My Premature Ovarian Failure Story

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Disclaimer:

This post is in no way to pity me or to scare you but more of my experience with Premature Ovarian Failure and infertility. How and when did I come to know of diagnosis, the signs and symptoms of it? Remember not every case of any disease presents itself ditto as in medical books or medical websites (I know you must have googled many). I being a doctor, myself, not in my deadliest of dreams thought I would have it.

Read this post as an awareness of Premature Ovarian Failure through the mouth of the one living with it. Don’t worry I won’t bombard you with heavy medical lingo but only the chronological series of my signs and symptoms.

Let’s get started! (It is going to be a long read. Grab your tea, coffee or water :D)

premature ovarian failure

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Premature Ovarian Failure

Doesn’t scare you after reading it, right? How about I say Premature menopause or early menopause in your 20s and 30s? Now this sounds scary, isn’t it?

Statistics say Premature Ovarian Failure occurs in 0.1% (1 in a 1000) women between the ages of 15 and 29, and 1% (1 in 100) women between the ages of 30 and 39. (DAMN!!! Why am I the unluckiest ‘1’ in 1000? But I would love to be the ‘1’ to conceive despite this ovaries-eating disease. Oh and btw I am 29 and going to be 30 soon)

Puberty

Normal. I had my first menses at age of 12 with 4-5 days of bleeding. Normal breast development, appearance of hair besides scalp (its normal location). Menses were regular but always on earlier side on Days 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 but never late.

End of my teens

Till age of 17 everything seemed to be normal. Then I think my master gland (pituitary) decided to live on its own terms without taking me into consideration.

Twice a year my menses shifted from its regularity gradually (REMEMBER- GRADUALLY holds the importance). I shoved it off by saying it might be due to stress of academics. I did underwent screening to rule out PCOS and yes I was elated I did not have it because I was not overweight, I did not have dark pigmentation anywhere. (Lesser I had known I was going to have worse than PCOS)

Did not spare my skin and hair

My skin! Why, Why, WHY? It is already eating up my follicles and above all attacking my skin. Hirsuitism (facial hair growth) even before I touched 20.  My parents had spent thousands for my laser treatment for hair removal. I had my blood screened for all the hormones before the treatment. Apart from DHEAS and testosterone, everything was normal (Another proof of NO PCOS). I still have excess hair growth but less worse than before. 

Acne! I hate you even now you crop on my face every now and then even The Body Shop products cannot rescue my skin from your peril.

My hair! What can I say, let it be!

Came the age of 25 (when I got married)

MY MENSES WENT BERSERK SO QUICKLY IT FREAKED ME OUT. 3 months no sign of PMS or spotting. I was sure I wasn’t pregnant, nevertheless I took pregnancy test which was negative (I was sure about). End of 3 months, comes the use of sanitary napkins without using any pills. ( I saved many bucks during those 3 months. LOL)

I darted the delay due to post-marriage stress 😛 . On a serious note, my menses were almost regular for 2 years.

Age of 27

Hormones. Checked. Follicular study. Done.  Only one follicle enlarged in one ovary and ruptured by 18th day of my cycle (which should have rang the bell of something ‘serious’, but we never anticipate for the worse, do we?) Nah-nah.

Age of 28

BANG! No menses for 5 months. No pregnancy. With WORSE PMS as if now, now the bleeding would start but nothing. My skin became so dull and the unhealthy look made me mad and angry (I didn’t have anyone or anything to blame on) despite of healthy eating habits. Trust me I had cut down junk foods drastically, restricted to once a week.

This time I had to take pills because it was enough.

Recheck of all the hormones. Done. Normal. Again except for FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone).

FSH to Ovaries: “RELEASE THE FOLLICLES, YOU! I AM TRYING SO HARD”

Ovaries: “DO NOT PUSH ME. I AM ALREADY TIRED.”

Uterus: “HELLO, YOU TWO! I AM WAITING SINCE SO LONG TO GROW A TINY HUMAN BEING WITHIN ME. Your fight is doing no good. I weep every month, well, not every month as you do not allow me to even weep.”

Me: “I am tired you guys. I am tired.”

Age of 29

We were labelled with ‘Primary infertility’ (Biggest impact) couples since second year of marriage. We had started planning by the end of first year but never conceived.

Hysterosalpingography. Done. Patent tubes.

Follicular study. 1 follicle. No growth. Ruptured prematurely. No conception (Not a surprise!)

Antral follicle count on Day 3. 2-3 dormant follicles only in one ovary. POOR RESULT.

FSH level. High.

Final test to confirm Premature ovarian failure

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone). Bull’s eye for my diagnosis. Very very very low count.

Chances of conception with my own (if) remaining eggs – negligible.

Clinical suggestion – IVF with donor eggs.

Me (inside my head): “NO! NO! NO! No, no, no…”

Premature ovarian failure: “You have no other choice.”

