Sunday, October 19, 2014

Resolve: Give Voice

Resolve has some challenges for us bloggers over the next couple months and October is...

Give Voice: During this month, we want you to tell your infertility story. The month of October is dedicated to spreading awareness about the disease of infertility and its impact on your life.

Apparently Resolve has missed all the times I've told my infertility story, you can see it on
the first post on this blog, on the infertility timeline I created, and even on the guest post I wrote for Amateur Nester.  Instead here are two things that I've learned:

#1: I'll admit, as a teenager and a young adult I was ... judgmental of those who chose to pursue infertility treatments.  I thought 'why wouldn't you just adopt?' and I thought about all the lonely children out there.  Now, of course, I realize there aren't a whole bunch of babies in a room somewhere waiting to be adopted, or if there are they are not easily accessible.  In my defense: I was not an infertile when I changed my opinion on this, within just a few years I realized no ones choice for treatment should be questioned.

#2: I thought IVF was only for the "old" set, I thought DEIVF was only for the "older" set, and I thought IVF was mostly successful.  I realize that IVF can be a treatment for a number of different diseases causing infertility, but the success rate is not as good as any of us would like.  It seems there is a set that gets pregnant easily during IVF, maybe the only issue being tubal, and the rest of us who do multiple IVFs with little or no luck.  That was hard to realize and it was hard to comprehend there wasn't a treatment for poor egg quality, but when there wasn't any more emotional reserve to continue I had to move to my next treatment option. 

The cold fact is that all women will, at some point, become infertile.  While I didn't expect to have problems at 30, I also wouldn't have waited until I was 40 to attempt to have a child.  I am an outspoken advocate of knowing your own body.  Don't wait until you are 25 or 30 or 35 to find out how your fertility is.  If I had known when I was 25 that my fertility was fading or had already (I assume) faded, what would I have done differently?  I'm not sure we could have afforded anything or how that would have changed my decisions, but I am positive that my outcome could have been better using younger eggs. 

Without further ado: to check your own fertility you should at the very least request a cycle day 3 FSH test and an AMH test.  You want low FSH (under 5) and high AMH (not sure what normal is, but there are scales, I know under 5 is bad).  If you see any problems with these numbers I would strongly suggest a visit with an RE, even if you are not going to be trying soon.  Knowledge is power and knowing your options or outcomes is half the battle.  The honest truth is that you don't have to want children to get these numbers.  Maybe you're on the fence, maybe you know you don't ever want rugrats, but having premature ovarian failure is dangerous and can lead to osteoporosis and higher risks of heart disease.  Hormone replacement therapy is recommended, and very well tolerated without (currently) the risks that HRT has in older women who are past menopause (cancers, etc).
I wish all of you luck on your own journeys.  May they be easy with no medical complications or failures. 
Ahem, of course I am not a medical professional.

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