6th September 2013 | by MFC Team
Beating the odds after being diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure
My name is Cole. I’m writing this today because I feel it is important to get my story out there to as many women as possible. To give inspiration to those wanting a family but are suffering from infertility and encourage them to not lose hope. I am 34 years old and had come off of birth control last summer after seventeen years. When I didn’t get my period back after four months my OBGYN recommended I see a reproductive specialist. Upon doing so I was given a battery of blood tests to measure my hormone levels. When the test results came back I was given the shock of my life. The numbers indicated I was POSTmenopausal with diminished ovarian reserve.
My ovaries had stopped responding. I was given the diagnosis of Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) and was told I had a one in ten million chance of being able to conceive. The docs said that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) wasn’t a consideration since my ovaries were unresponsive, and that our best hope for having a family was using donor egg. Devastated, my husband and I mourned the loss.
Not long after my diagnosis, I began researching my condition and seeking out any information I could that might give us some hope. But with every article I read I felt hope slipping away more and more. Western Medicine dictates that there is no treatment proved to restore fertility in women with POF. Most web-sites encourage women with POF to understand and grieve for this loss of ovarian function and to seek counselling if needed.
So I began searching alternative and Eastern Medicine and it is there I found some answers. Shortly after, I found a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor and began weekly acupuncture treatments and taking Chinese herbs daily to naturally stimulate the promotion of estrogen in my body. I also found a slew of other alternative suggestions ranging from herbal supplements to fertility massage, yoga and even castor oil packs. I was willing to try anything! After three months of a steady daily regimen of all the alternative treatments I had my hormone levels retested. They had gone from postmenopausal levels to NORMAL. Two weeks later I spontaneously ovulated!
The reproductive specialist I was seeing said that ovulating gave me a potential window of opportunity to try IVF. He said there were no guarantees that I would ever ovulate again, and that the fertility drugs may not even work, but we could try IVF if I wanted to. This was a very difficult and expensive decision for my husband and I, especially since we’d have to decide right away, as with IVF you have to start as soon as you get your period after ovulation.
As it turned out, we didn’t have to make that decision. During ovulation my egg was fertilized. I was PREGNANT!!! We couldn’t believe it. The doctor couldn’t believe it! But it was true. After a few weeks of being monitored that my hormone levels were doing what they should, I had my first ultrasound. You can only imagine the look on our faces when we found out I am having TWINS!!! My doctor was floored! He wants to put me in a medical journal because of the circumstances.
We now know they are fraternal boy/girl twins, which means I ovulated with TWO eggs! The doctor said my ovaries could very well go back to not functioning once the babies are born, so we are blessed with having an instant family in one shot! Given that twins do not run in our families, I have no doubt it was all the alternative treatments and Eastern Medicine I was taking. It completely turned my diagnosis around in a matter of only three months! Even crazier, my due date (January 20th) will be the EXACT date one year later from when I received the news that I could not have children! Just goes to show you that anything can happen!
Throughout my experience, I had started a blog to share all I was going through and what I was doing in my fight to get pregnant, despite having POF. I had no idea it was going to have such an amazing ending. I constantly have women writing me telling me that my story has given them hope and they are trying all the alternative things I did to get to where I am today. This truly means the world to me as I know what it is like to be given the devastating diagnosis of infertility. I would love to get my story out there to share with other women who are suffering with infertility to instill hope and encourage them to never give up!
You can read Cole’s blog here.
Share your thoughts on Cole’s story in the comments section below, or submit your own fertility story here.