The impact of infertility
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The impact of infertility

The views of young women late adolescence to mid-twenties

Vignette 1: Shauna, age 19

Shauna is a confident university student, engaged to be married. Diagnosed at birth, she learned about TS early on:

  • I can’t separate ‘Shauna’ from Turner Syndrome as I’ve known Turner’s all my life.

In her early childhood she was cared for by others when her mother was often hospitalized with illness. The family moved around a lot and she frequently changed schools. She had repeated hospital stays for facial surgery and other surgery connected with her condition. Shauna always felt supported by her female endocrinologist and other doctors; she gained strength from her parents’ acceptance of her condition and their desire to help her to accept her condition. On the subject of fertility, she feels that:

  • Some people with TS blow fertility out of proportion. We already know, so we have a chance to come to terms with it. We have to get on with it.

Nevertheless her infertility has a distinct presence in her life: Female viagra Canada

  • It was hard for my parents and me when I had my ovaries removed and they had to tell me that I couldn’t have children… I love playing with children and it would be fantastic if I could have children but that’s an impractical want…some things are just meant to be… I am very fortunate that I’ve got nieces and nephews to play with and I love them as if they were my own.

Nevertheless, the sadness of infertility and the efforts to be positive influence her life as a young woman:

  • I am not just the energetic happy-go-lucky person. I feel I’m treading on a tightrope.

In the next vignette Kate, 26, has a different experience of both her syn-drome and the impact of infertility on her life.

Vignette 2: Kate, age 26

Kate is a well-educated, articulate young woman with a smart appearance that covers her struggle to control a body that she distrusts and that she feels lets her down. At times she is physically unwell. Kate was diagnosed at age seven and her parents told her ‘everything’ at age ten. She felt her experience of TS was negatively influenced by having ongoing medical reviews and by the constant pressure to ‘measure up’ to a height increase that her doctor and parents wanted. At school there were always reminders of her different height and body shape. She described the contradiction between being short and infertile yet attaining physical development and periods through female hormone medication, and also the contradiction between her chronological age and her younger physical appearance. Contradictions extended to social behaviour:

  • There’s a struggle between how I am naturally, what I want to be and what I think society expects from someone of my physique.

As a young woman she placed infertility, along with the body and sexuality, in a metaphorical ‘box’ in her mind in order to control and contain her feelings about her physical self. Kate did not find the new developments of IVF encouraging and expressed her viewpoint strongly:

  • I had fertility taken away from me. If the IVF does not work, it will be taken away from me all over again.

Kate thought she could not identify with infertility as a separate issue:

  • The bottom line is Turner’s, its effects and its consequences – it’s not the shortness per se, it’s not the infertility per se, it’s the whole package.

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