Blog about having premature ovarian failure and trying donor IVF with my sister's eggs

Recently a 17-year-old pulled a knife on a 40-year-old man on a train in Melbourne. A witness in one newspaper story referred to the 40-year-old man as an ‘old man’, saying she was surprised he was able to overcome his attacker.

Crikey – an old man? He’s the same age as me. I’m not surprised to hear he restrained the younger whippersnapper as most 17-year-old boys/men are as skinny as flynn compared with grown men, unless they’ve been working out or their voice broke at 10.

I am fitter, stronger and healthier now (thanks to my yoga teacher and Chinese doctor) than I was at 25 when I drank more, smoked and ate takeaways.

Apparently I also look younger. Many people say I look around 30 – how weird is that?  It is even weirder given that my defunct ovaries have put me into early menopause. This is also the case of a friend of mine who also has premature ovarian failure (POF). She is in her late 30s but looks like she’s about 25. Our hair is its natural colour, we have minimal wrinkles and our jowls still firm and uplifted. You would think the opposite would happen…

But to start with being diagnosed with POF made me feel like an old, old woman. I grieved for the loss of my periods and my youth. All the pictures of women on menopausal sales products or educational material looked like they were 65+. At the bone density testing place not a woman under 75 was to be seen.  I couldn’t see anyone going through menopause who looked like me.

As POFers are in the minority it makes sense to depict menopausal women as older. But coming to terms with my condition has made me hyper-aware of the perceived age of everyone around us – whether they be young men and women, or much older men and women.

It may sound like I’m getting hung up on age but when your ovaries stop working miles ahead of everyone else’s you tend to feel a little sensitive about your age.

Are there any readers out there with POF who also look way younger than their years?  Perhaps all the energy that is usually diverted into ripening our ovaries is instead being sent to our faces and decolletages?


Comments on: "Ovaries or over the hill?" (3)

  1. Thanks for you comment on my blog, it put me in touch with yours which I was very grateful. I am 25 with POF, but people have always said I looked younger. In my teens usually. That must be a benefit. I have not had my bone density test done yet for the lack of money and time. How important is it? What should I be aware of?

    • Hi Earl of Court, thanks for your comment.

      It’s good to hear you are a young looking POFer – this is definitely a glass half full moment!

      I was diagnosed with POF when I was 36 which I found really hard to deal with but now I feel mostly fine about it – partly because I know I have taken the steps I need to to stay healthy and strong.

      One of those steps was going to see an endocrinologist to get my hormone levels fixed up. I did this off my own back after I’d done some of my own reading. Incredibly, none of my GPs (in the UK and Australia) or IVF docs, or the gynaecologist who diagnosed me in the UK told me I should do this.

      The risk of not getting checked out by a endocrinologist and getting your hormones topped up if it’s needed is that you could get early osteoporosis – I had signs of this starting when I had my backbone scanned last year. You may also be living in a depressed fog of anxiety, insomnia and listlessness because of your depleted oestrogen levels . I had about 4 years of insomnia and anxiety. My GPs gave me anti-anxiety meds and sleeping pills – it was hellish. But my endo fixed everything up straight away by putting me on HRT.

      There’s lots of anti-HRT press (it causes breast cancer etc) but I think living a good quality of life and staying strong is more important than the cancer risk. Also my Chinese doc and other literature I’ve read says HRT is fine for woman like us as our bodies expect to have higher levels of oestrogen at our ages. The risk of cancer with HRT apparently goes up once you get past around 50 – when our bodies would normally begin to go into menopause.

      To find a good endo you could use copy and paste the URL below which is a site which rates doctors.

      Let me know how you get on 🙂

      Barren Lazza

  2. I’ve often been told I look younger than I am. I’m 36 now and could maybe pass for… 28. When I was in grad school at 32-33 people thought I was 25. You think that’s really it? This is the price we pay for looking young? I’d trade in a heartbeat.

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