Me: “I will never let you take control over my life.”

Image designed: Canva

 

 

 

 

5 Years of Sharing, Caring, Fighting

5 years ago, this very day H and I got engaged. Oh my! I looked beautiful. I can say this, can’t I? 😉 because I had never groomed myself earlier. That day and my wedding day are special days in my life (and the days between them were tug of war and still are! LOL). I had never dreamt of living with a soul for this long. I still can’t believe I have spent 1825 days of my life with H.

Initial days after marriage were stressful, A LOT, trust me. I guess most married couples must have gone through those tough days. Now my bit sane and rational mind says it is not what you go through but how you deal with it that matters. I haven’t changed myself for H neither I made him to change for me. This I understood much after the difficult phase of my life when ‘separation’ and ‘divorce’ were the only words stuck within me.

I kept myself busy in work to overcome the situation. For the matter of fact, I started ignoring which was not the solution. But work kept me sane. The only way I found peace within me and the relation was – giving up expectations. Yes, the expectations which I had set for him and for me. I never or haven’t given up on us but only the ‘expectation’- the parasite of any relationship.

Pleasant surprises came along my way when I stopped expecting ‘a lot of things’ from him.

I am finding many insights from the book I am currently reading – ‘Committed’ by Elizabeth Gilbert as I said in my previous post. I am not accepting word to word said in the book but I can relate with most of the survey and facts she has mentioned in the book. This post will be too long if I start talking about the book. I shall write a detailed post about my thoughts on it once I finish reading. I am quite happy that I haven’t found it dull rather interesting. Its just been 4 days and I am half way through the book.

I am ending this post by sharing the engagement day pic, 7 April 2012. Happy Engagement Anniversary to me. Cheers to our fights and loving days!!!

engagement, marriage vows, love

Our Engagement Day

©kohleyed7

Image created using Canva
Credit: Image of golden rings

I had a nervous breakdown

Warning: This post starts with a depressing note but could end with a happy note.

Friday evening 6 pm:

I came back from work, entered the empty home as always. I kept down my handbag and groceries and headed to freshen up. As soon as I saw my reflection in the mirror I broke. I don’t know why and how but I cried and sobbed. I felt as if the reflection is not me. Have you ever felt the same? I questioned myself looking in the mirror. I couldn’t shout but my anger came out through the gritted teeth.

It lasted for 5 minutes and I calmed down. After the downpour of tears I knew exactly why I broke down. I had kept them inside me for too long.

Secondly I was in pain, I am in pain. I am talking about physical one. Since few days I am having severe cramps in my back and lower abdomen. My abdomen is bloated as if it would burst. It was a great struggle traveling and sitting at workplace. I couldn’t share my pain with anyone, ANYONE. Why? I might be PMS pain. It means one more month passed by without getting pregnant. It was a relief that H is out of town otherwise I would have to bear the pain without showing it through my expression.

The pain reached its limit on Friday and half of Saturday so much so that I don’t even remember how many times I filled the hot water bag just to get some relief. I did not take any pain relievers. Hoping, simply hoping what if the pain is not of PMS but a sign of implantation. But does it hurt so much? Can anyone share or guide me through your experience?

I slept through most of the Saturday morning. I needed it. I have been eating healthy foods still the pain won’t budge. Let me tell you hormones and healthy eating never goes hand in hand. Hormones are their own master. No one can rule over them. Even medicines after certain period of time can’t handle them. And mine have become overpowering to control them.

Reading has become my ultimate distraction from the pain and the overall ‘getting pregnant’. I have been loving solitude more than ever now. It is agonizing that even the beloved ones do not understand my suffering. Yes ‘infertility’ is a ‘suffering’.

P.S. I like you’ by Kasie West rescued me from falling into nervous breakdown. I read it in 3 days (the fastest time considering balancing work life and home chores). I couldn’t keep it down. My mind couldn’t take off the book, telling me to finish reading it. The story line is predictable but the narration, the words exchanged between the characters and above all the letters and the lyrics (both are my weakness). A handwritten note or a letter can never be compared with a text or an email even though the later are faster to send through.

One of my favorite line from the book which appropriately suits my current life situation:

“I feel like if I hold things close, never share, then I never give anyone the opportunity to judge me.”

P.S. I like you‘ was the first book I read by Kasie West and now I am eager to read her other books.

The book reminded me of another favorite of mine which also has songs in it. This led me to hear the song  Maybe Someday – Griffin Peterson again.

I am all set to read ‘Committed’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, the sequel to ‘eat pray love‘ which I read 6 years ago. I had loved it. The book sparked my reading journey again which had taken a halt due to my studies and graduation.

Ending this post with the quote shared in ‘Committed: A Love Story’ in the very beginning.

I said I would end the post on a happy note 🙂

queen victoria quotes, quotes on marriage, marriage quotes, quotes in committted book by elizabeth gilbert