Maria's Story

Well, this is what happened to me (translated):

We had planned our first child and she arrived exactly on the day she was due. We wanted a home birth and it started as an easy confinement with her being born in our living room three hours after the first labour-pains. Till today no one understands why my placenta did not come out properly. My midwife said she had never seen such a torn piece and it was clear that I needed to go into hospital for a minor operation. Not knowing what would happen I was only happy that my child was healthy (well, I still am). When we arrived the midwife showed the placenta pieces that had come out so far to the doctor, but she was not at all interested. A week after this D & C I went home and immediately developed high fever. I was told by the midwife and the gynaecologist that this could happen during breast-feeding, but when it did not stop after a week and reached 41° C I went back to the same hospital nearby (wrong, wrong, wrong, never go to a hospital for the same thing twice, they will not think about them maybe having made a mistake at the beginning!).

Within the next week they checked every pore of my body BUT NOT my uterus with ultrasound! They did not find a thing that was wrong with me, but I still had high fever. Therefore they suggested a strong dose of antibiotics, which would have meant to stop breast-feeding my child. I refused this as I did not like the idea of not knowing what was wrong but taking heavy stuff nevertheless. Luckily the fever stopped for three days and I was allowed to go home without any further treatment. Well, it started again. This time I looked for an internal specialist. I found a good one because he (not being a gynaecologist at all!) was the one to say that if I was still bleeding (and I was, but the hospital staff had not taken it serious), I needed to go to a big hospital for an ultrasound. And so I did. Once it was done there, they suggested another D & C for still retained placenta, four weeks after the first one. To cut a long story a little shorter: the operation seemed to be successful (nearly two years later one of the doctors said they should have told me about the likeliness of Asherman´s, well, many shoulds and woulds).

I breast-fed my daughter for half a year and did not expect to have a period. But when it did not reappear three months thereafter I went to my gynaecologist. She made an ultrasound and said it was due to nature that it sometimes takes longer. She repeated this opinion twice when I consulted her three and six months later. At this point I felt I had to go to someone else. The next gynaecologist suggested a hormone therapy before going for a hysteroscopy. As it was negative I had the first hysto in April 2000. Already when I talked to the doctor at the clinic (specialized on female minimal invasive surgery) before (!) the operation he said: “You have Asherman´s.” As if it was the most normal thing to happen and know about ....

During this first hysteroscopy he opened the cervix which had been totally blocked and found that two thirds of the cavity were full of adhesions including one tube´s entrance therefore blocked. I had severe Asherman´s. With the operation report in my hands I then talked to my gynaecologist who said that I would never be able to have children again. I was devastated and somehow got back home.

Then it struck me that the operating surgeon had suggested another hyst/lap to open the cavity. Why would he do so if there was no chance at all? In Germany you are not supposed to ask any more questions to the operating team once the operation is over. But this was my only chance. So imagine me driving to the clinic and again with new knowledge (it was worthwhile trying to open the rest of the uterus, they said) back to my gyn, only because they would not talk to each other about my case! After the first hysteroscopy luckily a friend of mine (make sure you have a doctor among your friends ...) told me about medline. What a surprise to find more than 100 articles on Asherman´s! I ordered the most important ones and now was sure to be right when planning the second hysteroscopy, which took place in August. It went well, and they did not even have to do a laparoscopy. After this operation they said everything was as before I had developed Asherman´s and I should only one more month take an estrogen/gestagen combination (2 mg per day estrogen, after 11 days combined with 0,5 mg gestagen, I had taken this also after the first operation. At both operations they did not use any IUD, balloon etc.). After the first normal cycle I could become pregnant without any problems in sight. My gyn though said that according to the operation report they had damaged at least part of the remaining endometrium with the YAG laser. I should take the hormones three months. And in order to know whether adhesions have reformed I should go for a third “control” hysto. So there I was again: They couldn´t have said anything more different. What was I to do?

This was my situation when I joined the Asherman´s support group. And it has made such a big difference. With all that wealth of information and emotional support I was able to decide rather easily. First I started to look for THE specialist for Asherman´s. Someone in the group knew a specialist in the USA, I emailed him asking for one in Germany, got an immediate answer, talked to this doctor, got an appointment, drove three hours, talked to him for more than one hour, and found out that my surgeon (who had been responsible for the second hysteroscopy) is indeed one of the best surgeons for Asherman´s! I was so relieved to hear that! Unfortunately my period got weaker within the next two months. Since this can be a sign of adhesions reforming, I got really worried. Finally I asked my surgeon for a second-look hysteroscopy. He considered it not necessary but was willing to do so. He even suggested an endometrium receptors biopsy along with it. This was done at the beginning of November and showed NO SCARRING HAD RETURNED, lucky me! Meanwhile I also have the results of the biopsy and it states clearly that my estrogen and progesterone receptors work fine. This was just done to rule out any further problems. So the problem left is the endometrium´s thickness and quality. But I am confident that I will somehow be able to manage this, too.

For the time being I am having nice periods (but still a little weak) and my lining (without hormones) is a little over 6 mm on cycle day 14. I stopped taking anymore hormones to see what my body does without them (I have taken them for seven months now!). I feel I have gone a long winding road with lots of stones that needed to be taken away. But I know that there will be a chance of another full term pregnancy in future. And I no longer consider myself absolutely infertile! And this proves that you should not believe any doctor who says you could never have another child on your own, unless you have asked for a second opinion! And this story will be updated sometime in future as a success story with a photo of another lovely little baby!

P.S. Please go to the link “Maria's Success Story” to see the rest of my story, because it did turn out to be a real success story!!!!

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