I Experienced a Chemical Pregnancy
I wasn’t offered any kind of support when I went to my GP for an examination. He didn’t explain to me what had happened and instead made jokes about not using protection. He offered me some condoms and said, “you should probably start using these”.
What is your reproductive health problem?
In June 2011 I had a chemical pregnancy. This occurs when an egg is successfully fertilised but is unable to progress beyond the first few weeks of pregnancy. It’s sometimes referred to as a missed miscarriage as most women will not know they have conceived or may not know what has happened at all.
How has your experience affected your life (emotionally, physically and mentally)?
For the first few weeks I was in shock. It was surreal that this could happen as my boyfriend and I had been so careful. Neither of us wanted children, but I was devastated nonetheless. I was extremely emotional and became withdrawn and depressed. I stopped eating, developed sleeping problems and lost a lot of weight in a short period of time. I internalised all my feelings and in some ways, the isolation made me feel worse. My boyfriend didn’t support me so the situation had irreparable repercussions for our relationship too.
What treatment, support, or information have you received?
I wasn’t offered any kind of support when I went to my GP for an examination. He didn’t explain to me what had happened and instead made jokes about not using protection. He offered me some condoms and said, “you should probably start using these”. He said he would book me in for a scan and that was it. Everything I’ve learnt about chemical pregnancies has been a result of my own personal research. Google and mumsnet has been way more helpful then my doctor.
What do you feel womanhood/ being a woman means to you?
Being a woman to me means responding to life with both your head and your heart, being incredibly strong, yet compassionate. It means understanding that being able to feel isn’t a weakness but a strength. In my eyes, a real woman is someone who has been through life but remains beautifully poised, ambitious and loving. She adores her independence while fully appreciating a wonderful relationship. She balances a booming career and a blossoming family. She’s in touch with her sexuality but isn’t solely defined by it. She is everything and nothing you expected her to be.
How do you think your experience of reproductive health problems impacts upon your view of what womanhood means?
It proved what I already believed. Even at my lowest, I knew I would get through it, because that’s what women do. After the miscarriage I met a number of young girls that had been through similar things and it made me realise just how incredible women are. The girls that I met had not told a huge amount of people their story, but had used the experience to grow and flourish. They were brave enough to confront their issues head on, wrestle with them, and emerge stronger then ever; the true essence of being a woman.
Do you think it is important for young women to be aware of their reproductive health and the choices associated with this? If so, why do you think this is important?
It’s incredibly important, because the decisions we make today have a huge impact on the life we live tomorrow. If a young woman learns about her reproductive health she’s armed with that knowledge forever; it will influence all the choices she makes through adolescence and beyond. It can also be life saving in terms of detecting symptoms early.