doctor in this story
facility in this story
Summerlin Hospital Medical CenterLas Vegas, NV
I am a healthy 23 year old woman & was married in June of 2013 to the man of my dreams. Shortly after being married we decided we were ready & excited to become parents. We threw out all methods of contraceptives & began trying to get pregnant. I did research, charted my menstrual cycles, used ovulation predictor kits, & tracked my daily basal body temperature each month. Yet month after month we were met with failure to conceive. After a year of trying my OB/GYN Dr. Christina Nguyen recommended some testing. I had all my hormone levels checked & a hysterosalpingogram test performed to make sure my uterus was a normal shape & that my fallopian tubes were both open. All tests came back normal. My husband had 2 separate semen analyses preformed to make sure that his count, motility, & morphology were within normal parameters as well. His tests came back normal as well.
I told my doctor that I had extremely painful periods with very heavy bleeding & asked if that could be a cause of my infertility, she said no. So we started an infertility medication which helps the woman's body produce more eggs at ovulation, thus increasing our chances at becoming pregnant. Not surprisingly, after 2 rounds of the medication (and over 60 days) we still did not have success. I began researching possible reasons to explain our infertility. I kept coming back to the condition called endometriosis. I was convinced that that was our problem. So I sought out a new doctor, Dr. Bruce Shapiro, he did not believe that I had the condition. I then sought out Dr. Geoffrey Sher for a 3rd opinion. He thought I could have the condition, but in his words, “if I did have the condition, it would be so minor it would have no effect on my health.” Discouraged, I sought out a 4th opinion from Dr. Mark Severino, he did not believe I had endometriosis either. It was recommended by 3 doctors that I proceed with a procedure called IUI or intrauterine insemination to increase our chances at getting pregnant. The procedure was covered by my insurance but medications were not & cost upwards of $1,000 per try. I was hesitant to spend that much money on a procedure that was not determined to be necessary. I wanted to know the reason behind my infertility before we started throwing money at the problem. However no one believed me.
After a few months of careful consideration of our options, & hours of research done on my part, I decided to seek out a 5th opinion. I was sure that this time I would find a doctor that believed that I had a medical problem, endometriosis, & that it was causing me pain & interfering with my ability to have children. I sought the opinion of Dr. Julie Goodell. After I explained to her all my symptoms & told her that I thought I had endometriosis she simply dismissed me saying that, “if [I] had endometriosis [I] would be vomiting from the pain every day, & having bloody stool daily. The desire to have children wouldn't even be a priority because all I would be able to think about would be the pain that the endometriosis was causing me." This was difficult to hear because all my research suggested that the endometriosis came on in stages & the amount of pain was not an indicator of the severity of the disease.
However after that 5th opinion I decided to go forward with not one but 2 separate rounds of IUI costing over $2,000 & taking over 120 days to complete. Sadly enough, after all that time & money spent on infertility treatments, that were not necessary, we were still not pregnant, & still did not have any answers as to why we were unable to conceive.
Following our 2 IUI failures I decided to seek out a 6th opinion, that of Dr. R Mark Turner. I printed out references from the Mayo Clinic, the CDC, & the National Institutes of Health all backing up my conviction that if I had certain symptoms I could likely have the disease endometriosis. However when I got to my appointment none of those references were necessary. I told the doctor my symptoms, without having to prove anything, & he simply believed me. It was as simple as that. Someone finally believed that there was something wrong & was willing to help me. The treatment my doctor & I decided to go forward with was laparoscopic surgery to diagnose & remove endometriosis. The surgery was performed without any problems. I was diagnosed with stage one endometriosis. The doctor removed all visible scarring & lesions caused by the endometriosis & gave me a clean bill of health.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, women who undergo surgery to remove endometriosis are met with a 41% increase in pregnancy rates within 6 months following surgery. And sure enough, within just 2 months following my surgery & diagnosis for endometriosis, I was finally pregnant with our first child.
I am now happily 20 weeks pregnant with a precious baby boy & I owe it all to my doctor, Dr. R Mark Turner, for listening to his patient, & giving me the treatment I needed.