At some point in my life, I'm sure I had normal menstrual cycles. Right? I would never know because I, like so many other highschool girls, went on birth control when I turned 14 years old. In many ways, we were the guinea pig generation Birth control was developed in the 1950s, when many of our parents were born, but it was not widely used across the general population until the 1980s. It only takes simple math to realize that no longitudinal study on the effects of birth control had been conducted before releasing that teeny tiny hormone pill into millions of teenage bodies. Bodies that were still developing.
From age 14 to 24 I took The Pill every day, until I decided enough was enough. My body is generally sensitive to changes and toxins. I travel on a plane, I get a cold immediately. I eat weird foods on vacation, I get an upset stomach that lasts for days. I take medicine or antibiotics, and my face puffs up and whole body reacts. So I decided to go off the Pill. What followed was 4 years without a menstrual cycle.
4 years with no period means my chances for having a baby were getting smaller and smaller. My husband knew this from the moment we entered our relationship. We were practically resigned to the fact that if we wanted babies, we had to start trying as soon as possible! And try we did, month after month, until we finally decided, "We're not getting any younger. Let's see a doctor.
And I'm so glad we did. The doctor took one look at our test results and determined our chances of natural conception were 2%. Out chances of conception with IUI were 4%. That leaves IVF as our only realistic solution. So here we are today, embarking on this incredibly terrifying, completely unsexy and unromantic path through IVF.
I don't want to go through this alone, who would? But you would be surprised at how little candid information is out there about IVF. It is a taboo to talk about out loud - "Why would I share this secret with everyone", "I just want to pretend like I'm normal", "I just want people to be surprised when I get pregnant". All of those reasons for silence make sense, and all are justified. But the more we as women don't talk about these things, the scarier and more isolating this process becomes. Once you open the door to conversation about IVF, you learn there is no such thing as a normal body, a normal pregnancy, or a normal IVF process. Everyone is difference, but we can all learn from each other.
Are you going through IVF?
Know someone who is?
Simply interested in hearing what the process is like?
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