Here at Daisy we were delighted to be part of Fertility Fest 2019’s session Young, Gifted and Infertile: breaking the silence on what it feels to be born without sufficient eggs or a womb.
The evening started with a performance of Flushed, written and directed by Catherine Cranfield and presented by Theatre Unlocked. Those of you at Daisy Day 2018 will have seen this fantastic play – funny, heart-breaking and touching, in which we see the physical and emotional impact a diagnosis of POI has on 25 year old Marnie. They have performed this play across the UK and it will have really helped raise understanding about what it is like to be told you have POI.
Then Natasha Bishop, student and Founder of The Pants Project did an incredibly inspiring talk about how underwear became her tool for empowerment when she was diagnosed, age 16, with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome – a condition which means she has no womb. “ Having experienced a time when I felt as far from femininity and womanhood as possible, it was pants that saved me: a pair of underwear that made me feel invincible. For me, it’s about finding a small symbol of strength – a piece of everyday armour – that can keep us going through the darkest of times”.
Events like this are so important to get the conversation going and raise awareness and so it was fantastic for POI to be put in the spotlight. During the Q&A session many pertinent issues were raised – HRT prescription charges, egg donation funding and the research that is being done to better understand the genetics of POI. Andreia Trigo was also on the panel and I would really recommend watching to her TEDx talk where she uses her experience of being diagnosed with MRKH to illustrate how having a positive attitude to your challenges can help find you find meaning in life.
Although POI and MRKH are totally different conditions, what struck me was the similarities between all these women’s stories. Feelings of isolation, loss of femininity, doctors not understanding the condition and a lack of information relevant to them were all shared.
The message from the night was clear, no matter who you are, you deserve to be able to love yourself and feel valued, beautiful and empowered. Whether you have POI, MRKH or any other condition, this doesn’t need to define you and you are not alone in your journey.
Kate, Daisy Network Co-chair
@TheatreUnlocked @ThePantsProject @FertilityFest @andreia_trigo