Woman Who Went Through Menopause At Age 20 Is Crowdfunding Her IVF
As many families know, getting pregnant can be complicated for a whole host of reasons (Justin Bieber take note). So as one woman's options ran out after going through the menopause at just 20 years old, she launched a crowdfunding bid to have the baby she's always dreamed of.
30-year-old Jade Burns was devastated when she learned she'd be unable to conceive naturally having been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) six months after she started studying at university.
Since she started trying, Jade, from Essex, has suffered two miscarriages after she became pregnant via an egg donor but is not eligible for another round of IVF on the NHS in her area.
So in a final attempt to start the family she's always wanted Jade and husband Jon Burns, also 30, are relying on the kindness of strangers via a crowdfunding site to raise the £9,000 they need to try again.
Healthcare worker Jade explained: "I feel like this is our last chance. I always said I would try three times and that would be it.
"I've thought about what my baby will look like, what we will call them, what school they would go to and what colour we'd paint the nursery.
"I have a baby drawer with a little blanket and some clothes in it.
"We've called the babies we've lost our two little dots.
"I can't see our lives without children in them. It's not really an option."
Just six months after starting university Jade visited the GP at the age of 20 having never had a period. After blood tests she was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure three weeks later.
Jade said: "I hadn't really had any hot flushes, but I did have aches and fatigue - although I'd put that down to another health condition.
"About three weeks after I visited the GP, just before my 21st birthday, they told me I'd gone into early menopause.
"It was a shock. I'd never expected them to say that. I love children and always knew I'd want a family so it was extremely hard to comprehend.
"I started to worry about my future. I was single at the time and wondered if I'd ever meet anyone who would want to marry me if I couldn't have children.
"You don't feel like much of a woman. You feel like you've aged 30 years in the space of a couple of hours."
She had known her future husband, engineer Jon, since they were 13 and the pair became a couple a year after her diagnosis before getting married in October 2016.
"Jon always knew about my diagnosis and that if we were to have children it would be through IVF and egg donation"
The pair had IVF and egg donor funding granted in December 2016, two months after their wedding.
They were matched with three donors between April and November 2017 but unfortunately these fell through.
On November 10th 2017 they got a call to say they'd been matched with a fourth donor. The couple had 13 embryos made and two were viable.
In April 2018 Jade had the first embryo implanted, but seven weeks later she miscarried.
"By April 2018 they'd created my embryo and two days after my 30th birthday we had the transfer.
"After an agonising two week wait we got our first positive pregnancy test and were over the moon. We could see this little dot on the scan.
"It was going really well but then at five weeks I started bleeding. I had a reassurance scan and all seemed okay but a week later I went to the doctor because I'd been feeling sick and I started miscarrying in the doctor's surgery. At seven weeks I miscarried.
"It was incredibly distressing. I went to the hospital and they gave me a cremation form and that was the worst moment. At that moment I realised what they were telling me."
The couple tried again three months later with the second embryo but Jade miscarried again at six weeks, leaving her suffering from anxiety and depression.
The couple are desperate to try again before considering other routes. And they're looking for help to raise the £9,000 required. So far they've raised close to £1,000.
Although the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the NHS should fund women under 40 for three rounds of IVF, at the time Jade's local Clinical Commissioning Group would only fund two rounds.
Jade said: "When we found out I was pregnant the second time we felt more apprehensive. We'd told a lot of people the first time but kept it to ourselves the second time for fear of jinxing it.
"The second time was probably more difficult because I really felt like that was it - that was our last chance and that it was the end of our family.
"But I've not lost hope. We've always thought we would try three times before considering other options such as surrogacy and adoption.
"Asking for money is not what we wanted to do, but we see crowdfunding as a way of raising awareness of miscarriage, mental health and fertility.
View this post on InstagramWith Mother's Day just round the corner the first Mother's Day after my miscarriages , this time last year I was convinced I would be a mummy this year , how do you all look forward on these days ? Do you celebrate it ? Do you think of yourselves as a mum ? #mothersday #miscarriage #1stmothersday #lookingforward #rainbowbaby #fertility #ivfjourney #ivf #eggdonor #ivfbabble
A post shared by Jade (@ivf_hummingbird) on
"Miscarriage happens to one in four women.I don't feel their is a lot of support offered to help them deal with the mental and physical impact. It isn't really spoken about and that's something that needs to change.
"I also want to raise awareness of early menopause as this is still a taboo subject. One in 10,000 women under 20 experience early menopause and it effects five per cent of women under 40."
Visit Jade's crowdfunding page to donate and visit Jade's Instagram page to find out more.
Featured Image Credit: Caters