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At the top of the year, Kandi Burruss decided to try her hand at the in-vitro fertilization process. The reality star has been quite vocal in the past regarding her desire to have another child. At 38 years old, she was ready to take the next major step with her new husband, Todd Tucker. Prior to exploring alternative options such as IVF and IVI, the couple tried to conceive the old fashioned way, but after nearly two years of unprotected sex with no success, they sought medical attention.

“We weren’t trying to prevent it for a couple of years, and nothing was happening,” Burruss said speaking of their pre-IVF experience. “You know how you kind of hope that you’ll do it on your own, luck up, and it just happens?”

Testing eventually revealed the source of the problem: a uterine fibroid.

“We realized I had a fibroid—a big one—inside the cavity of the uterus where your baby would implant,” said the reality star.

Uterine fibroids are the most common “benign lumps” (or tumors) that grow on the uterus and in some cases, these growths can cause complications with conception. Thankfully, if needed, these tumors can be surgically removed. And if no other causes of infertility are evident and all goes well, meaning no other complications are present, the couple should be able to conceive. Burruss underwent surgery to get rid of the fibroid in the cavity of her uterus, and somewhere between one and two months later, opted to try in-vitro fertilization to increase their chances of conceiving.

“We decided to do IVF because this is my last year in my 30s, and I wasn’t trying to keep trying without any results or whatever. We decided to go for it with the IVF treatments. We started in February/March.”

The singer’s first IVF attempt was a success. She’s currently 24 weeks pregnant.

“Luckily for us, it was a blessing, and we actually had success with the first IVF treatment,” said Burruss. “It takes a couple of months for you to go through the whole process of injections, retrieving the eggs and all of that stuff, then allowing them to put them back in and praying that they take. One of our eggs took.”

Identifying fibroids as a possible source of infertility is half the battle for a percentage of women living with the benign growths, but for others, it’s merely the beginning. For some, the fight against fibroids can be a trying, emotionally draining and painful process, and in rare cases, fibroids can grow back rapidly, drastically hindering chances of conception.

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