Sarah and her husband, Daniel, sought treatment after a long and discouraging effort to get pregnant
Long before Sarah and her husband, Daniel, started trying to have a baby, she was diagnosed with endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) spreads to the outside, sometimes to the fallopian tubes and surrounding organs.
It is usually not a dangerous condition, although it can cause painful side effects. It’s also a common cause of infertility in women. Sarah opted to have surgery to treat her endometriosis infertility, and in 2011, she and her husband started trying to get pregnant.
For years, Sarah and Daniel tried but had no success in their pursuit to start a family. Finally, feeling frustrated and out of options, Sarah made an appointment at University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine (UCARM). During her initial visit, she learned more about the fertility obstacles she was facing.
New information, new plan
“A lot of information was presented at the clinic,” recalls Sarah. “They confirmed my previous endometriosis infertility diagnosis, and explained that it was still likely the main issue preventing me from getting pregnant, despite the surgery I’d had in the past. They explained that the odds of me getting pregnant by natural means were very slim. It really cleared the air in a lot of ways. They knew exactly what the problem was, and they immediately had a plan for how we could treat it.”
From that point, Sarah began a full year of treatment at UCARM, beginning with a minimally invasive surgical procedure for a blocked fallopian tube. Even as she went to multiple appointments for tests, procedures and surgery, Sarah felt at ease.
“It was a very calming place,” she explains. “They didn’t make me feel uncomfortable in any way, and I felt like they were truly there to help me. Nurse Deanna Wallace was one of my favorite people to work with at the clinic. She was incredibly informative, compassionate and supportive.”
IUI to combat endometriosis infertility
After her surgery, the team at UCARM decided Sarah’s best chance at pregnancy was intra-uterine insemination (IUI). IUI is a simple in-office procedure that involves inserting sperm directly into the uterus, and it’s often paired with hormonal treatment so that a woman’s chances of getting pregnant increase. Sarah remained dedicated and resolute throughout the process, even though multiple rounds of IUI treatment did not lead to pregnancy.
For her third round of IUI in August of 2015, Sarah visited Dr. Nannette Santoro.
“Dr. Santoro was very supportive as she performed my IUI,” explains Sarah. “Once the procedure was done, she gave me a hug for good luck. It was the little things that the doctors, nurses and other staff did at the clinic that reminded me that I was seen as a person and not a number.”
Patience, determination and success
A few months later in December, Sarah and her husband were able to conceive naturally and spontaneously.
“It was unfortunate that all three of the IUIs were unsuccessful. Ultimately, I feel that the laparoscopic surgery that Dr. Roth performed to help clear my endometriosis infertility was what helped us conceive,” says Sarah. “Nurse Deanna was so excited for me when she found out I was pregnant. We could not have been happier.”
Dr. Santoro was very supportive as she performed my IUI. Once the procedure was done, she gave me a hug for good luck. Sarah
On August 31, 2016, Sarah and Daniel welcomed baby Jordan into the world.
Today Sarah encourages others who may find themselves facing similar infertility challenges to let go of the fear and anxiety that often accompany a visit to a fertility clinic.
“As cliché as it sounds, my biggest piece of advice for others is to just relax,” she says. “You have to have faith, and you have to make the decision to continue to enjoy your life. I honestly wish I had swallowed my fear and pride and started treatment sooner than I did. I wish I’d known how easy it was to just go in and see what the options are.”
Sarah and Daniel now are enjoying the transition to parenthood, despite the many sleepless nights. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” says Sarah. “We are so fortunate and blessed.”