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ENDO HELL

Crippling endometriosis means I can’t have a baby until I save up £3k for major surgery

BATTLING debilitating endometriosis, Tanya Barad's dream of becoming a mum may be well and truly over.

The 29-year-old, from Solihull, West Midlands, has been given only a 50/50 chance of having children after being diagnosed with the agonising condition ten years ago.

 Tanya was first diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 19
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Tanya was first diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 19Credit: BPM Media

And ever since, Tanya has been plagued by "depression" and "worry" around the fact she may never be able to have kids.

Desperate to conceive in the future, Tanya is hoping to raise £3,000 for surgery that could potentially help her have a baby.

She is now sharing her story in a bid to raise funds, as well as awareness for her condition.

Tanya said: "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 ten years that I may never be able to start a family.

 Tanya is hoping to raise £3,000 for surgery that could potentially help her have a baby
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Tanya is hoping to raise £3,000 for surgery that could potentially help her have a babyCredit: BPM Media

"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."

Endometriosis, which affects one in ten women, is caused when tissue from the womb starts to grow on other pelvic organs.

As well as extremely heavy periods, the illness can cause crippling pain and sometimes infertility.

Tanya had symptoms of the condition throughout her teenage years and was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 19.

 Tanya is facing the stark reality she may never be able to have children
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Tanya is facing the stark reality she may never be able to have childrenCredit: BPM Media

From then on, the condition slowly ripped Tanya's confidence from her - and took its toll on her relationships, her job and her future.

The endometriosis awareness campaigner told Birmingham Live: "Endometriosis is something which impacts every part of your life.

"It affects how much energy you have, which then affects 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."

Endometriosis is something which impacts every part of your life

Tanya Barad

Tanya admits the condition also affected, and continues to affect, her sex life with her partner given how much pain it causes.

"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", she added.

However, the thing Tanya has found the most difficult is the fact she may no longer be able to become a mum - despite having "pretty much assumed" as a child she would grow up to have kids.

 Tanya has had three operations to remove the painful endometrial tissue that has been growing in other places around her body
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Tanya has had three operations to remove the painful endometrial tissue that has been growing in other places around her bodyCredit: BPM Media

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

Following the heartbreaking news, Tanya went on to have three surgeries to remove the painful endometrial tissue - lining of the womb - that has been growing in other places around her body.

However, there is no NHS funding for surgery that could potentially help her have a baby.

Tanya is now hoping to raise £3,000 for ovary freezing treatment - which will give her the chance to preserve part of her ovary which will help her chances of fertility and ease menopause in the future.

 Endometriosis causes tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb to grow outside the womb
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Endometriosis causes tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb to grow outside the wombCredit: Getty Images

The NHS covers this "fertility-saving" surgery for cancer patients but not for endometriosis.

Tanya said: "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.

 Tanya is hoping to preserve part of her ovary which will help her chances of fertility and ease menopause in the future
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Tanya is hoping to preserve part of her ovary which will help her chances of fertility and ease menopause in the futureCredit: BPM Media

"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."

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.

Despite this hope, Tanya's endometriosis continues to impact on her mental health.

She said: "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.

Symptoms of endometriosis

Endometriosis is where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body.

Each month, these cells react in the same way to those in the womb - building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.

That can lead to infertility, fatigue, bowel and bladder problems, as well as really heavy, painful periods.

It affects one in ten women in the UK.

Symptoms include:

  • Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Chronic pain
  • Infertility
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Fatigue

The cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no definite cure.

According to Endometriosis UK, it takes over seven years on average for women to finally receive a diagnosis.

It's estimated that up to 50 per cent of infertile women has the condition.

Source: Endometriosis UK

"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."

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

She added: "Living with endometriosis really sucks."

You can donate to Tanya's fertility fundraiser here.

What is Endometriosis? Medical video explains disease with affects 176 million women worldwide
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