For most women, hitting that time of the month is just an inconvenience that doesn’t really mean much. Don’t get me wrong, we all know what we have them for but you don’t really think about what it means. I’m talking about the fact that with every period, that is one more potential child slipping away.
When a girl is born she will have approximately 2 million eggs in her ovaries… great right? Wrong, around 11 thousand eggs die every month leading up to puberty so by the time you reach your teenage years you have around 300-400 thousand eggs. Still not too shabby… EXCEPT, approximately a thousand eggs die each month. And when you run out, well you run out. Not all women are the same some women have fewer eggs but we don’t have little counters on our pelvis telling us how many we have left.
The average age of the menopause is 51, around 5% of women will experience menopause between 40 and 45 and 1% before 40. Not a lot, except that is still 1 in 100 women. Suddenly doesn’t sound quite so great.
My point is, that whole ticking biological clock is a real thing. And with every period you are essentially losing a child. This might sound dramatic but for some of us it just feels real. So with every period, we grieve. We grieve the loss of a child we will never have. And you ruminate, you spend a good amount of time during that period getting upset and stressing over what is happening to those tiny little eggs inside your body.
It’s hard to understand this unless you have been here. And although I thought I was alone I have recently found out I am not. This is a genuine grief that women feel but we don’t talk about it. The average age for women to have their first baby is 28, well, I’m 9 years beyond that… that is approximately 108,000 eggs. Approximately 108 periods. That’s a lot of babies I have missed out on.
And this is why I am on this journey. My clock is ticking, my eggs are dying, their quality is degrading and my uterus isn’t getting any younger either. So I am here, having bloods taken, spending my spare time looking through sperm bank catalogues and imagining what my future child would look like… if this works. Please, please let this work!