for that one magical treatment that would help me carry the baby to term. Our obsession is the the biggest problem, not the treatment in itself.  

But there is something to be said about how the doctor's approach in treating a disease as complex as endometriosis. In India, doctors told me that I need to get pregnant as soon as possible, which they were right about. Endometriosis has the best chance of being cured by way of pregnancy because for nine months you are progesterone dominant. Also, the best chance to get pregnant is right after your laparoscopy and injections. But perhaps you still may not be ready. Maybe you need to be happier before trying to get pregnant. Or you need to take a break from IVF because it is so emotionally taxing.  In my experience, desperation and pushiness will not lead to a baby. Happiness and comfort will. 

My French gynaec in London had a different approach. She told me that I should not get stressed about IVF and try only when I was ready for it. “But what will happen if the endometriosis spreads again,” I asked. “Then we will just take it off again,” she smiled. This is in no way a comparison of East v/s West, in fact I now have an amazing doctor, Dr Punita Arora who has helped reduce my symptoms greatly. I just feel that sometimes we are pushed by the doctors or our own desperation into an IVF when actually we should be taking a holiday and find a hobby that makes us happy. 

In retrospect, one thing is for sure - if I had spent my time developing my love for yoga, it would have given me a far greater shot at conception than just preparing for one cycle after the other. I was interviewing Dr Lalita Badhwar about endometriosis and the fact that if you don’t get pregnant then you will probably have to stay on some sort of medication for a lifetime. “Look, you don't have to feel sorry for yourself,” she said. “Someone with high blood pressure or diabetes would also have to be on medication just like you - its just a pill, take it because it will make you better.” 

So what about babies? Some of the smartest and happiest women I know have opted for surrogacy. And if you really want a baby, go for adoption. There are so many children in this world who need a good mother.