A friendly resource for women who want to lead better lives

Reader Question: Did you suspect you might be infertile?

Occasionally, we get questions from readers through our “Ask a Question” page. As a teacher once told me, if one person asks a question, there is probably someone else who’d like to know the answer. So, I’ve decided to post some of the questions and answers for those who might also like to know! We hope to be open with you all, so please feel free to ask away!

Question

Dear Lemonwater,

What a classy, straightforward, intelligent and feminine blog you have! Thanks for sharing so honestly.

I’ve been reading Mary’s posts about infertility and adoption. I have always been curious about adoption, and have felt drawn to it my entire life. But I’m nowhere near ready to be a mom, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever decide to be. But I’ve always felt that if I were to decide it was time for motherhood, I would seriously consider adoption.

Then, when I was about 20 (I’m 26 now) it hit me that maybe I wouldn’t be able to give birth. Maybe my body would decide for me. Ever since then I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that I am infertile. Just a feeling that God has filled me in early, so to speak. Also that he has been leading me to the option of adoption all along.

Based on what (very) little I know about infertility, there is no physical evidence for this supposition. I have regular periods, although I do have a long history of unexplained pelvic pain. Every article I read about infertility says to “think about seeing a doctor if you’ve been trying for a year.” What if I’m curious now? Or do I need to wait until I can’t conceive to find out? What kind of doctor would I consult?

Did you suspect you might be infertile? Or have you met anyone who said they had an inkling?

Is adoption something that people only do after failing to conceive? Is the process different for those who have the choice of a biological or adopted child?

Thank you so much for your time, which is volunteered for the benefit of us (your readers). We appreciate it. 🙂

Sincerely,
Emily

Answer

Hi Emily,
Thanks for your email. I love the way you said you have an inkling you might have infertility, even though you haven’t actually tried to conceive. I actually felt exactly the same way as you’ve described.

When I was in my early 20’s, I felt very drawn towards adoption and I always thought I would adopt some of my kids. I was never drawn towards the idea of being pregnant and it actually seemed kind of weird to me. However, conception is generally the natural first step towards growing a family, right? When that didn’t work for me, I was neither surprised nor disappointed. I did feel like I was missing out on parenthood, but not the pregnancy experience. So, the choice to adopt was easy for me to make.

Adoption is not only a choice for people who cannot have biological children. I know plenty of people who can have biological children, but chose to adopt. I know lots of families who have a mix of both. I think growing your family is a personal decision and requires you to do what your heart tells you. The process is the same no matter your situation. And, despite rumors to the contrary, I never had an adoption agency ask me if fertility played a role in my choice to adopt.

If you are curious about your fertility now, you could speak to your OBGYN about it. You may be referred to an infertility clinic. There is a process where they can test the quality and quantity of your eggs, as well as a variety of other things. However, I must warn you that I did all of those tests and everything came back normal; so be aware that the tests may not always predict infertility. Additionally, none of the tests or fertility treatments were covered by my health insurance, so it was a big expense to us.

I understand that it is becoming more common for women your age to freeze their eggs so that they do not have to worry as much about a timeline. I don’t know that much about it, but I do know a few people who have done it. Not sure how you’d explain that on a first date, but it could alleviate some concern if you have a desire to have biological children.

Good luck with your quest. I hope you’ll keep me posted!

Mary

Hi Emily,

I too had the feeling the I was infertile. Through my teenage years I had irregular periods, an under developed ovary and ovarian cysts. My doctor put me on the pill at 13, then again at 19 to treat these issues. The feeling I was infertile was so strong I had told my family about it, and even asked my family doctor if she could help me find out. She told that without trying to get pregnant, I shouldn’t be worrying about it.

Three years into my marriage I got pregnant. It was a complete and absolutely joyous surprise. I had always wanted to be a mother. Then, about a week after learning I was pregnant I started spotting, a few days later I had a miscarriage. I was 7 weeks along.

This was devastating, and it fed into my feeling that although I may be able to conceive, I may not be able to carry a baby.

It took an entire year for me to feel ready to even consider starting a family. But once I was there I got pregnant pretty quickly. The first few months of that pregnancy I was very scared and anxious. I was able to breathe again after the first trimester had passed, but then had unexplained bleeding at around 24 weeks. In the end, and after a trip to the E.R. and a week of bed rest, everything was fine. I carried that baby to term (my son), and then another one less than two years later (my daughter).

I always want to trust my gut feelings, but in this case they were wrong.

I hope you are able to find peace of mind somehow, worrying is never good. Good luck and thanks so much for reading!

– Olivia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: