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I have a bit of an odd question--I cannot find any info online or here in the forums on this specific possibility.

So, I had my j-pouch surgeries (series of 3) done laparoscopically in 2019 because of UC (and beginning stages of TMC.) After reading up on the surgeries, I came to the conclusion that I would struggle to conceive...mainly because of the research stating that the surgeries reduce fertility by up to 50%.

(Just a sidenote: the ONLY published research on this only looks at OPEN surgeries, which is a major gap that should be fixed, imo, especially since most people having J-pouch/IPAA surgeries now have them done via lap. Too bad I am not a doctor, researcher, or scientist.)

Anyway, my husband and I accidentally got pregnant right away to our surprise in 2020, only months after my takedown surgery. We had a healthy, routine pregnancy, and I had opted to have a C-section because of the risks to the pouch (my surgeon had told me to have a C-section, but I'm still a bit unsure about that decision.)

We now have a beautiful 14 month old daughter. We started "trying" (loosely, I am not temping or using OPKs or anything, just natural signs of fertility and an app to track ovulation) around her first birthday. After conceiving our daughter so easily, I feel sure at this point that something must be wrong this go-around. I have regular periods and am not breastfeeding (and I am only 26), so my question/worry is this:

Has anyone successfully gotten pregnant the old-fashioned way after their IPAA surgeries...only to suffer from secondary infertility later? If so, were your problems eventually connected diagnostically to adhesions from the J-pouch surgery? Is it possible for the adhesions to cause no problems the first time around but to cause problems later?

I am aware that it is early on in the TTC process and all that--BUT with my health history, I like to be prepared for any oncoming disaster. The reason we started trying so soon after our daughter's birth was because I felt SURE we would have problems this time, and, well--you never know what is going to happen in a few years. Health isn't a guarantee. Autoimmune diseases tend to show up in groups...and I really wanted my daughter to have at least one sibling to grow up with.

I have made an appointment with my OBGYN, but I figure he is going to refuse to do any tests until at least 6 months. (It is 6 months for people with our surgeries, 1 year for someone my also a bit worried he'll make me wait the whole year, even though I know something must not be right.) I'd really like to have an HSG or something similar to check on the state of my tubes. Other mom suffered from subfertility, and I was conceived via IVF. I grew up hearing about how painful her 5+ years TTC were for her, and I have always been afraid of having to go through that myself. My husband is also Catholic...and is morally opposed to IVF...if there are adhesions, then IVF may be the only option. Obviously, there are lots of things that will have to be discussed and considered, and I just....needed to vent my fears I guess.

I think it is one of those things...if something is wrong, then I'd like to know asap so I at least won't have to spend months getting my hopes crushed. It would just be good to know where we are at in there. We are so blessed to have our daughter. I just never imagined we would only have one.

Does anyone have an experience with this particular issue? Or, if not experience, perhaps some research or information?


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