I know for a lot of women (and let’s face it men too) worry about fertility at the best of times even without health issues and stomas of any kind. But there isn’t much information on those that have stomas, I can obviously only talk from a woman’s perspective but if there are any guys out there that would like to talk about your experiences with fertility and having a stoma please get in touch as I would be really interested to hear from a guy’s perspective.
So this if any of you don’t know is my second viable pregnancy; my first pregnancy I had with a jpouch and undiagnosed pouchitis flares, polyhydraminos (excess amniotic fluid) and immense scar tissue pain (this was only worked out once I had had my caesarean). I had a miscarriage two months after my ileostomy was formed but they didn’t think it was due to my surgery. Then this one I am 32+6 so for the sake of a day we will say 33 weeks pregnant or 8 months. I have just this week signed papers to go ahead with another caesarean as I am suffering with the scar tissue pain again plus musculoskeletal issues around my hips and lower back.
I am walking, writing proof that you can get pregnant naturally with an ileostomy as long as you have been told it is okay to do so by your surgical team. Unfortunately there can be underlying issues which can cause low fertility or infertility such as complications during surgery or health issues that haven’t come to light yet. In fact with my jpouch surgery I was told my fertility would drop by up to 25% but at the time my ex and I couldn’t have cared less which since he is now an ex it was a good thing pregnancy didn’t happen. But that and the fact I was having the pouchitis flares – not that we knew that is what it was – is probably why it took nearly two years to conceive Ra-Ra. In fact the obstetrician who did my section said it was a miracle that I conceived to begin with let alone carried full term.
This time round has definitely been easier for me, my fertility must have found a level footing because I was told to wait until I had had a period after the miscarriage before trying again I fell pregnant in the October. So my ileostomy has done wonders for my health but my fertility too (I do believe there is a link between being healthy like body healthy not eating/exercise and fertility) Obviously this is my personal experience and unfortunately doesn’t work for everyone, although believe me I wish it did. I have had less complications yet we never found out why I had the polyhydraminos with Ra-Ra. Although saying that Baby Button does like to use my intestines as a pillow which gives me some corkers of partial blockages. I say partial because if I jiggle around enough baby moves and the output starts to move again. I am upset that I had to ask for a section but I just know I cant cope with another 7 weeks but 4 seems more manageable, it wasn’t too bad the first time around as I always knew it would be a section from the get go, but this time I had a birth plan written and everything.
I have written several posts now on my personal blog about my pregnancy from finding out to what I will be in my caesarean/stoma hospital bag which are all under the category momostomy .
I feel like if having children is something that is playing on your mind then please go to speak to your stoma nurse and they should be able to suggest other specialists etc that will know your individual case and be able to better advise you. But as much as it is a stupid and infuriating cliche however is probably true; the dreaded “don’t stress or overthink it and it will happen”. Now 00Steve had made plans to change jobs meaning he would work away etc we fell pregnant, then we were focused on my recovery from surgery and lastly I wanted to try and get back into running! So they may not be big plans to others they were definitely big enough to preoccupy my brain from stressing about my fertility.
If you have any questions you can either drop me a comment below or message me via my Facebook page Colitis To Ostomy and I will do my best to answer, obviously things to do with my personal experience will be easier to answer, but I will try regardless.