Mar 2021

The Barren Truth 

  • By: Samantha Denäe

Defined by Merriam-Webster, barren is “not reproducing, such as being incapable of producing offspring – used especially of females or matingsnot yet or not recently pregnant.” This term and more importantly, the emotion behind it are what many women experience today especially when living with Endometriosis, the leading cause of infertility predominately in Black women, yet it’s not being discussed much.  

When I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, I was told my fertility had been cut in half and I needed to decide on what my next steps would be. Most physicians I saw would suggest having a baby in that moment considering my age in addition to the Endo, but I wasn’t ready to be a mother just yet. There was so much pressure on having a baby that I couldn’t even focus on the fact that I still had to learn how to manage my Endometriosis. Three years later I discovered that I could not naturally conceive a child due to complete tissue scarring in both of my fallopian tubes. I was devasted. For years I thought I did not want a child of my own, but hearing those words shifted my perspective. So now what? How can I have the baby that I thought I never wanted and now physically cannot have? Although I have always wanted to adopt, having a child of my own was still a want of mines. I never wanted to do the surrogacy route. I felt as though childbirth was just too dangerous to put any of my loved ones through that risk. I was iffy on IVF so I figured I would at least hear about the process to weigh my options. 

A couple of months after finding out I was barren I took a trip to a local IVF Clinic. I was nervous to say the least. Here I was in the office of a physician to discuss my options for becoming a mother and I’m not even married, no relationship nor prospects. It was these words uttered by the physician that really struck me as I sat there alone: “Because of your Endometriosis, your eggs are like the eggs of a 35-year-old even though you’re only 27. Your tubes were probably already destroyed before you even knew about the Endo or had the chance to try.” I wanted to cry. Truly. My biological clock was ticking at a much rapid rate and here I was with essentially nothing. My body instantly turned cold as I looked to my right at the empty car that sat next to me. There was nobody there to say something encouraging. I left that office feeling defeated and not because of having to possibly freeze eggs for conception, more than anything, the hard truth was being alone and feeling as if I’ll never have the man to make these kinds of hard decisions with or that no one will ever love “the sick girl” who has now become “the barren girl”, and that being “barren” meant not being able to reproduce in more ways than one. 

Being infertile is a hard pill to swallow and there should be more focus on how we can combat infertility physicially and emotionally. 

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