I remember sitting in my gynecologist’s office at the age of nineteen and him telling me that I should try and fall pregnant as soon as possible. I remember it being the furthest thing from my mind and not even something I would be willing to consider, no matter how bad my pain was. He explained that somehow, by the body going through pregnancy, it would heal Endometriosis. Since then, I have always wondered whether there could be any truth to this idea.
Why do gynies suggest pregnancy as a cure? I think there could be some logic to all this.
When we fall pregnant, everything changes within our endocrine system. The hormones now produce everything necessary to carry a child. It changes everything inside of us to do that. Many gynies prescribe many hormonal treatments that mimic what the body does when it thinks it is pregnant. Ask any woman who has had Endometriosis and then falls pregnant and she will undoubtedly say, they were the best years for endo—no pain and free of symptoms. The difficulty in carrying a child was a pleasure compared to their endo symptoms.
It can take over a year in some women to have their bodies return to the pre-pregnancy hormonal stasis. This is absolute bliss! Many woman say that everything is gone while they are still breast-feeding.
Does it always return or can it really be a cure for Endometriosis?
I have a friend who has had Endometriosis for years until she fell pregnant. She has had three children, even though they told her there was little chance! She didn’t have much of a break between her kids. Usually two years at a push and then she was pregnant again. Thing is, she is now approaching menopause and she hasn’t really struggled or mentioned her Endometriosis in the five-year gap between the last one. She believes that having children has almost forced her body to heal itself to be ready and strong enough to carry a child. She also believes that much of her personality traits which she believes contribute to stress and aggravating Endometriosis have changed. She has simply become less perfectionistic, less fussy, less pedantic, less everything… she simply takes life much easier now and has a different perspective through the kids. Life is simpler and all the pressure she put on herself prior to having kids has disappeared. Does this mean it cured her or she is simply symptom-free? Same difference?
One of the things my friend said, which made sense to me, is her comment about how the body has to be ready to carry a child. I also know of many woman who have managed to fall pregnant with Endometriosis but then, within a few weeks they lose their child through miscarriage. To me, this indicates that the body was simply not ready to carry a child. I know this is incredibly hard for so many woman and I wish they had listened to their bodies’ warning signals. Forcing pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and hormonal treatments just don’t seem right to me.
I know for many of us, falling pregnant is such a massive focus and is possibly how you even found out you had Endometriosis. Having a baby becomes everything to you. Some women will try anything to just achieve pregnancy and when they finally do, this seems to be an indication that whatever treatments they may have used was surely an indication that it worked. After all, this was the problem Endometriosis caused and now they have a child. Sadly, the imbalance within the body may still exist, despite being able to have children.
We also have the opposite scenarios where women only develop Endometriosis after having children. They feel fortunate to have had children but then struggle to enjoy them due to the ever-surmounting Endometriosis pain.
It is not an easy puzzle to solve and I doubt I would find a unified theory on the subject—it really depends on who you ask. What I can follow is the logic behind our bodies and its healing capabilities. I think the body does need to be ready to carry a child. To do this, the body must be healthy and well. I also think that our mental state will dramatically influence our Endometriosis pain, whether this is prior to having a child or the stresses that come with having them. Either way, if we are stressed or have emotional blockages around pregnancy, children or Endometriosis, then they all need to be addressed.
I certainly wouldn’t believe it to be a cure for Endometriosis but it may make you feel better during pregnancy!
Now, please don’t go running off and having babies just to feel better with Endometriosis! It is a big commitment and certainly not one to take lightly.
Did your doctor suggest this to you? What did you think?