I started early

Myth:  You waited too long to have kids.

When I started the infertility process, I thought I might have a few problems, as I had some gynecological issues throughout my life, but we assumed I was fine. After all, we started trying to have a child when I was in my early twenties. Infertility isn’t something that arrives on your doorstep according to age. It’s not in a box for you to open on your 35th, 40th, 45th birthday.

At 23, I was undergoing an infertility workup. By 25, I was pursuing IVF. Yes, my husband was older, and had a number of issues, but some of the infertility issues were mine, even in the middle of my peak childbearing years.

While infertility is hard at any age, it’s very difficult for those in their 20’s. Your peers are either just starting to have children or not quite ready yet and it’s hard to impress upon them how much this process impacts you. Strangers believe you have time, you just need to wait, but you don’t want to wait anymore than the woman who is trying to conceive in her thirties does.

I was lucky enough to get involved with infertility support groups when I was cycling, but often felt judged, like the other women resented my presence. It took a while to impress upon them that I too deserved to be there, no matter my age.

It’s harder to be younger, because it’s a common belief that you shouldn’t have any issues in your 20’s. When you do share that you have problems, people encourage you to give it time. Time doesn’t always help, and in our case, continuing to wait damaged our chances even more.

Please don’t assume that people waited too long, and that’s why they can’t have children. Many women experience primary ovarian failure at a young age, other people have issues unrelated to age. Starting a family is such a personal issue, and when they start or didn’t start doesn’t always matter in their fertility story.

Learn more about NIAW

Learn more about infertility

2 thoughts on “I started early

  1. I think when you are young, you have to work hard to be taken seriously in any aspect. I know I did. Not everyone gets to/wants to spend their 20’s partying.

    Thank you for sharing.


  2. this is too true.

    i found out at 23 i could not have children. i will be 26 in 2 weeks and i had a total abdominal hysterectomy 3 weeks ago.

    people told me it would be fine, it was too early anyway, just ‘wait it out.’

    psh. i love what you wrote here. too true.


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