Year after year I purposely delayed starting a family. Wasn’t married, didn’t have money in medical school, didn’t have time in residency, wanted to travel and enjoy carefree living, etc. Until one day, at 35 years old and still using my long-expired (8 years old!) Mirena IUD, I thought to myself, “At some point, I had better start working on this baby-making thing”. Full disclosure, I was absolutely terrified at the thought of giving up my comfortable “Dual-Income No Kids” lifestyle. I’m sure many can relate. But with my late thirties approaching at full speed, I knew my clock was ticking.
After 13 years of progesterone IUD bliss, I decided to have my Mirena removed and “just see what happens”. I started taking a prenatal vitamin, bought my first box of tampons in over a decade, and waited for aunt flow to resurrect. Four months later, I found myself still waiting for some sort of sign of fertility. Hmmm? I knew it can take time after stopping hormonal contraception for a cycle to restart, but my mother went through menopause (premature ovarian insufficiency) at age 31, so I decided meet with a gynecologist to get an opinion. Lab work showed I did not have premature ovarian insufficiency, but my estrogen was at a postmenopausal level. Maybe it was the eating disorder I had back in high school or perhaps it was the 28-hour shifts in the intimidating ICU during residency? For whatever reason, my ovaries decided to take a reproductive hiatus without ever asking me. Thanks ovaries.
New home, new job, and now six months later, it was time to talking treatment options. The Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM), an international leader in fertility medicine, came highly recommended. From the moment I walked into my complimentary informational seminar with CCRM Minneapolis, I knew I had found the perfect place to entrust my family’s future. Following the seminar, I picked up the phone and scheduled my initial consultation.
I will be sharing my personal journey with fertility (or lack-thereof) on the blog over the coming months in the hopes that it will help other women going through something similar and to start a conversation about infertility. Did you know that about 60% of couples conceive with no medical assistance, but about one in eight couples struggle within fertility. About 12% of women in the United States have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. If you are dealing with fertility issues, you are not alone.