Woman battling endometriosis can’t have baby until she raises £3,000 for surgery

A 29-year-old woman who dreams of one day having her own family is facing the stark reality she may never be able to have children.

Tanya Barad when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 19.

A decade on, the 29-year-old from Solihull has been through three painful surgeries and has been told she has only a 50/50 chance of conceiving.

She is now desperately fundraising for the new ovary freezing treatment she has been told could give her a chance at having a baby in future.

The endometriosis awareness campaigner is also opening up about her personal health battle to raise funds in hopes of helping other women who suffer from the agonising condition.

Tanya told Birmingham Live she 'pretty much just assumed as a child that I would grow up and have kids' but now faces the chance of never having the future she's always wanted.

She has had three surgeries to remove the painful endometrial tissue (lining of the womb) that has been growing in other places around her body but there is no NHS funding for surgery that could potentially help her have a baby.

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She said: " Endometriosis  is something which impacts every part of your life. It effects how much energy you have, which then effects what kind of job you can have.

"It affects your relationships, not just with your boyfriend but with your friends because you can't go out a lot of the time because you're not well. It can affect your finance, pretty much if there's anything it can affect it, will affect it.

"I found out that I had a 50/50 chance of having kids when I was 19 and for the last 10 years I have had a constant state of worry and depression around the fact that I may never be able to have children.

"I have looked into having some sort of fertility procedure before, the main one was looking at egg freezing but it ended up being quite a large procedure that would interact with the medication I'm on currently.

"The ovary freezing is a new type of surgery that has now become available to endometriosis patients at Birmingham Women's Hospital. Unfortunately, the NHS won't pay for this for endometriosis patients.

"I will be using this treatment for fertility treatment so that if in a few years time I have not been able to conceive naturally, they will be able to put younger eggs back into my body.

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"The other good thing about this treatment is that I can use it as a treatment for endometriosis so when I go into menopause I can have a natural version of hormone replacement therapy by using the ovaries of my current age as a treatment for the future."

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus.

It is a relatively common condition, primarily affecting girls and women of childbearing age. It is less common among women who have been through menopause.

It can cause painful or heavy periods, and may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems.

Approximately 1.5 million women in Britain live with endometriosis.

While it is a long-term condition, for which there is no cure, treatments to ease symptoms are available.

More information from the NHS is available here

The potentially childless future for Tanya has taken it's toll on her mental health which has begun to affect work.

Tanya raises awareness for her condition and was featured as one of Birmingham's 30 under 30  this year.

"My mental health goes up and down, I've had some really bad depression and was on anti depressants for a few years now which does help but it can be hard to keep optimistic," she told BirminghamLive.

"I usually do an annual charity ball to help raise awareness but I just had to cancel it cause I'm physically not well enough.

"There are two sides to my depression. One is just being in pain, is depressing, but the other is the constant worry I have had for 10 years that I may never be able to start a family.

"That's where this surgery comes in, since it's been an option my mental health has been better about the future and it's been a massive relief."

You can give to Tanya's fertility fundraiser  here.

Why does Tanya have to pay for her surgery?

Tanya claims that her condition is not well supported and said that she had never been offered the surgery in the last 10 years she's been diagnosed.

Although, she has had three different surgeries to remove her endometriosis making this one her fourth in the last decade.

She said: "Living with endometriosis really sucks. This will be my  fourth surgery in the last decade  to remove endo and adhesions. I get good days and bad but it affects my job, energy, life and especially my relationship as being intimate can really hurt and that puts strain on a relationship.

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"I'm back at the pain point now where I'm cautious about where I go out to, what I wear is dependant on swelling or pain and generally it's just impacting my whole life.

"I've had  three laparoscopy excision surgeries so they remove any endo or adhesions they find."

Her new surgery will give Tanya the chance to preserve part of her ovary which will help her chances of fertility and ease menopause in the future.

Tanya is now trying her best to raise funds for the cost of the treatment as her condition does not make her eligible for the treatment on the NHS. The NHS covers this 'fertility-saving' surgery for cancer patients but not for Endometriosis.

The ovary preservation procedure costs around £3,000 but Tanya is aiming to raise £6,000 as she pledges to give additional funds to Endometriosis UK, a charity that have supported her through her journey and also support 2 million other women suffering from the condition across the UK.

The NHS has been approached for a comment.

What support is available for endometriosis patients?

The Government discussed work place support for patients with endometriosis in October this year. Members of Parliament said that the country needed to do more for women with endometriosis in providing flexible working and look for cures. 

In the debate,   Labour MP for Barnesly East, Stephanie Peacock  said: "One in five women will suffer from this disease, and it has been shown that, as that story shows, it can take up to seven years to convince a doctor. That is completely unacceptable.

"We have an issue in this country with what has been called the gender pain gap. We need to put more money into research and funding to look at proper cures and support for women when they need it most."

The discussion also dealt with the way the condition is assessed for women who are unable to work because of the chronic pain and other associated conditions.

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