Kunbi Odugbogun is a US-based Lawyer and the Founder and CEO of Aisle Perfect Weddings and Aisle Perfect Living – two of the most successful new wedding and lifestyle blogs. She shares things you may not know about endometriosis in her interview with Racheal Abiriba.
What is Endometriosis?
(En-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus (the endometrium), grows in other places. What this means is that since there’s uterus lining tissue in random places, you bleed and hurt
from these places when your period comes. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, pain with periods, or pain with sexual intercourse, and in some cases, difficulty getting pregnant. Endometriosis is estimated to affect between 3% and
10% of reproductive-aged women.
When did you notice that you had Endometriosis and how was the experience?
The word Endometriosis didn’t come up until my early twenties. It was mentioned in passing during one of my cycles as a possible reason for my heavy periods but never actually pursued as a problem. The challenge is, endometriosis can only truly be diagnosed through a laparoscopy (a surgery where a doctor looks in the abdomen with a camera). So for years, I had no idea I had it.
I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis in 2014 after suffering from sharp pains in my lower abdomen that lasted several days and made it very difficult for me to sit up. Through an ultrasound, the doctor found an extra-large cyst called an Endometrioma sitting on my right ovary which was indicative of Endometriosis. I scheduled an emergency laparoscopy which confirmed my condition. The endometrial tissue had spread everywhere outside my uterus and had covered up a lot of my organs, especially my ovaries. The doctor removed as much of the tissue as possible, while trying to spare my reproductive organs from any damage. The surgery was successful but I was told that because of the extent of the endometriosis I may face challenges getting pregnant in the future.
How difficult was/is it for you to live with it?
The pain of endometriosis is much deeper than period pains. A lot of women suffer multiple hardships such as bowel adhesionst and chronic pain. With mine however, came infertility. Statistics show that between 20 to 40% of women with infertility will be found to have endometriosis. In some of these cases, Endometriosis could cause distortion of the
fallopian tubes which could then impair the tubes from picking up the egg after ovulation. In other cases like mine, the inflammation from the condition could affect the function of the ovary, egg, fallopian tubes or uterus.
Over the last two years of our four-year ordeal, we went through multiple rounds of reproductive processes from IUIs to IVF. As each cycle failed, the team of fertility experts would reconvene and analyze the complexity of my endometriosis and study how it was affecting my eggs and ovaries. From what I understand now, endometriosisis unpredictable and still somewhat of a conundrum to doctor, so a lot of how they handle it is trial and error.
After multiple reassessments, protocol changes and quite a few tries, we finally got pregnant and in December 2017, we
welcomed our son!
This excerpt is from the Genevieve Magazine March/April Issue. To read the full interview, click HERE to purchase the Magazine.