The silent infertility

You spend all your youth trying not to get pregnant, then when you want to its not easy.
It comes as a surprise that you would face challenges.
Women having children later in life face this dilemma and you didn’t even know until you went looking.

Who knew that when you have found “the one” decided to have a family that your life would be turned upside down and you would begin a journey into a world filled of waiting, not knowing, and becoming a statistic where success rate is a lottery, funding is a postcode and tests just become integrated into your daily life.

What else in the world would you choose to gamble your life and money on, especially when it’s something that is not guaranteed?

When desperation takes over it’s an addiction that not even you have control of.

When you’re a young girl growing up you dream of the “fairytale” meet your handsome prince, fall
In love and live happily ever after.
You assume you will get married and have your own family. You take for granted it’s a given, you might even know the names.
You talk about what they will look like, who they will take after, how your life will be.
It’s accepted that you will be “older parents” but you see the positives in this. You’re more mature, financially more stable, you’ve grown older, more life experiences the list is endless.
All this seems perfectly normal, why would it be any different? Why would you ever think you would be faced with challenges.

Imagine being 34 and being told you have a lower than normal egg reserve caused by ovarian failure. What does that mean? How is it caused? How long has it been like this? The result; less than a 1% opportunity of natural conception.
There are no explanations no medical reasons just “one of those things” unexplained infertility is the medical term.

When you get told something like that it’s like a blow to the head, knife deep in your heart and makes you so incredibly angry followed by why me? Why not I guess?

You feel a failure as a woman, it’s your right isn’t it? if you want it of course. There are days and hours going over what ifs’ but nothing changes it. There is no resolution its not helpful just leaves you drained, more angry and even more unanswered questions.

Sadly on this situation those questions never get any answers.

You don’t need sympathy or words of wisdom just often a little understanding.

How many times has somebody said to you “just have IVF” like its a prescription for a headache and will take the pain away and the problem will be solved.

Why is it so misunderstood? Why as a nation are we misinformed? How are we in a position where if you’re ill you take medication, break a leg and it gets fixed, but infertility is still a taboo subject.

How many women are walking around not knowing anything about there fertility. How many of us have endometriosis and have not had a single symptom? It takes 7 years for somebody to be diagnosed, be which time the damage has been done.

How many women have had to push for testing, researched themselves and demanded more answers? This is the journey, this is what we go through but why don’t we know?

Along my journey from finding out about the low reserve, I found out about endometriosis but not because of symptoms because I pushed for a laporoscapy to look at other areas and there it was. “The hidden fertility killer”
https://www.endometriosis-uk.org
Knowledge is power and we need more awareness that when your in your 20’s your body is more likely to find conception easier but the older we become the more challenging it is.

Should your fertility be tested? Much like you are for smear tests, would this then provide you with choices to make an informed decision?

I know if this had been available to me I would have done things differently, it may have still been the same outcome.

So you get on the roller coaster and you start the journey of IVF.

Little do you know that it’s not always successful.

Endometriosis and how it affects fertility

Endometriosis has been in the UK news this week following a recent study, involving over 5000 women with endometriosis, that has identified 2 seperate genetic variants that may make a women more likely to develop endometriosis.

Endometriosis is more common than you would think, estimated to affect between 6-10 % of women of childbearing age. Because many of the symptoms are associated with menstruation women are often emabaressed to talk about it to their friends, partners and doctors, or  may just put the symptoms down to ‘difficult periods’

Endometriosis is occurs when the cells that line the womb, are found outside the womb as well. No one knows the exact cause of endometriosis. The endometriosis cells then respond to your hormones & bleed at the time of menstruation causeing pain, inflammation & scarring in whatever area they are in.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis ?

Pain is usually the main syptom of endometriosis, often cyclical

  • painful periods
  • deep pain on intercourse or after intercourse
  • pain on opening the bowels

The severity of the pain does not relates directly to the severity of the endometriosis ie a small amount of endometriosis may cause a lot of pain

Endometriosis can also cause infertility and may present in this way.

How does endometeriosis affect fertility ?

Endometriosis may affect fertility in the following ways

  • causing blockages to the fallopian tubes
  • causeing lesions on the ovaries that may interfere with ovulation
  • general inflammation in the pelvis

For more information on endometriosis visit Endometriosis UK

Read more about the new endometriosis study at BBC health