I was diagnosed with pre-mature ovarian failure when I was 11 years old after my two older sisters were tested at the respective ages of 16 & 14. When it came to be my turn to for diagnosis, the wonderful Doctors all presumed that I would just inherently stumble upon the information from everything provided to our household. What they seem to have forgotten is that I was still an 11 year old CHILD.
In my perception, there were no immediate consequences effecting the life I knew other than I was placed on hormone medication (essentially birth control) when I was in grade 7. To me, it almost seemed ‘cool’ as it made me feel all grown up.
I am now 27 years old, married and slowly coming to terms with what it means to be infertile. Throughout the past 16 years, I have been to countless doctors appointments, faced many side effects and concurrent issues that stemmed from my diagnosis. When I began dating my husband, I knew he was the one and began picturing what I wanted from our future together. I was very open and upfront about my diagnosis but when he started asking more specific questions, I realized how little I really knew about my condition. I began seeing a specialist at Mt. Sinai Hospital, almost two hours away from where we lived. I began the journey of discovering what it meant to have pre-mature ovarian failure, our options for having a family, and what it would all entail.
After speaking with a wonderful Doctor in the women’s unit and explaining some of my history, it was quickly discovered that as I had never started ovulating naturally, my actual diagnosis was Primary Ovarian Failure. I underwent a number of tests and procedures that had been performed over the years to verify results and gather further information. They ran tests that concluded I had no eggs stored in my ovaries (women are born with all of their eggs that are released approx. every 28 days after they start puberty). I was however informed that my uterus was very healthy. I was given hope for the first time in as far back as I could remember; they informed me that since my uterus appeared to be healthy, there was a significant chance that I could carry a child with the help of an egg donor. This was a concept I was foreign to as I had always been under the impression that my only option would be to adopt.
My husband and I have discussed our options endlessly and hope to start the next chapter of our journey in the next few months. We know we will have countless challenges to face and it will be an extreme rollercoaster ride, but we hope it will bring us closer to our dream of starting our little family. I intend for this blog to be an outlet for my frustrations, emotions, hopes and dreams. I recognize the importance of connecting with those who know similar struggles and also hope to support those who are only starting out on their own difficult journeys.