WRITTEN BY SHAY MCDOWALL
I kept hearing the words over and over again. Breast implant illness. It was a new topic of discussion but yet I couldn’t stop staring at the symptoms. It was like riding the vortex. A sickening and uncontrollable feeling going around and around as I focused in on a list of symptoms that I too was experiencing.
My breast implant journey began at 18 years old. I was naive and young and had done minimal research. If I had heard of the risk then that I know now then you wouldn’t have been able to pay me enough money to have breast surgery.
I never really fell in love with my breast implant surgery.
They never gave me the self confidence that it is thought women seek when they undergo breast surgery but then again I am not 100% sure what reassurance I was after in particular. The years went by and my implants became apart of me. I adapted to them. They didn’t define any part of me but I was completely comfortable with them. In 2014, we effortlessly conceived our first child. It was then my health went down hill.
The daily routine turned into a daily struggle.
When our daughter was born there was always a topic about sleep. People would say ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. I truly out-slept the baby. My body could not function through a full day. I was absolutely exhausted.
A year went by and although my body was struggling to keep up I didn’t know any other way. I powered on. I had put myself last over and over again that I blamed my chronic fatigue on motherhood. The more symptoms that hit me the more I began to question my condition.
The one thing I knew for sure is that I wanted another baby.
A sibling for our daughter. I longed for this and I assumed with our previous effortless attempt that I would never have difficulties with conception. I was wrong. Countless attempts of trying and we were disappointed time and time again.
Being a passionate health advocate myself meant I tried every holistic approach I could find to assist us on our secondary conception journey. After a year of failed attempts it was time to seek medical assistance. Our GP referred us to a fertility clinic.
We underwent multiple tests to pinpoint what was going on in my body. My body was no longer ovulating. My body was exhausted. I knew in my mind how deflated my body felt in the past years but I could never come up with an explanation. I am a healthy woman that looks after her body! I regularly visit a naturopath and have no background of illnesses so why was my body destructing!
The only way my body would ovulate was with the assistance of letrozole. We failed to conceive after several attempts on the medication when my specialist thought it would be beneficial to perform thorough blood testing during each stage of my cycle.
The progesterone in my body was plummeting and we were losing our babies.
Without knowledge of a fertility specialist we would have never known just how hard my body was try to fight despite our best efforts. When we closely tracked my cycle using both letrozole and progesterone we had success. We were pregnant for the first time in over 18 months of trying.
I had a significant bleed around 5 weeks and was advised to push through until 8 weeks. It was in those unknown weeks that I held both true fear and hope. I knew my body was tired but I remained optimistic for our baby. We did go on to have a healthy pregnancy and delivered our second baby girl. I hoped the worst was over.
After going through placenta poisoning at 5 months post-partum I knew it was time to put my body first. I was done. These were the warning signs my body was giving me. It was time to listen to my gut and believe that my boobs were causing me breast implant illness.
My breast implants must go!
I made the brave decision to remove my breast implants and it was in that moment that I knew this would be the best decision I have ever made. My doctor confirmed the very thoughts I had. I had a sillicone leak along with chronic inflammation of the cells.
When I was shown the photos of my breast implants you could visibly see the capsule created around them. Pure poison. My body was trying to expel this and I feel nothing but relief that this is no longer apart of me.
Your bodies immediate response to a foreign object is to fight it.
All implants are ‘foreign bodies’. A womans body reacts to the introduction of this object by forming a capsule of scar tissue around the implants. Breast implants cause toxicity in the body in several different ways. First, they engage the immune systeme and eventually overwhelm the immune system causing dysfunction and failure. Immune system dysfunction leads to auto-immunce symptons and diseases. The bodies natural way of detoxification is inflammation along with fatigue from the prolonged effort of fighting.
Imagine your body trying to function with a regular, ovulating cycle in the midst of dysfunction, failure and inflammation.
My breast implant illness was causing secondary infertility.
It was clear why my body was struggling to conceive naturally. Imagine if women choosing to get breast implants knew they could be compromising their chances of conception. I didn’t know this. Women deserve to know the truth. They deserve to know each and every one of the risks involved with breast implants.
I’m now a mother of two girls and I will always endeavour to raise awareness on breast implant illness.
I am on the other side, I am healing and implant free but I do not wish this upon anyone. It doesn’t matter about the brand of implants, the surgeon or where you when. It is based on how your body reacts to a foreign body living inside of you.
You can read more on Shays journey at Embrace Bliss & Grace