By: Paige Turner

Debuting author Paige Turner shares her risk of infertility and educates the readers on Endometriosis and PCOS

I pick her up and she places her forehead against mine.  It is as though she is telling me a secret.  Her skin is baby soft and she has all those lovely baby smells.  My friend’s daughter has my heart.  A big piece.  When I am done visiting her, my ovaries twinge as if they are trying to tell me something.

 

Realistically, the twinge is caused by two conditions that are battling within my body, primarily affecting my uterus and cause a high risk of infertility.  In Canada, it is estimated that 7-9% if people are infertile.[i]  This percentage combines sole male issues, sole female issues and combination of both.

 

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines your uterus (womb) continues to grow outside it, and on other organs such as the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. [ii]

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects many aspects of a woman’s health including her menstrual cycle, heart, blood vessels, hormones and the ability to have children.[iii] Although the cause is unknown, what we do know, is that its main problem is a hormone imbalance, which produces high levels of androgens that is often associated as a male hormone.

PCOS is a huge contributing factor regarding infertility due to the role of the lack of ovulation that it plays.  The ovaries typically have tiny fluid filled sacs called “cysts”. The ovary therefore; does not produce all the hormones required for an egg to fully mature and those hormones that they do produce prevent ovulation because they are typically male hormones.

 

PCOS is treated with metaformin (a drug also used for diabetes as insulin plays a role in PCOS, but also lowers the male hormone) and birth control pills.

For women with these conditions, the question often is not “should I have a baby”, but “CAN I have a baby”.  As a woman who suffers from PCOS, I admit I fear being pregnant.  I fear how it will affect me physically and emotionally.  I am plagued with guilt that my reasons for not attempting to get pregnant may be selfish.  Women with PCOS have a higher risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature delivery.  These risks alone can take a toll on anyone.  It is important not to lose hope.  There are alterative whether it is fertility treatments (holistic or medical) and surrogacy.  There is also adoption.  There are many children in this world that deserve love.

 

I am at that age where my mother-in-law would like to be a grandmother where my body fails me, and where I question my own maturity, responsibility, and the ability to possibly BE a (good) mother.  When making the decision, regardless of the path you take, it is important to remember your own health, your reasons for conceiving, and be prepared to take on the challenges that will lie ahead.  Although society tells us to get married, have a house with a white picket fence and children, not everyone is meant to be a parent.  Some chose not to have kids, some have them and cannot keep them, and some are happy with fur babies.



[i] Norris (2001).  Reproductive Infertility:  Prevalence, Causes, Trends and Treatments.  Parliamentary Research Branch Library of Parliament. Accessed on June 16, 2009 from: http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/EB-e/prb0032-e.pdf

 

 

 



[i] Norris (2001).  Reproductive Infertility:  Prevalence, Causes, Trends and Treatments.  Parliamentary Research Branch Library of Parliament. Accessed on June 16, 2009 from: http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/EB-e/prb0032-e.pdf