Endometriosis affects an average of 176 million women in the world. Halsey's pregnancy news is a symbol of hope for them.
On Wednesday, Halsey surprised fans with news she was expecting her first child with boyfriend, screenwriter Alev Aydin. The songstress took to Instagram to announce the news, posting stunning photos revealing her baby bump, with the caption, "Surprise!" along with a rainbow emoji. For those who follow the singer's career religiously - aka me - then you're aware of the symbolism behind the rainbow emoji within Halsey's caption.
In 2015, Halsey suffered a miscarriage, telling Rolling Stone she wanted to be a mom "more than I want to be anything in the world." In addition to her miscarriage, Halsey also battled endometriosis, in which she received multiple surgeries for in 2019. Endometriosis is a reproductive disorder where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus and can often affect fertility.
It is painful and affects an estimated 1 in 10 women, usually between the ages of 15 to 49. For those bad at math, that's an estimate of 176 million women in the world. In addition, diagnosing endometriosis can take up to eight years. This will obviously impact the timeline of those wanting to conceive, or are already in the process of trying to conceive.
To understand why endometriosis might pose a challenge, it's important to understand how the reproductive system works. For those who weren't paying attention in health class, let's unpack. For starters, the ovaries play a crucial role in a woman's reproductive system. They are responsible for releasing an egg each month, and the fallopian tubes carry that egg from the ovaries to the uterus.
When either of these organs are compromised by endometrium, it becomes more difficult to conceive and stay pregnant. In a 2014 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was discovered that 15-20 percent of individuals attempting to become pregnant will be successful each month. However, that number drops 2-10 percent for those battling endometriosis.
For many suffering with endometriosis, Halsey's pregnancy announcement is a symbol of hope. Hence the rainbow emoji. After her surgeries, Halsey was initially planning on freezing her eggs. When her doctors explained to her it was no longer necessary, Halsey became ridden with joy.
"I was like, "Wait, what did you just say? Did you just say I can have kids?" It was like the reverse of finding out you have a terminal illness. I called my mom, crying." Halsey told Rolling Stone.
Although many suffer with endometriosis, that doesn't necessarily mean pregnancy is out of the question. Many infertility specialists can offer an abundance of help in that department. Infertility specialists often work with your doctor to determine the severity of your endometriosis and what steps to take afterwards.
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One of the most common options for individuals suffering with endometriosis and wanting to conceive, is freezing your eggs. Because endometriosis affects your ovarian reserve, many doctors recommend preserving your eggs in case you want to get pregnant in the future. The downside to this option is that it's not usually covered by insurance and can be costly.
There's also the option of in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is a process of fertilization where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body. Although it might be a strenuous process, many women with endometriosis have successfully gotten pregnant with IVF treatments.
My mother suffered from endometriosis, and was told pregnancy wasn't a realistic goal. Shows how little her doctors knew, because she eventually conceived my brother and me successfully. Although this might not be the case for everyone, sometimes miracles do happen, as cliché as that sounds.
We only need to look to Halsey to understand how true that statement is.
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