Latia Lee started to try to get pregnant in July 2019. Nearly four years and three clinics later, she is due to have her first child in July. As Lee discusses in this episode of Let’s Talk Period on EndoTV with Diana Falzone, advocating for herself and never giving up is why she was finally successful.
“A lot of us get that dreadful, unexplained infertility diagnosis, right?” Lee tells Falzone. “But there are answers. There are solutions. We just have to be empowered and advocate for ourselves and seek the right people to be able to guide us and help us.”
Lee is a registered nurse who suffered from endometriosis for 23 years before finally being diagnosed with Stage 4 endo in 2017. She was 39 in 2019 when she decided she wanted a baby. Lee started with intrauterine insemination (IUI), resulting in a miscarriage and three failed attempts to get pregnant. She then tried in vitro fertilization (IVF), which also didn’t work. Lee was confident she had an immune system issue.
“I literally got my file, found another clinic that was immune-friendly, sought a reproductive immunologist, had some testing done, and realized I indeed had a lot of autoimmune issues,” Lee says. “My body was pretty much attacking my embryos. But it took over two years to get to that point.”
After an IVF transfer at the new clinic resulted in a chemical pregnancy in July 2022, the clinic tweaked Lee’s protocol, and she became pregnant this past October.
Falzone and Lee agree that there is no such thing as unexplained infertility.
“I want to educate women who are going through infertility that there are answers – you just have to seek the right people,” Lee says. “I was with my first clinic for two years. I was with the second clinic for less than a year. It just shows you if you have the right people, if you seek that right information, that you will find the answers.”
Falzone also talks with Lee about investing in freezing your eggs. It’s something Lee says she wishes she would have done years ago.
“I say that now. I say that because of me,” Lee says. “Had I known, I might not have had to use a donor egg. I think especially in the African American community, infertility, in general, is not talked about.”
Lee concludes the interview by talking about the credit her doctor gave her for her persistence in this long journey.
“He said, ‘You’re really intelligent, and I want to hear what you have to say,’” Lee says. “And he also said, ‘It’s not just because of me that you’re pregnant, it’s because of you, because you put in the work and the research and you educated yourself.’”
Latia Lee will be sharing her story at EndoFound’s Endometriosis 2023 Global Patient Symposium (Patient Day) at Lenox Hill Hospital in New Yor City. For tickets and more information on the event, held March 18 and 19, visit www.endofound.org/patientday.