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Painful periods=infertility????

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ever since I first got my period when I was 13 it has included very severe cramps. The only time I didn't have cramps is when I was on the pill. We have been ttc for about a year now with no luck.

Are painful periods more often than not associated with infertility?
post #2 of 11
I don't have much experience in this area, but I think painful periods can be do to fibroids in the uterus. Has your doctor checked for this?
post #3 of 11
Your history is a RED FLAG for endometriosis. Endo can cause infertility issues and you probably need to get to a reproductive endocrinologist to check it out. Be sure the RE treats you for the possible Endo (even if your insurance doesn't cover infertility, it will cover endo). I had a lap a year ago and spent the following 6 months on Lupron to induce a mini-menopause.... and almost a year to the day after my surgery ( and with the help of fertility drugs) I got pregnant -- and with twins.

My regular OB was totally unhelpful and I started trying to conceive at 34 -- I am 37 now and finally pregnant. If time is not on your side (like it was not on mine) don't waste any precious time with an incompetent or unsympathetic doctor.

Good luck!

post #4 of 11
I agree 100% with Kathy. If you have been trying to conceive for a year, then you absolutely qualify to be seen by an infertility specialist.

I had very horrible periods from my very first one at 11--I won't bore you with the gory details...but the pain was awful. I was finally able to conceive 2 children with the help of a fertility med (Clomid) and progesterone suppositories. By the time I was 34 and want to try for baby #3, I was suddenly diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (post menopausal).

I am so grateful that I did seek treatment fairly quickly and was able to have my 2 kids. We later adopted a daughter from China, which is also wonderful

Don't panic yet--just make an appointment ASAP to check out what is going on with you. It could be something very simple to fix.

Lisa in California
post #5 of 11
I needed to let you know something that may change your life! Have you consulted a chirorpactor? Almost 100% of my women who had painful menses have a reduction in pain, or elimination of pain entirely. Most of them, their cycles become more regular and often women find chiropractic helps them emmensly with fertility. Here is a link that may explain it a little more for you. http://www.echiropractic.net/nclumbars.htm

Low back neurology controls the reproductive organs. If you have a subluxation there it can cause all the symptoms you are describing. It sure wouldn't hurt to check it out!
post #6 of 11
Chiropractic adjustments may help, but if you have endo (and your pain is a classic symptom) the only thing that is positively shown to help is lap surgery to remove as much of it as possible! Find a specialist, you don't want just anyone doing that kind of surgery because they can make things worse for you in the long run.

Any pain needs to be addressed by a doctor. If your doc tells you it's a normal part of being a woman, RUN, don't walk, to a different doctor! So many of them just don't take us seriously.

Kathy is so right about everything she said. But her experience with Lupron was very lucky! There was nothing mini about the menopause it put me through, not to mention other side effects that have still not gone away three years later. Please do lots of research before agreeing to any sort of treatment. But I was able to conceive after finding a specialist who removed massive amounts of endo from my insides.
post #7 of 11
I was very luck with the Lupron. I have another friend for whom the 6 months on Lupron is practically the only time in her life she felt 100% good -- everyone else I know who did Lupron (including a woman who was on it over 2 years) had from mild to really bad side effects from the treatment itself.

Be sure and find out all your options. B/C (not tri-cyclic) can be a very effective way to reduce the pain of endo, however it is obviously very counterproductive to getting pregnant.

I also have PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome) and because of all these factors as well as my age and the fact that I would be doing artificial insemination (my DP is female) choose really aggressive treatment to maximize my chances of pregnancy.

Not everyone would make the same choice -- and I might not have 10-15 years earlier. (Although another friend in her late 20's just found out she's already gone through an early menopause and she thought she had plenty of time....)

After failing to conceive with home intracervical inseminaitons, we were able to conceive with IUI supported by fertility drugs.


What is right for you is YOUR choice.


post #8 of 11
Fibroids are possible, too. 3/4 of all women have them, but only some of us lucky folks : feel the effects. I had very painful and long periods, too, and several miscarriages, all laid at the doorstep of my very voluptuous fibroids (some are bigger than others. Mine have grown to melon-size.)

Go to a doctor about it now. Do not pass go, do not collect ... etc.

- Amy
post #9 of 11
Hi Kathy,
I was interested to read that you had a friend who has gone through early menopause like me. You might want to turn her on to 2 websites for information and support.


That was the first website I ever visited--I had never been online till I discovered I had Premature Ovarian Failure (also called early menopause). It is great and helped me so much.

the second is:


I am actually a moderator at the infertility and parenting board there! It is a great site for info on HRT and support. There is also a wonderful book that was a godsend for me, called "The Premature Menopause Book" by Kathryn Petras--she might want to check that out.

Take care,
post #10 of 11
The first test you should ask for--and even a regular gyne or midwife can arrange it--is ultrasound. It's virtually risk-free and will show many of the likely types of problems: endo, fibroids, ovarian cysts, strangely shaped or positioned organs, etc. If it doesn't show anything, then you will have ruled out many possibilities in one simple test.

Good luck!!
post #11 of 11
Endo vary rarely shows up on ultrasound, because it is the same density as the tissue around it. The only way to know for sure one way or the other is to have laparoscopic surgery.
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