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Abdominal surgery and fertility

(8 Posts)
Hellsbells84 Tue 19-Jan-16 13:41:49

Hi, in 2005 when I was in my early 20s I had a series of abdominal surgeries to treat a gangrenous appendix. Unfortunately the first few operations were exploratory because the hospital didn't investigate my condition properly and they panicked which led to complications, including a perforated intestine and peritonitis.

Four operations later, I was told to have children earlier rather than later in case I had complications such as adhesions on the fallopian tubes. Still in University I wasn't quite ready to think about kids, but now I'm 30, my husband and I are thinking about getting pregnant and I am deeply concerned about my prospects. I know I have bad abdominal adhesions and I had an incisional hernia in 2006, which they repaired with a mesh, so I'm worried about getting pregnant and also carrying the baby because of the hernia and weak stomach muscles. I feel quite isolated, because my condition is complicated and I just wanted to know if anyone else has gone through anything similar and if so, is there anything you can share about increasing the chances of having a healthy pregnancy for yourself and your baby and actually conceiving?

Thanks for bearing with me on this long post!

Highlove Tue 19-Jan-16 16:16:21

Hello. Didn't want you to go unanswered, though I'm not sure I can help much. I can empathise though - although for different reasons, I knew I may well have a problem conceiving and through my 20s worried about it on and off, then became slightly obsessed with it once I'd met DH and knew babies were seriously on the cards. My GP was thoroughly unsympathetic - basically go away and try and come back after 12 months if you haven't got pregnant. In the end I paid for a private consultation at a fertility clinic which confirmed my worries. We went ahead and tried naturally but eventually ended up needing IVF. It's been a tough, tough journey but I'm now (early days so cautiously) pregnant with DC2.

It might be worth a chat with your GP - you might get one who is a bit more useful than mine was. Particularly given your concern is about safely carrying a pregnancy as well as getting pg in the first place. If you don't get any joy then I'd really urge you look at talking to an expert privately - pricey but may help answer your questions and even put your mind at rest a bit.

Have you actually started trying yet? That's the other thing - I'd recommend not hanging about. You're young and that's in your favour - I guess what I'm saying is that you already know that you might have one issue, best to at least know you've got time and age on your side, ifyswim. I started trying at 30 but with one thing and another (trying naturally but failing, treatment, failed treatment, waiting for appts, etc) was 35 by the time DC1 arrived.

Also, have a look at the Fertility Friends website where you might find people in a similar boat.

Absolutely best of luck - I really hope things work out for you.

Junosmum Tue 19-Jan-16 17:38:49

Get trying, you may be pleasantly surprised. I worried myself sick about infertility due to a medical condition however we got pregnant first try! We were shocked.

Get to know your cycle - look out for your cervical mucus, it'll tell you much more than peeing on sticks, and have some fun!

Frank85 Tue 19-Jan-16 21:53:34

You would be surprised about what your body can cope with
I had 3 operations in my 20s one of switch was having my ovary removed due to endo (long story) i have a lovely long scar at my bikini line and several keyhole surgery points around my pelvis and stomach
I am 30 weeks pregnant from IVF and my stomach is fine and the doctors have no concerns about the delivery, I was also worried about carrying a baby but I was advised everything heals very well etc

I would advise you give it a try , sounds like the trouble is further up and your fertility may not be affected. You could always have your tubes flushed if nothing happens say within 6 months?

ShowYourSeams Tue 19-Jan-16 22:56:21

I got pregnant with twins 3 days after having my appendix removed blush

I did worry about adverse effects to the scar tissue etc but everything was absolutely fine.

XL Wed 20-Jan-16 00:08:57

I had massive abdominal surgery to remove fibroids and endometriosis last year and I'm pregnant smile

Hellsbells84 Thu 21-Jan-16 16:38:34

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. It fills me with more hope. Congratulations on all your pregnancies smile

YouAreMyRain Thu 21-Jan-16 18:20:18

I had multiple abdominal operations , including one for a bowel perforation and peritonitis, before getting pregnant. I did end up with a hernia from the pregnancy putting pressure on an old incision point, and they were reluctant to do a c-section due to adhesions etc but in the end they had to do a crash c-section which was ok.
The hernia has since been repaired with mesh too.

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