Doctors still can’t tell me why this happened. They think POF might be an autoimmune disorder—that something in your body attacks your ovaries. But most of the time nothing will show up on antiovarian antibody tests. Doctors asked a million questions about my family history. It turns out that my father had some aunts who never had children, but nobody knew why. That was back in the 1940’s and 1950’s when people didn’t talk about things like that. It’s possible they’d had POF, too.
I wondered if my being on the Pill for so long caused it; I’d been taking the Pill without a break for 11 or 12 years. Doctors assured me that the contraceptives weren’t the reason. But being on the Pill did mask what was happening. I’ll never know at what age my ovaries actually stopped working.
It’s strange to be talking about all this now. Maybe because I carried my daughter, I nursed her, and I quit working and stayed home with her, there is rarely a time I look at her and think about the whole egg donation thing. But I’m talking about it because I want to let other women know it’s not the end of the world. A lot of doctors treat women like me without a lot of finesse, and there isn’t a lot of support. I wish I’d had somebody like me to talk to five years ago.
I want to tell women with POF they can still have a wonderful family. I had to go through a lot to have my daughter, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way: She’s absolutely fantastic.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2007 issue.