Many women affected by lesser known cause of infertility

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 11% of women of reproductive age in the U.S. have experienced fertility problems.

MIRAMAR, Fla. – According to the National Institutes of Health, about 11% of women of reproductive age in the U.S. have experienced fertility problems.

When Lizbeth Alvarez married her husband in her late 30s, the couple realized their desire to create a family faced quite a few hurdles, not the least of which was her age.

“Six months happened, eight months happened and then nothing, so I followed the suggestion of my GYN to look for fertility treatment and we decided to embark on that journey when I hit my 40s,” Alvarez said.

It was through a fertility specialist that she learned she had a condition called Adenomyosis.

“A word that I have never heard before in my life,” Alvarez said.

Dr. Maria Facadio Antero, a fertility specialist with Conceptions Florida, said the condition is considered a “sister” to another fertility risk factor: Endometriosis.

“Under the microscope they look the same. So endometriosis is when the lining of the uterus goes to areas outside of the uterus, so most commonly in the abdomen, the pelvis, the tubes, the ovary. Whereas Adenomyosis is where the same lining of the uterus goes into the muscle part of the uterus,” she said.

Antero said because patients with Adenomyosis are at increased risk of miscarriage during I.V.F. they’re often given a medication called Orilissa prior to starting the process.

“Orilissa is a medication that induces a state of hormonal suppression, so it suppresses estrogen and progesterone, so it puts you in kind of a menopausal state, so that treatment for a period of time is an option for patients undergoing fertility treatment,” she said.

Alvarez began her treatment in October 2020 and became pregnant in July 2021. She and her husband became parents to little Leticia Del Carmen in April 2022.

“It is fantastic. We are beyond words -- totally in love with our baby girl,” she said.

There’s more to this happy ending: the couple has two embryo’s remaining from their I.V.F cycle and are hopeful that Leticia will have a sibling very soon.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.