The average age of onset of menstruation is 12-13 (and the first bit is all irregular usually,) so I went with 13 for my math. The average age of menopause is 51. 38 years of potential fertility. Contrary to popular belief, if you have a 28-day cycle, you have 13 cycles per year, not 12 (like the months.) A mistake many doctors make when prescribing birth control (okaying only 12 fills, then wondering why the patient runs out a month before their annual!)
So when I got married at age 30 (a month after my birthday, but we started 'trying' a little early. Teehee) I had 'wasted' 234 opportunities with stuff like growing up, high school, college, etc. (I don't view maturing with my honey as a waste, since without that personal and relationship growth, we probably wouldn't have lasted, and would be more selfish parents.) That leaves an average of 260 more fertile cycles. Sounds like a lot. Feels like so very few... Duco Ova means 'To Count Eggs' in Latin
Since I had suspected that there would be issues, I was proactive about seeing my OB-Gyn before the wedding for advice and a plan. I saw a nurse practitioner (either an ARNP or a PA-C.) She had me take my temperature daily and chart it. She had also suggested progesterone supplements, but I have a history of depression, and it's been triggered by hormones, like birth control, so I was leery about starting up hormones again, after finally being able to stop taking my anti-depressants after 8 years!
After 6 months of getting mixed results with my basal temp (I was terrible at remembering to take it first thing in the morning, often falling back asleep and forgetting the results, or waking at different times based on my work schedule that day) I went back in for the drugs. Just to find out that it was no longer in fashion, so she didn't want to try it anymore. And that I should move up to a doctor. Argh.
Only those faced with infertility can understand the preciousness of time, and the devastation and feeling of failure every time your period starts. What used to be an annoying nuisance is now the soul-crushing death of hope.
So I started seeing the doctor. I can't remember what we did, or why it took a few months, but he finally ordered a hysterosalpingogram to check to see if my fallopian tubes were blocked, like my maternal grandmother's had been. A seemingly simple test. Insert dye, X-ray, voila! Well, let me tell you. I swear a lot in person, but not so much in print, so keep that in mind when I tell you that it hurt like a motherfucker. It hurt so bad, I could hardly remember to breathe. On a scale of 1 to 10, it pushed all previous levels of pain down to a 4. Apparently I handled it well, since they kept making sure I was okay and hadn't passed out. I guess they're used to louder reactions. I tend to go inside myself and internalize extreme pain, rather than vocalize.
The doctor said "Good news! It's all clear!" thinking that it would make me happy. I was crushed. Blocked tubes could be fixed. We would be able to put a name on whatever was preventing me from making masses of babies, and start working on a solution. But he did give me a ray of 'hope' - he found something in the uterus, that he called polyps, and told me to follow up with my OB.