Cheryl's Success Story

My husband and I began ttc approximately 9 months after we were married--in the spring of '98. I was pregnant about the 2nd month of trying. I was told I had a blighted ovum when I went in for an US due to some light spotting. My doctor at that time told me that I would expel the "products of conception" within days; and that I would not bleed much as there was minimal tissue. With a blighted ovum, an embryo never develops but the embryonic sac does--producing the HCG. A month later I still hadn't bled and returned to my doctor for a check up. He reassured me that my body was reabsorbing the tissue and I would bleed soon. Two months later my periods returned, but abnormally light. These light periods continued for a few months and then I switched clinics to meet a new doctor. He began fertility work-ups which began with simply charting my BBT for a few months. This suggested that I was ovulating. My next test was an HSG; and this showed 'something' in my uterus. My doctor set up a hysteroscopy to investigate and found that 'something' to be products of conception! He promptly performed a D&C and said my uterus was so "mushy" underneath (this was about 9 months after being told I had a blighted ovum) the tools perforated my uterus. Being concerned he performed a laparoscopy to check other organs (which were fine).

This is where my Ashermans nightmare began! After this D&C I felt so relieved that we got the answers and solution to our problem. I was so angry at my old doctor for not following up with me after the missed miscarriage. I was very happy with my 'new' doctor and do not blame him at all for the development of my AS. The D&C had to be done and he couldn't have known what would happen next. I waited and waited for my periods to return. Two, three, four months went by. I told my doctor that it was so painful when I was supposed to get my periods. I would get so bloated and there was so much pressure--but no bleeding. He guessed that I had AS and performed an HSG again. The dye could not even go past my cervix. He sent me directly to a specialist who he knew dealt w/AS.

I met w/this specialist and he got me in for surgery within a few weeks. I believe it was '99(or 2000). He said I was the 2nd most severe case he'd seen in 25+ years. No uterine cavity to be seen. He created his own cavity; as there were no pockets or visible endometrium. The next 10 days were very uncomfortable; bad cramps from the balloon, and dealing with the tubing that would find it's way 'out' often. The follow up HSG from that surgery showed some pockets open and lining too. A LITTLE hope.

Surgery #2 came a few months later. He cut around the open pockets and said some lining was visible but the scarring was still moderate. Another 10 days of discomfort. Not to mention all of the oral estrogen which had it's own unpleasant side effects. Such excitement after ending the hormones to see a period FINALLY return. Even as light as it was! The follow up HSG showed an open cavity--but irregular shaped.

Surgery #3 came a couple months later--to "clean" up the remainder of the scarring. My doctor was very excited; as were my husband and myself. The HSG showed an open uterus; patchy, irregular lining--but open. I started fertility shots as soon as I could. We were pregnant the first month!!! Not quite that easy----there was lots of estrogen; both oral and suppositories. Shots 2x/day, and US's every other day to monitor my ovaries. My lining only got to 6.4mm--but that was enough for 1 of 7 eggs to find a healthy spot.

My pregnancy was stressful. Bleeding for the first 8 weeks or so. I was sure we'd lose it. Then all was fine until 26 weeks when I had preterm labour. Bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy. The birth was pretty uneventful--the placenta stuck just in a very small spot. Just enough to cause the reoccurance of my AS.

Tried for baby #2 when my first was 14 months. Went straight to the shots since I knew I'd have a lining problem still. Three months passed and still nothing. Another HSG was done which showed extensive scarring(I had very light periods). Surgery #4 was done in '02. As soon as I was able: I started the fertility shots again. Pregnant the first round this time. I also bled w/baby #2 for the first 8 weeks. No preterm labor this time; but my placenta was adhered and my doctor had to manually remove it. I lost quite a bit of blood and the radiologists were prepared and waiting outside to intervene. I breast-fed my 2nd daughter until 9 months and then I returned for another HSG-----AS was back (which I expected). So...........surgery #5 was performed in 2004.

I am happy to say I am done w/my AS battle and I won!!!! I am 36 years old and have two beautiful, happy, and healthy girls. They are four and two years old. It was a difficult and tiring struggle; but worth it in the end.

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