For the past three years, Sarah and her partner have been trying to conceive their first child – with no luck. Sarah writes this article in the hope that it might help others who are experiencing infertility.
The word ‘infertility’ is still, sadly, taboo in everyday life. Searching through the internet at the array of conflicting information on what you should do when you experience it can do more harm than good sometimes.
I hold my hands up! I’m not an expert. I’m just someone going through it, and sharing information that’s helped me along the way in the hope that it helps you too.
The most important thing you need to know – you will get through this.
Here’s what else I have found in my three year journey.
During our infertility journey, my husband and I have had times where we’ve done everything within our power to get pregnant, tried nothing at all, felt stressed out, and felt totally relaxed. I’ve lost count of the amount of times people told us to ‘relax’ or ‘stop trying and it will happen when you least it expect it’. These people know nothing about infertility. Smile, nod and forgive them.
If you can relax, that’s great, but don’t punish yourself when you can’t.
Know the basics
If you have been trying to conceive for a while you’re likely to have a good understanding of fertility. For those that don’t, here are the basics;
• Find out when you’re ovulating.
• Have sex every two to three days. Having sex everyday could lower his sperm count and make them slower. Any more than four days could mean he’s releasing dead sperm.
• Track your cervical mucus – it may surprise you how much you can learn.
• Get regular exercise.
• Try to maintain a healthy diet.
The recommendation is that couples under the age of 35, who have been trying to conceive for over 12 months with no luck, see their GP to start investigations. Your GP can take a blood sample to check if ovulation has taken place, and a semen sample to check the male’s sperm count and motility. You’ll also be referred to see a gynaecologist.
Playing symptoms up
There’s a time to do this and a time to avoid it. When we first started trying to conceive I would find myself picking up on any symptom that felt remotely different and searching for it in the two week wait, in the hope that it would turn out to be an early pregnancy symptom. Avoid doing this. I realised that every symptom is a possible pregnancy symptom because we’re all different.
When it comes to visiting your GP or gynaecologist, do play your symptoms up. Investigations take time and money so they’re not going to spend it on you unless they have a firm belief that it’s necessary. It’s a good idea to keep a diary of your symptoms so you don’t forget anything between appointments.
Look into herbal remedies
Creating a life really is a miracle and there are lots of things that a miracle is dependent on. Whether you end up conceiving naturally, get a definitive diagnosis from your medical practitioner, or you’re wracking your brains because of unexplained infertility, herbal remedies have been known to help.
For example, Maca Root is a great alternative for help with hormonal imbalances. Castor Oil packs have also been used for centuries to draw out any toxins in the body which could significantly reduce the formation of cysts. If you’re having trouble with ovulation or your partner suffers from poor sperm quality, you may want to consider acupuncture.