The I word by Tracey Connelly

It’s covered a lot in the Turner’s Syndrome groups and forums but it is always going to be a hot button issue for most of the women with the condition so I will be taking a closer look at the concerns behind one of the main factors that always comes up with a newly diagnosed TS girl. Infertility.

In my own personal experience I learned about this aspect of Turner’s when I was twelve years old. We had been just been given the sex education and puberty classes at school. A very kindly doctor explained to me that my experience would be different from other girls. I was upset at the time of course but at age twelve, having children had been the furtherest thing from my mind. To me the differences between myself and the ‘normal’ girls were just the same as between me and a blonde girl or me and a girl who preferred cheese and onion to salt and vinegar. In short, the differences in all of us are what makes the world such a vibrant place. I never really gave it much thought. My main concern was my heart, my hormone replacement therapy and my school exams.

As I became an adult more and more people started to put pressure on me to have children. Most of my friends have children and despite us no longer living in the Victorian era some still find it strange that I – a woman in her thirties – doesn’t have any kids of her own. In this modern world I feel it is important not just for TS girls but for women in general to realise that they don’t have to want children. It’s great for those with the maternal instinct that do but for me personally it’s a big no thanks. I am settled in that train of thought and being an adoring aunt I never feel I have missed out on anything.

With that being said I will now speak on behalf of my TS sisters who feel differently. I see so often in the forums and have had so many calls from upset girls who have been made to feel ‘less of a woman’ because they’ve been reminded of their infertility. They have been cruelly taunted, they have lost lovers and experienced insensitive words from those who don’t really know how far deep they can cut. I’m here to remind you that thanks to the amazing work of researchers and doctors it is now so much easier for families to come together. In 2020 what defines the family unit anyway? Surely we’re past the idea that it is a mother, father, son, daughter with the children being born of natural means. Fostering and adoption can mean so much to a child. Family isn’t always who you share genetics with. Family is who you choose to share your life with. Being a woman is not the ability to have children. That is just a part of some women. For me being a woman is protecting, nurturing and doing the best in life she possibly can for herself and others.

For those of my sisters who feel you are a let down or less than anyone else because you can’t bear children I feel your pain. I truly do. But rather than worry about something you can’t change let’s look to what possibilities there are. I and the Ragdolls UK team are always here to talk about this further should wish to. We have information on hand and if you want a friendly ear please do get in touch. Also, for parents with a TS daughter who are perhaps looking to the best way to explain this to her then again either myself or one of the team would be happy to chat.

Finally a huge congratulations to Kriss Fearon who submitted her thesis after travelling the country to discuss this hot button issue with TS girls and their mothers. You can read more HERE.

We have some information available on the basics of Turner’s Syndrome.

To request or to arrange a chat contact ragdolls.uk@gmail.com

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