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Sarah Madara
06-08-2011, 04:04 AM
Okay, here's what I'm brainstorming. I have a female MC, 26, and I'm thinking of having her learn that she's unlikely to ever get pregnant. I want it to be a pre-existing condition that she didn't know about. So whatever caused the infertility, it's something that she didn't know happened or she didn't know could have that effect. She can't have had a hysterectomy, for example. I also want her to be otherwise healthy at the moment, so it's not something like PID that she would still need to treat.

Is there any sort of trauma that can cause silent infertility? Or birth defect? Or side effect of another (non-reproductive) illness?

Dandroid
06-08-2011, 04:08 AM
Ovarian cysts during youth (her being told it was appendicitis)...ischemic uterus secondary to trauma that resulted in its removal...

jaksen
06-08-2011, 04:15 AM
She's intersex, with internal testes, so her outward (genitalia) appearance is that of a female, so she was raised female.

There are high-fashion models with this condition. I read about it years ago in Discover magazine. Often they are strikingly attractive, tall and slim, but upon trying to have children, and going to fertility specialists (with husband, lover or boyfriend) are told the truth: they have no uterus or ovaries and though they 'appear' female, are actually intersex.

(Some people who are intersex show both male and female sexual genitalia. I once knew a sheep like this. The owner was baffled when she tried to breed it. On closer inspection she realized it had both 'boy parts' and 'girl parts.')

Smiling Ted
06-08-2011, 07:05 AM
There are dozens of medical possibilities.
You might want to look up "female infertility" in Wikipedia.

MeretSeger
06-08-2011, 07:55 AM
Look up 'PCOS' and see if it suits your needs. Otherwise, a 'short luteal phase' is worth looking at as is 'low progesterone'

waylander
06-08-2011, 10:34 AM
Seconding the suggestion of polycystic ovaries.
Happened to a good friend of mine; when she was about 22 she was told 'no kids', she is pregnant now for the first time at 37

shaldna
06-08-2011, 01:10 PM
She could have had an STD that she didn't know about. Many of them don't necessarily have obvious signs, and unless she gets treated, the infection can lead to infertility.

Mr Flibble
06-08-2011, 03:43 PM
Endometriosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endometriosis)


Womb lining grows outside the womb, still bleeds every month.
If it's on ovaries, that can cause infertility. I had this and was told it would be very hard to have kids naturally. They were wrong in my case :D But I was lucky.

Steve Collins
06-08-2011, 05:49 PM
How about radiation?

aruna
06-08-2011, 05:53 PM
She could have had an STD that she didn't know about. Many of them don't necessarily have obvious signs, and unless she gets treated, the infection can lead to infertility.

Yes, I was going to say that. She had gonorrhea without knowing it, her tubes got infected and clogged up.

writingismypassion
06-08-2011, 11:06 PM
Problems with the thyroid can also affect fertility.

dreamcatcher
06-09-2011, 06:50 PM
Not sure about endometriosis. As far as I know, generally all women with endometriosis bad enough to affect fertility will know about it. It's a very painful condition. (My aunt has it and can't have kids as a result. She misses many family get-togethers due to pain.)

Other than pre-existing conditions, what about environmental causes? She could have been exposed to some toxin during puberty or something?

Sarah Madara
06-09-2011, 09:24 PM
Sorry I haven't been back to the thread. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. The closest to what I wanted is probably an STD causing scarring, but it just doesn't fit my character's backstory very well, plus it wouldn't have gone away on its own. But I'm looking for some kind of physical/mechanical problem, so that there wouldn't be any systemic effects. I've read a little about some women being born with fallopian tube defects, but haven't found much about it.

Thank you for all the ideas!

McMich
06-09-2011, 09:54 PM
My cousin had appendicitis (appendix actually burst as they were operating) when she was very young and they removed one of her ovaries also by accident. It made her chances of getting pregnant lower since she was only left with one ovary. She never even knew until she had a hysterectomy and the doctor was surprised there was only one ovary. He then explained that a child’s ovary is very small and could have been removed during the appendix surgery without the doctor even knowing they were removing it.

