Joy of baby number two after Clair has surgery

Clair and Darryl Victory happily cradle the baby their feared they may never have,Doctors told Clair, 36, that she had less than a five per cent chance of conceiving naturally due to the severity of her endometriosis.

Clair was diagnosed with the condition at 15, after suffering from such severe bleeding that she was hospitalised. She had assumed that her heavy monthly bleeding was a normal part of puberty and she carried on with life as normal. It was her mother who helped her understand that this wasn't normal and she should seek help. Her GP diagnosed the contraceptive pill but doctors told her the only real treatment was a hysterectomy and that she should consider having a baby early.

As she was only in her early 20s and wasn't in a stable relationship, she was keen to find alternatives so that she could retain her fertility. She continued to take anti-inflammatory drugs and the combined pill and managed to push the issue to the back of her mind, focusing on building a career in the travel and tourism industry.

While working in Turkey with her job, Clair fell in love and married work colleague, Darryl Victory. Keen to have children, Clair came off the combined pill and tried for several years without success to get pregnant.

With the pain becoming unbearable, Clair decided to have IVF to help her conceive. After the first attempt, she was astonished and delighted to find out that she was pregnant.

After a very painful pregnancy, Clair gave birth to a healthy baby girl in August 2004. However, her initial joy turned to despair when her bleeding became so severe that she had to be taken to hospital and was once again advised to have a hysterectomy.

Angry and depressed, Clair researched gynaecologists on the internet and decided to ask her GP to refer her to Mr Ashwini Trehan's clinic at Spire Elland Hospital, a national centre for advanced endometriosis care, in Halifax.

An examination in August last year revealed that she had severe endometriosis of the bowel, bladder and recto-vaginal area.

Clair had the cyst removed via diagnostic laparoscopy and was also told she was suitable for a new technique called "total pelvic peritoneal excisions surgery". This involves the skin containing endometriosis covering the pelvic structure being removed. Clair underwent surgery in October 2009.

Mr Trehan explains: "The operation for endometriosis, especially for extensive disease is one of the most difficult, demanding and complex gynaecological operations as it can affect the bowel, bladder, ureter and large vessels which feed other organs of the body.

"Many surgeons would advocate hysterectomy and ovarian removal for such severe cases of endometriosis, but I am a real believer in helping women to retain their reproductive organs wherever possible by employing a new type of excision surgery."

Within a month of surgery, Clair felt like a different person. After 20 years of pain and suffering, she felt in control of her life again. Within just a few months of surgery, she fell pregnant naturally.

James was born without surgical intervention on September 7, 2010, weighing 6lb 7oz.

"I feel blessed and I only wish I had the surgery sooner. James is another little miracle and we can't believe how lucky we are.

"He is a very good, smiley baby and I am determined to be the best mother that I can possibly be. Looking back, I didn't realise just how debilitating my illness was.

"I thought that I was coping well, when I was actually spiralling into depression. My husband had to look after our little girl as I was often in too much pain to move.

"This is the first time in 20 years that I am free from my dependence on clinical drugs. I feel amazing and can't wait to enjoy family life to the full."

CAUSE OF ENDOMETRIOSIS

Endometriosis affects about two million women in the UK and is a condition where cells that usually line the womb are found elsewhere in the body. Some women may not suffer symptoms, but for others, the pain can be crippling.

The Spire Elland is one of only a handful of private practices in the country recognised as an Endometriosis Centre.

Excision treatment can help cure or improve pain and at the same time avoid the need for hysterectomy and/or removal of ovaries and improve the chances for those who are trying for pregnancy.