I am now one of those ‘statistics’ when it comes to miscarriage! I one of the four women who have a miscarriage in the first trimester, and I’m also part of the total 1% of the population who experience recurrent miscarriages. Recently I also found out I’m one of the 5% of women who following a D&C (dilation and curettage – the surgical removal of a miscarriage) resulted in a condition called ‘Ashermans’ Syndrome’.
With these odds I should really be entering the lotto right?
Unbeknownst to me, the D&C process, which involves scraping the uterine lining, can cause scar tissue, which can result in missed periods, future miscarriages and potential infertility. Well I got the jackpot!
I’ve had four miscarriages, and two D&C’s. My D&Cs were recommended by the doctors and nurses, and particularly after one particular miscarriage where I ended up in hospital multiple times with haemorrhaging and blood infections. It seemed the best way to help my body recover from the loss, and to move through a painful experience both emotionally and physically.
Little did I realise that in taking this ‘surgical short cut’ I was actually not helping my own situation, and I was potentially removing all hope of ever conceiving naturally again. There were no warnings prior to the procedure, the doctors gave me the standard script, but there was there mention of potential creation of scar tissue which could in fact lead to infertility.
Months after my D&C my periods still had not returned. Prior to this I was experiencing a regular 28 day cycle and now each month I experienced severe period pains (more painful than my past periods) but nothing, no period. After several months I knew something wasn’t right and I met with my specialist who sent me to an ultrasound and scheduled a hysterscopy. They found some retained tissue (leftovers from the miscarriage) and I was told to wait a little longer. A few months later, still nothing, and again I went back. It had now been 7 months since my last period and naturally I was concerned. I still wanted to conceive a baby, and yet I couldn’t even get back to a normal cycle to even consider restarting. It was then suggested that I try some hormone medication for 10 days (Provera) which is aimed to induce a period. After another two months, still nothing.
I have now passed the ‘due date’ for my lost baby, and I’m being referred to an Ashermans’ specialist. The lining on my uterine is not thickening which means that my body is not menstruating, ergo pregnancy right now is not an option. It may never be.
I feel I need to warn other women out there, those who have had D&C’s and are experiencing lighter or more painful period pain, or those who may be experiencing nothing at all, no periods, just like me. Please don’t hesitate and follow through with your investigations quickly. I hope that my own condition can be managed, but had I known the risks in the first place I may have taken different options throughout the miscarriage.
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