25th March 2021
My name is Kira, and I’m 19 years old. I have recently discovered that my body is working against me. This is my fertility story.
My first question wasn’t why but how? How could I have a low AMH when I’m still young? What is an AMH?
AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone. This blood test provides an idea of what your egg reserve is at that moment in time. Aged 19 I expected my fertility to be in its prime, as it should. Not on the low end of the fertility spectrum and heading towards early menopause. According to my AMH results my fertility was that of someone in their 40s.
What did I do wrong?
I felt isolated as though I was the only person who had been given this shocking news. I was worried that this would be something I could do nothing about. All I could think about was what have I done wrong? How have I caused this to happen?
I was told my AMH result and my future came crashing down. Did this mean I couldn’t have a biological family of my own? I had always longed for a big family and having a house full of children, especially as I came from a small family myself. Would this mean my sister would have the same problem? Had I opened a can of worms for my family?
Where could I find support?
I remember crying and not knowing what I could or should do? Who could I turn to for help? My friends wouldn’t understand or know, I didn’t even understand or know myself as to what this all meant. How could I expect them to support me through something that I was unaware of? How would I be able to explain to family or friends later down the line when I’m ready to start a family but unable to?
Where would I start?
Despite being 19 and an adult already, I felt like I had to properly grow up. I had to make decisions about something I’ve never thought about. I was having to decide about how I wanted to have a baby later in life, at the age of 19. I wasn’t ready or looking to start a family yet. I was nervous about what decisions I was making and how that would affect my future… Would my future partner be willing to go through the financial and emotional worry and stress of Fertility Treatment? Would they understand why I had to store my eggs? Would I even get a good enough quality cohort of eggs to freeze in the first place?
A lot of emotions overwhelmed me and I felt lost sometimes. I think about how I could have gone through the next 10 years not knowing what my AMH was. It could have been too late to have children when I was ready to start a family. I should be grateful that I had the opportunity to find this out and to take action, but at the same time I was upset with myself that I had put a financial burden on my family and myself. I had put emotional stress on myself, my loved ones and if I didn’t know I would not have had to worry about thinking ahead and saving for treatment in 10 years’ time or when I was ready to start a family.
I needed to take action and take control of something that felt so out of my control. I actually felt like it was controlling me, and it was.
I can fix this…
I was in the right place at the right time as I was working at Herts & Essex Fertility Centre at the time. I was able to access information quickly as to what would be the next appropriate steps to take. I was to begin my Egg Freezing journey a couple of months. I would soon start to preserve my fertility that may not be there in years to come.
This sense of control and ability to make that decision helped me to understand what I was going through. My friends came to understand, as did I, that this was not my fault. I hadn’t done anything wrong to cause this and that actually many women go through fertility issues. The difference is some aren’t fortunate enough to know this in advance.
A collection of Kira’s Eggs
Although 1/100 women face fertility problems, my fertility issues were found early enough. I was able to actively change my future and have a chance to have my own family one day.
To be continued…