I think I might be pregnant. I took a home pregnancy test and...
Dr. Seckin was the first person to ever mention the word endometriosis to me. I was his patient. I was probably 25 at the time and he had done part of his general introductory questions, asked me about my menstrual cycle and asked me if I had pain associated with it, and I said, “Of course, doesn’t everybody?” Asking a few additional questions he basically said, “I think you may have endometriosis." I said, “I’d never heard of that, I don’t know what that is,” and wasn’t interested in going any further because I just thought he was kind of being a little off base. He gave me a prescription for Anaprox and I went on my way.
Fast forward a few years later and the pain kind of got more intense to the point where – I was a practising attorney at the time - I would literally organize or try to organize my deposition schedule, my court appearances around my period because I knew there would be at least one day of the month that I was going to be out of commission. I went back to Dr. Seckin and said, “Tell me a little more about this endometriosis thing. I think I am interested in getting that surgical treatment you talked about." Just about nine years I went back to Dr. Seckin and said, “Look, I think the endometriosis is back. I want to start trying to get pregnant. What do you think we do?” He said, “Let’s go and do another lab." I remember this day very vividly. We did the surgery. He called me up afterward to tell me how it went and said to me that it was back and it was very aggressive and one of my tubes was very diseased. If he knew I wasn’t trying to have a baby he would have removed it. But don’t worry; I think we still have a very good chance of getting you pregnant. Well, I hung up the phone and proceeded to cry. My husband called and I told him the story and he said, “Don’t worry, you know we’ll try." Dr. Seckin gave me three months post-surgery to get pregnant on my own before he was going to – you know, given my age - push me to a fertility clinic.
I went into Dr. Seckin’s office saying, “I think I might be pregnant. I took a home pregnancy test” and sure enough he confirmed it and gave me a high five and I gave birth to my son at age 41. The odds… I knew what the odds were. At 40, generically, your odds of getting pregnant are usually about five percent any given month. With endometriosis it takes it down to close to two percent. Things happen for a reason and I had a doctor who made a point to always bring it up to me. I was the one, unlike a lot of other woman, I was like “Ah, I’m fine. This is what woman do, they have cramps every month. My mom had them, my grandmother had them, you know, this is what women have”. If I was in another doctor’s care my chances of having my son would probably have been zero. Every day I thank God I had a doctor who was aware of the disease, who was aggressive about treating it and aggressive about educating me. He really made an impact in my life in a profound way because I had this amazing little boy at age 41 that I think the mainstream medical profession would have said ‘no way, it’s not possible’ but it is.
If you are getting monthly pain it’s not normal. If you have to take narcotics in order to cope with your daily routine during your menstrual cycle that’s not normal. My sister and I both thought that was normal. That’s not normal. And if that is what you are feeling every month, talk to your doctor. Bring it up and if your doctor doesn’t want to talk to you about it or dismisses it, find one who will. If you are not getting pregnant and you are trying, ask about endometriosis. People do hormone level tests, they do this but the endometriosis treatment seems to get dismissed in the fertility mix.