LAP surgery...can anyone tell me what it's like?


Hi All -

I’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. I’ve been given every test under the sun and they’ve all came back normal. Anyway, my RE said the last “test” they can do is Laparoscopic surgery…to see if I have any endometriosis or anything else going on in there.

Now - I have NO symptoms of endometriosis or any reason for them to think there is anything wrong with any other part of my anatomy (based on ultrasounds and HSG, etc). He just said that a Lap would be the last test to rule out any reason for my unexplained infertility.

So I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it to have exploratory surgery to see if there is a problem I have no symptoms of.

I really don’t want to go under the knife.

Questions for anyone who has had a Lap:

  • What was the procedure like? How did you have to prepare for the procedure? What was your recovery like?

  • Has anyone had an exploratory Lap (when they didn’t suspect anything wrong…) and actually found something that “cured” your infertility?

Thanks for any help.

Summer (aka At the end of my Rope!)


I have had 5-6 laps over the years, and each one has been fairly similar. I have endo, although my first lap was exploratory & to confirm/rule out endo as cause for bleeding and pain.

To prepare: I drink an OTC magnesium sulfate “colon cleanser” mixed with orange juice the day before. I eat light meals until about 4-5pm and then just stick to water after that. I also clear my schedule … cuz you will likley need to be near a bathroom.

Day of surgery: check in. the nurses prep you, check vitals, etc. The anestesiologist comes in just before they take you back and talks to you. Hopefully makes you laugh. Your dr will probably come in and say hi at this time too. they will wheel you into the OR, and your dr will ask you to count back from 100 - I never get past 90 and Im out.

Recovery: Next thing you know you’re waking up. They will probably have made a couple little incisions in your belly that will be stitched and taped up. They will still have you on an IV and give you pain meds and ice. You’ll go into a recovery room for a couple more hours and then go home.

The pain isnt terrible. The worst part is you just feel so tired, and your muscles will be sore. They will pump your stomach with a gas that will take time to dissolve in your body, so its normal to have joint pain for a few days. I also usually have horrible cotton mouth after the surgery, so plan to not eat much and ice cream works great!

You’ll want to take it easy that day and for a couple other days. You’ll have a prescription for pain meds, and you’ll want to take them BEFORE the anesthesia wears off, and take them regularly for a couple days.

That’s the overall picture. I’m sure its alittle bit different for everyone, but if you’re really struggling with TTC, I say do the lap. It will ease your mind at least…in some fashion anyway. Not saying you have endo, but you can have it without having symptoms. A lot of women dont know they have it until they struggle with fertility, and one little lesion is all it takes.

Good luck! Feel free to msg. me if you have any other questions.


I thought I might have endo because my periods were always painful and I would have about 2-5 days of brown spotting each month before AF showed up.
But the REAL driving force behind me deciding to do the lap was that my insurance covered it but not IVF. I figured that maybe it would reveal something that could be fixed and I would be able to conceive naturally. Well, they did find mild endo but felt it wasn’t what was keeping me from getting pregnant. It does seem though that some ladies do get PG after a lap so maybe that will happen for you.
I agree with the prior posters description of the lap. I really didn’t think it was bad at all. I didn’t even need the ibuprofen they gave me for recovery. My scars are barely visible. The worst part for me was probably the bowel prep beforehand (I had to take a laxative and then just drink clear liquids) and the nausea I had after waking up from anesthesia. But lo and behold they had a drug to cure that too and put it in my IV! I wound up having IVF anyway but don’t regret the lap. At the time I felt it was the right thing to do. Good luck with whatever you decide!


I had a lap in July, although I showed no signs of endo other than my infertility. I was shocked to learn that I did have what my doctor called stage 2 endo and one fibroid. I am not “cured” and am going to be doing an IUI soon, but I am glad that I had the lap. At least we found something “wrong.” That sounds a bit strange, but I was glad to have some degree of explanation.
As for the lap itself my biggest problem (embarassing) was the constipation I had a few days after thanks to the pain medication. I will say that I think I overdid it when I first got home from the hospital. I don’t know why, but I had a lot of energy so I did some cooking and laundry. That turned out to be stupid and caused me some additional pain later. I basically did a lot of sleeping for a few days. I had my lap on a Wednesday and was back at work on Tuesday.
As I said, I’m very glad that I did it. We thought we would have to pay out of pocket for the entire thing ($3,500) but my insurance ended up covering part of it because endo was found.
Good luck to you!


Thanks for your posts ladies…this is helpful “food for thought.”


How many days to recover??

Good Morning Ladies - I am also going undergoing lap. soon. Can you tell me how many days it took you to get back to normal (back to work)? I am trying to decide how many days off of work I need to take. I sit at a desk for most of the day. Thank you all for your help.


Hi there-
I think everyone is a bit different as far as their recovery times but I had my procedure done on a Thursday, took off Friday and was back to work on Monday. I also have a sit down job. You may need some time before the procedure if your MD requires you to do a bowel prep and take a laxative. I guess you could still work but you’d want to make sure you were close to a bathroom! Good luck with your procedure!