Fertile Thoughts Blogger of the Month: Kaeleigh
Blog address: unpregnantchicken.com
Question for Kaeleigh: What's it like to be a woman in your twenties dealing with Diminished Ovarian Reserve?
Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) is an intense diagnosis at any age. It means that you're biological clock ticks louder than most. That you are factually running out of time. Infertility specialists see DOR most commonly in patients over 35. That's not to say it doesn't occur younger, just that it isn't as common. I was 28. Having a diagnosis of DOR meant that we got fast tracked through treatment in an effort to not waste the precious eggs I had left. Upon diagnosis the actual words out of my doctors mouth were "We will have to be aggressive with treatment. You don't have the luxury of taking a year off to build a bigger house." I was gobsmacked. We had started trying to conceive when I was 26. I was young, healthy, of a perfect weight and had regular cycles. There was no foreseeable reason to worry. Yet, after two years, we got in to see a specialist and it came out that my egg count was low and that the eggs themselves were puny. I had an Antral Follicle Count of 9 on my left and 5 on my right. For my age those numbers should have been 12 on each side. Luckily, my hormones are all still within the normal range so they figure we caught it early. I'm forever grateful that I listened to my gut and sought treatment even when my referring doctor kept assuring me that I was "young" and give it "another year". While I struggle with having a less common diagnosis I think it's become an important facet of my blog. There are many reasons why a young woman may not be able to conceive and there needs to be a place for all diagnoses to be represented in the blog-o-sphere. Seeing other young, healthy women struggle makes you feel less alone. And as a woman in her twenties being told that you may not even have a year of fertility left, you feel very alone. Being open has helped me cope with my diagnosis and learn to embrace the fact that I'm young and have few itty, bitty eggs left. Now the diagnosis is becoming just another part of what makes me me. I like me. So it's ok that this is the hand I've been dealt! Learning to own my diagnosis makes me stronger and allows me to live as my most authentic self. You have to be grateful for something like that.
XOXO, Kaeleigh (aka: Unpregnant Chicken)