Quentin Nokov
06-11-2011, 03:42 AM
There are high-fashion models with this condition. I read about it years ago in Discover magazine. Often they are strikingly attractive, tall and slim, but upon trying to have children, and going to fertility specialists (with husband, lover or boyfriend) are told the truth: they have no uterus or ovaries and though they 'appear' female, are actually intersex.



But. . . O.o Wait. *Scratches forehead* If she didn't have a uterus she wouldn't have ever had a menstrual cycle, right? Wouldn't a young woman be concerned if she hasn't had her period by the age of twenty, at least?

tarkine
06-12-2011, 02:21 AM
Look up 'PCOS' and see if it suits your needs. Otherwise, a 'short luteal phase' is worth looking at as is 'low progesterone'


^ this is a great hidden one. Women don't know they have it until they start trying to conceive and then it is a battle, and they usually end up going through IVF processes.

And there usually isn't any symptoms. I have a GF who had this, and didn't get any of the symptoms and was shocked when the doctor told her she had it.

Archie1989
06-15-2011, 07:24 PM
One of the treatments for HPV can lead to decreased chances of getting pregnant. Though you'd have to include her finding out that she has abnormal cell growth up in her lady-parts (this is what HPV does) and that it needs to be removed lest it become cancerous. One procedure that is used is called the LEAP, and they essentially shave off the abnormal cells. Depending on how advanced the growth is, it can damage the cervix to the point where it's very unlikely the woman would be able to conceive.

HPV is also pretty prevalent right now in the media, so you'd be able to get a lot of info on it.

Orianna2000
06-16-2011, 07:48 PM
There seems to be a connection between repeated childhood sexual abuse and infertility as an adult. It's still being researched, but studies are finding that a high number of infertile women were molested as children, so it's a possibility you could explore.

lyael
06-17-2011, 01:13 PM
Here's another vote for polycystic ovary syndrome. It's especially good if you don't want your MC to have had an STD. It's not usually a complete bar to fertility, but your post said "unlikely to become pregnant". And don't be fooled by the pictures on medical sites of PCOS women who are obese and bearded. It is quite possible to have PCOS when both slender and devoid of whiskers ;)

crunchyblanket
06-17-2011, 06:18 PM
I have high cortisol levels, which can be caused by a condition called Cushing's Disease (although there are other causes) - this has been known to cause infertility unless corrected. High cortisol can go unnoticed for quite some time.

mgnme
06-18-2011, 02:36 AM
Ovarian cysts during youth (her being told it was appendicitis)...ischemic uterus secondary to trauma that resulted in its removal...

the "ovarian cysts and her being told it was appendicitis" wouldn't happen. if the pain is bad enough to be mistaken for appendicitis, they do an ultrasound or CT scan.

i vote for endometriosis. if it grows in the fallopian tubes, it can block them. (presto! infertility!) and she wouldn't necessarily have known she had endo. she would have just had unusually bad cramps during her periods (which, of course, is always just dismissed as "everyone goes through that, honey.")

Jessianodel
06-18-2011, 02:57 AM
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome: (PCOS) Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which there is an imbalance of a woman's female sex hormones. This hormone imbalance may cause changes in the menstrual cycle, skin changes, small cysts in the ovaries (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/n/pmh_adam/A001504/), trouble getting pregnant, and other problems.

mgnme
06-18-2011, 06:35 PM
it's unlikely she'd get to 26 without knowing she had PCOS - or at least knowing she had some reproductive medical problem, even if she didn't know what. and PCOS doesn't instantly equal infertility. it just means it's difficult. so if you're looking for something clear-cut, i'd steer away from PCOS.

tarkine
06-19-2011, 07:56 AM
it's unlikely she'd get to 26 without knowing she had PCOS - or at least knowing she had some reproductive medical problem, even if she didn't know what. and PCOS doesn't instantly equal infertility. it just means it's difficult. so if you're looking for something clear-cut, i'd steer away from PCOS.

My friend was 36 when she was diagnosed... so it is possible - and I guess it could be covered off in the backstory with misdiagnosis.

It could even be a birth defect - wonky tubes - I guess if it is a work of fiction you could chose anything.

I had another friend who had cervical cancer when she was 17 - radiation and chemo left her infertile.