A decision to tackle fertility issue

Ms Xu Lin Pu had cysts and severe endometriosis and decided to go for surgery because she would like to have children one day.
PHOTO: A decision to tackle fertility issue

For some women suffering from endometriosis, pain is not the only thing they are concerned about.

The condition - in which the cells of the lining of the womb cavity are deposited outside the womb - may also lead to the development of ovarian cysts.

These abnormal fluid-filled growths in the ovaries can make conceiving difficult.

Even if a patient becomes pregnant, endometriosis can lead to a miscarriage.

At National University Hospital (NUH), about 25 per cent to 30 per cent of robotic surgery for endometriosis is done to address the women's fertility issues.

Removing abnormally located endometrial tissue can help restore a woman's pelvic anatomy back to normal to allow the ovaries and fallopian tubes to work better, thus increasing the chances of becoming pregnant naturally.

"Two of our patients with fibroids and endometriosis conceived soon after surgery and delivered babies," said Dr Fong Yoke Fai, head and senior consultant at NUH's division of benign gynaecology.

It was partly for this reason that Ms Xu Lin Pu, 30, an assistant manager at a food and beverage business, decided to go for surgery.

Although she is not married, she would like to have children one day.

"When I was 26 and 27 years old, I used to dismiss my menstrual cramps. I put up with the pain, which was very bad for about three days each time. I would take painkillers and hope it would get better," she said.

But her friends advised her to get it checked.

She had cysts and severe endometriosis and was referred to Singapore General Hospital. There, a senior consultant who heads the hospital's robotic surgery service for benign gynaecological conditions, Dr Peter Barton-Smith, operated on her in August using robotic surgery.

She said: "I had my period last month and there was no pain. More importantly, I hope that when it is time to have children, I won't have any issues."