Yep, I still have Premature Ovarian Failure (or should I say Primary Ovarian Insufficiency). I rather call it the first because the "Failure" part just seems more appropriate in my opinion. My ovaries are not working...they are failing or have failed. It's been 10 years now since my diagnosis, yet I can still remember that day like yesterday. I remember the doctor (who I haven't seen since that day). I remember the words that broke my heart. I remember thinking my life would never be the same. I remember that day as the first time I ever heard of "egg donation."
My heart was definitely hurt that day and little did I know, my life would never be the same...but in a good way. While at the time, I thought "egg donation" sounded strange...and scary in so many ways. In fact, I didn't even see it as an option until 5 years later. Crazy that it only took time and some mending of my heart to see that maybe using an egg donor was the answer.
It was the answer for us--though we didn't see it that way 10 years ago. I remember thinking that I was going to try everything in my power to conceive naturally, which ironically I made some significant lifestyle changes (diet, supplements, acupuncture) and did conceive naturally. And that was 3 months after having an FSH of 85 and estradiol levels of 0. Thankfully, we had our healthy baby girl and everything in the world was wonderful. Still had to take HRT because POF was there...but now I had a child who really took my focus away from POF.
A couple years go by, POF re-surfaced. How are we going to grow our family? Naturally conceiving was definitely not happening this time around. POF was in its same state...slight visibility of one ovary but the other was not even seen. Egg donation came up again...so did adoption. We looked into adoption, but when it came down to the 2 options, I really wanted to be pregnant again. Finding an egg donor became our mission and when we found one, we were so happy and relieved to start the process. Unfortunately, that DE/IVF cycle was unsuccessful, and we spent our savings to make it happen. That was it--we couldn't afford another cycle.
While I don't find myself to be extremely lucky, I do at times feel like someone is watching over me. When the doctor met with us over our failed cycle, as he told us that he was disappointed, I never imagined that he would tell us he wanted to give us a 2nd cycle at no charge. While I thank our egg donor for our beautiful twin girls, I thank our doctor as well. POF is definitely not in the forefront of my mind at that time.
A year goes by since our girls' birth and I start to notice my cycles changing while on my HRT. They are getting heavier and longer. Darn you POF...I start to worry. Why are my cycles changing?! Same HRT but different outcome. Six months go by and I decide to tell my OB/GYN. She has another doctor check into it further with an ultrasound. This doctor is clueless about POF. He's saying my lining is too thick especially since I have POF. My doctor was not too worried because I am on HRT which produces a lining similar to someone who has a normal hormone balance. She decides to perform a biopsy on my uterus. Everything checked out fine. Doctor suggests lowering my estradiol dose. Ugghhh, really?!? That dose was making me feel good. We lower it...still heavy long periods. I give up.
Now this month (after almost 2 years of heavy long periods), I have a fairly light period! Nothing really changed in the last month, so I'm not sure why the change. Still on HRT (1/2 estradiol dose for the last year, still on Provera), still have POF. While we are done having children, my focus is to keep me healthy for my children. I want to do what's best for my body, but I'm not sure what's best when it comes to POF. POF is still here. It never left...my focus just changed throughout the last 10 years.