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How I Solved Fertility Problems Caused by an Eating Disorder

Before meeting my husband, I had another significant relationship in my life with my eating disorder. The problem with tangling with your own illness is that you can anthropomorphize the sick part of your psyche and blame it for all your relationship problems, making you a victim of an abusive, manipulative partnership.

I can’t speak for everyone who has lost their life to the ED, but this is my experience. Now, however, with assisted reproductive technology printouts and 5,000 worth of fertility drugs, I can’t help but feel senseless guilt. It’s as if I choose to put toxic beauty standards above my health and starve my menstrual cycle that has been running like clockwork since ages 000. 36

For years, doctors have assured me that if I get my weight back into a “healthy” range, my periods will return and my fertility will suffer. I dutifully attended my appointments, completed two intensive outpatient programs, kept a food log, cut back on my exercise, and watched the scale climb steadily — and yet, my period still disappeared. For over two decades, I’ve tried and failed to reap the promised rewards many times, and every time I hit and maintain my goal weight but failed to get my cycle back, I fell into chaos and started all over again.

From 36 to 36, this dysfunction with my body is still a part of my life Main relationship outside of family. When I tried dating, I was overwhelmed by the prospect of a real person violating my long-term relationship with an eating disorder. Somehow, someone broke through this barrier. Four years later, I am married to the man I am disgustingly in love with, happier than ever, and completely consumed by the guilt I am sure my decision has led us to in this uncertain, expensive land of infertility Settle in the sterile land.

Two important facts here: Eating disorders are not a choice, and neither is infertility. About 16 million people worldwide experience the former, and surprisingly, one in six experience the latter. Each case is complex, nuanced, and the result of a combination of factors. But intellectually, knowing these facts didn’t stop my shame from spiraling, even though I knew them better than most. I’ve written so many stories on ED that I can’t remember them all. For the past six months, I’ve signed an editorial contract with Carrot, a global fertility health benefits platform that frees staff from the full cost of treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing, and — my A current ongoing project is embryo banking, which is the process of freezing one or more embryos to preserve them for future use. Ironically, as a part-time employee, I am not eligible to benefit from the benefits company I contract with. Never before have I understood my Canadian husband’s complaints about the relationship between employment and health care in this country. 3636



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