Things sometimes become complex when it comes to getting pregnant.
Infertility hurts, every day of the cycle.
While sitting in the fertility clinic, you experience confusion, sadness, and anger over the circumstances you never had expected to become such a painful issue in your life. You just want this strange problem to disappear, to have a family like your friends do, and forget you’ve ever had to visit that place.
In the meanwhile, you must rely on the decisions of your doctor and work closely together, so you hope he or she understands everything that is needed to bring you to the happy end, i.e., the happy beginning of a new life.
Unfortunately, the situation is such that no doctor can be expected to be an expert on all the complex issues surrounding infertility and that every woman who is serious about becoming a mother must become her own health advocate.
As much as we assume that our doctors are aware of new developments and scientific breakthroughs in the field, the truth is that this is rarely the case.
Either busy after a long day in the hospital, or overloaded with paperwork in their own practice, most doctors simply don’t find the time and energy at the end of the day to search through medical journals.
At the major conferences where scientists communicate new data, there is a relatively small number of fertility doctors present. There, they are typically distracted by the invitations and events organized by pharmaceutical consultants who advertise their new products, which is understandable if you think of all the years and investments that it takes the pharmaceutical industry to bring one drug to the market and, finally, it is this very doctor who has to sell it to the patients, i.e., make the profit for the pharmaceutical industry.
In some countries, doctors may not be able to afford subscriptions to medical journals, or are allowed to practice only within frames set by the government and church, like in Croatia where it is allowed to fertilize only three eggs during one IVF cycle, regardless of the actual number retrieved following days of hormonal stimulations (the rest can be frozen, which is still a procedure in its infancy and quite inefficient for those who need it most – low responders and older women).
For you and your partner, infertility hurts. For reproductive specialists, infertility is a daily job. Although both of the sides want to arrive to the same goal – a healthy baby – there are sometimes slight differences in how certain aspects of infertility are approached.
In summary, there is sometimes a great deal of miscommunication and years of failed treatments going on in fertility clinics. That is a sad consequence of a mix, composed of imperfect medical knowledge hidden behind the mask of authority on one side, and an absence of right questions from the patient, on the other.
Infertility hurts as you go
Those who have been trying and failing for a long time know that there is something profoundly wrong about wishing, but not being able to, become pregnant.
Your whole life, you believed it was only a matter of meeting the right partner at the right time, a matter of you deciding to start having children. Unfortunately, for about every sixth couple, the reality of becoming parents looks different. So different that you can find yourself feeling that the universe has just not prepared you for that.
The story of infertility for most couples is a story of failure management, even more so for those who knew nothing but success before.
You are going through tough times in which your desire to get pregnant develops from a wish into an obsession. You want nothing else but to hug your child really tight. You dream only of that little face with eyes like yours and lips like your partner’s. You make plans to progress with your career, but hope to get a reason to finally make a break from it.
In such a state of mind, even ordinary situations can turn into a great pain.
What is it that hurts most?
Beginning of a period, after it was late for several days and you hoped you were pregnant this time?
Being happy when your friends get pregnant easily?
Seeing newborn babies and visiting children’s birthdays?
Not finding any viable sperm in your partner’s ejaculate?
Putting your mind together and going to work, just after realizing that another IVF did not work?
Finding out how terribly complicated egg donation programs in your country are?
Submitting documents for the adoption? Saying goodbye to becoming a genetic parent?
I see two ways to go about this:
1) Have patience, wait, and hope that, at some point, you get lucky and get pregnant – this is OK if you are still young and have time to invest in the process, or
2) Learn about your particular infertility issue as much as you can, so that you can communicate in a more constructive way and build a productive relationship with your partner and your doctor.
Here is the most impressive list of infertility blogs that you will ever find on this topic. In the words of the blog owner Melissa, “No one needs to be alone in this suckhole and I could not agree with her more. Here is the Stirrup Queen’s Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer.As you walk along this way, it is essential to have the support of other women going through similar experiences.
Sure, your partner is there to relieve some of the pain, and often it happens that facing infertility together actually strengthens a relationship and adds a deeper component to it. On the other side, it is astonishing how many times one hears that many women feel that this heavy load is mostly up to them to carry and solve (even when nowadays men account for about 40% of infertility problems). Therefore, the best is to find such women – talking with them in either the virtual or real world will help relieve a great deal of tension.
Either naturally or via IVF: you are more likely to get pregnant if you improve the quality of your eggs.
This can help you to conceive easier and become a healthy baby:
Prenatal vitamins and folic acid:
Useful books about fertility and improving egg quality: