This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.

Episode 106: Excruciating Period Pain that Led to an Endometriosis Diagnosis

For some, infertility is a complete surprise, but for others, they know going into it that they might have trouble conceiving down the line. The latter situation is common for those who are diagnosed with endometriosisPCOS, and other conditions that may lead to infertility. These diagnoses absolutely don’t guarantee a negative impact, and each condition is treatable. Fertility troubles or not, endometriosis can cause serious pain in your everyday life, a topic we will get into with this week’s guest.  

In this episode, we hear from Andrea Ford about her experience with an endometriosis diagnosis, and how having access to fertility coverage enabled her to make better decisions about treatment. While more research is needed,  Dr. Colleen Casey discusses current treatment options available for endometriosis, and explains core fertility testing options such as PGT-A and PGT-M 

We also hear from Andrea how she was able to afford treatment through employer sponsored coverage from Progyny.  

Guest: Andrea Ford 

Expert: Dr. Colleen Casey, Center for Reproductive Medicine  

Host: Dan Bulger 

See RESOLVE’s website for fertility advocacy resources in your state and Progyny’s Talk to HR page for assistance in requesting coverage from your employer. 

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast pageand Progyny’s Education page for more resources.  

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcastand use the #ThisisInfertility.     

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at thisisinfertility@progyny.com. 

Here are some highlights from this episode: 

Andrea’s Experience with Endometriosis
9:28 – 11:25 

Andrea Ford: So, I’m having a lot of pain; pain while going to the bathroom, pain just sort of in general. It had really started around my period, but then that pain would last throughout the month, and it was pretty uncomfortable. I laugh, but it was not great. So, I pursued it with my primary doctor first, and then she had referred me to an OB. That OB really had talked about when I described my symptoms, just the pain that I was having. She really said, I think this might be endometriosis and sent me to a specialist who read my chart. He looked at me, and the first thing he said was, ‘I hear you’re in a lot of pain,’ and I just cried. I literally just started crying. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, somebody gets it.’ I ended up having survery and it was much longer than it was supposed to be – about three and a half hours. I was diagnosed with stage three endometriosis, which means that things are starting to connect to other things. So, my ovary was actually connected to my abdominal wall. At that point, I would say maybe two or three months later, when I’d kind of healed, I felt like a new woman. I was like, well, this is what this is supposed to feel like, this is amazing. So, I think that was a big turning point for me of realizing that there’s so many women that just have no idea that they have endo, and that just kind of put up with the pain. 

Host

Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.

Guests

Andrea Ford, Infertility Advocate

Andrea is a Research Scientist in the Special Education Program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Her research interest is in adult-child interactions for young children with language learning disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder. She recently welcomed her first child!

Dr. Colleen Casey, Center for Reproductive Medicine  

Dr. Casey joined the Center for Reproductive Medicine in 2011 after working several years at a private practice infertility clinic in the Twin Cities. During her fellowship, she was awarded a T32 National Research Training Program in Reproductive Medicine to support two years of her research on how hormones relating to obesity alter reproductive potential. She has presented that research at numerous national and international meetings. Dr. Casey is an active volunteer in the profession, serving several years on the Advisory Council of the Minnesota Chapter of ACOG since 2010, and on the District VI ACOG Legislative Committee. She lives in Lake Elmo with her husband and two young children, where she enjoys her free time running, knitting, reading and spending time with her family.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Jahzzar
Track: Curves
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/ 

Track: Main Square
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/ 

Track: Joke
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/ 

Artist: Kai Engel
Track: Brand New World
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/ 

Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: Easy Life
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/ 

Track: Small Steps
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/