A TAMWORTH woman who feared she would never have children because of a medical condition has come forward to tell her 'story with a happy ending', in a bid to give hope to other women.
Amanda and Mark Taylor are proud parents to five-month-old Lucas following IVF treatment.
Amanda (38) spent years suffering the painful and debilitating condition of endometriosis, before the birth of Lucas in October, following IVF treatment at Midland Fertility in Aldridge.
She told the Herald: "I'd like to say to other women suffering with endometriosis, don't suffer in silence, speak to your GP to ensure you are getting the best advice possible for living with this illness, especially if you want to have a family at some point – it may be essential to act sooner rather than later.
"For those with endometriosis and currently trying to conceive, I would say don't give up hope and if it's not happening naturally then speak to your GP about your options before it's too late.
" Endometriosis affects over 1.5 million women in the UK.
The condition means that cells like the ones that line the uterus grow elsewhere in the body.
These cells respond to a monthly cycle and cause pain, inflammation and scar tissue and make conception very difficult.
Amanda was referred for fertility treatment in March 2012 after trying to conceive for six years and following a history of recurring endometrial cysts, for which she had undergone numerous surgical procedures including a partial removal of her left ovary and the complete removal of one of her fallopian tubes.
After a failed first cycle of treatment Amanda underwent further surgery to remove yet more endometriotic cysts.
Following her recovery Amanda and Mark began a second treatment cycle in November 2012 which resulted in the positive pregnancy test that had eluded them so far.
Amanda said: "It had been such a long journey. I never thought I would ever be lucky enough to have a family.
Since Lucas has arrived I feel blessed every day." "Endometriosis manifests itself in a variety of ways so diagnosis can be difficult and often delayed," said Dr Abey Eapen, clinical lead at Midland Fertility.
"Recent research shows that there is now an average of seven and a half years between a woman first seeing a GP about her symptoms and receiving a firm diagnosis.
"Early recognition of the symptoms is vital so women can get a referral for fertility treatment if necessary.
"And there's good evidence that pregnancy following IVF can 'cure' endometriosis so that the woman can conceive naturally again in the future.
"We're delighted for Amanda and Mark about the birth of Lucas and are sure that her story will bring hope to other women who are living with endometriosis."
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