I’m not sure if most women suffer from this thought, but I can say that for most of my sexually active life, I have had this overwhelming fear that I was going to suffer from fertility problems and not be able to bear children. This fear was not founded in any fact, nor did I ever investigate it with a doctor because from my experience the only times a doctor encourages a woman to better understand her fertility is when the woman seeks out a fertility specialist and a) is trying to get pregnant or b) is considering freezing her eggs.
So at the age of 36, after years of fertility fears, you can image how scared I was when I decided to book an appointment with a fertility specialist for an egg freezing consultation. After getting several recommendations from friends, toiling over which one to go to and stalling at every chance I could for fear of the news, I finally decided to go with a doctor at NYU Langone. Deciding on NYU Langone and deciding to finally freeze my eggs were two of the best decisions I have ever made.
Not surprisingly, my anxiety was quite high with fears of the worst up until the day before my appointment when I finally resigned myself to the fact that what will be will be, and that I would at least find solace in knowing the news. That morning I woke up, prepared to learn that I couldn’t have children (or that it would be near to impossible) and to the contrary I learned from some blood work and an ultrasound that I was in amazing health and a great candidate for egg freezing. Holy Moses! Talk about taking some weight off my shoulders. Two months after my consultation I decided to move forward with the procedure and, thankfully, ended up harvesting quite a few eggs, which made me a very happy little laying hen.
Overall, I realized a great deal during this process which I would like to expand on at a later date, but one of the most important things I realized is that I wish I had much more information earlier on about my body, or rather that my obgyn had discussed fertility with me and how I could better understand mine. I can recall countless conversations about condoms and birth control pills and other ways to prevent pregnancy (and STD’s), but I can’t ever recall a conversation about understanding, examining or preserving fertility. I know that doctors are not gods and they can’t predict the future and that the fertility tests I took as well as the harvested eggs don’t guarantee anything given the other variables involved. However, I also believe that some information is better than no information, and thus, I hope that annual exams in the future will be inclusive of fertility education versus just preventative tactics.
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