A Gift from God

This one thought just wouldn’t escape my head this week. On TV there has been a lot of news about the Octuplet Mom and the great debate that this has started. And in my books I was reading a chapter on infertility and adoption and the like.

And I figured that if I could write about it, I would stop thinking about it so much.

There are tons of great couples out there who cannot have children. And then you see the people that smoke 8 packs a day, who are making meth in their basement, and they have an entire brood of children, all from different men. It just makes me so mad. It seems completely unfair.

So I figured I would research infertility for this blog.

There are two types of infertility. Primary and Secondary Infertility.

Primary infertility is the inability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. The qualifications for this are a big ridiculous in my opinion, but I’m not a doctor (ha ha…). You have to have been having unprotected intercourse if the female is under 34 for at least a year, or if over 34 only 6 months. It is also if a woman has had multiple miscarriages.

Any couple that has not conceived even once in the alloted time is considered “subfertile”. I really hate this word. It makes it seem like they are subhuman and something is horribly wrong with them.

Some of the causes of infertility are kind of obvious if you think about it. There could be ovulation problems, tubal blockage, male infertility, age-related factors, uterine problems, previous tubal litigation (tubes tied or removed), a vasectomy and then a reversal, over/underweight, and then sometimes they can’t even find a problem.

Most couples wait two years before going to get treatment. Or they go in at a year, are told that they need to chart everything for six months, then come back in if it still isn’t working. Then more tests, more “we’ll let you keep trying for awhile”, and then finally they get told what the problem is.

Then comes the treatments. It could be anywhere from medication to a cervical cap, or even IUI or an IVF. And most of these treatments cost thousands and thousands of dollars, and insurance won’t pay for fertility treatments.

They come out feeling dejected and depressed. It can lead to sexual dysfunction, clinical depression, impotence… And when they are told that the chance of them having a child is so slim that they should consider alternate ways, they just feel bitter. The world just can’t be fair if two great people can’t have children, but hookers and druggies can.

And if this infertility isn’t enough to depress the world, there is secondary infertility.

This is the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after successfully and naturally conceiving one or more children. Surprising as it may seem, this is actually over 60% of all infertility, even though it is less known.

Couples are actually 40% less likely to get treatment for secondary infertility. There is an old wives tale, “Once fertile, always fertile.” If only this were true.

Since you had your last baby, one of you could have had an infection, gained weight, stopped eating healthy – these little things can have a HUGE impact on your fertility.

With secondary infertility, the best time to see someone is after 2 or more miscarriages, irregular periods, painful periods, increase in or burning vaginal discharge, or your partner is experiencing painful ejaculations, impotence, or decrease in sex drive.

It is actually a harder situation to go through. You can’t talk to people that are having primary infertility because they feel you should be happy you at least have one. Your family may not understand why you are having trouble with secondary infertility. They say you are ungrateful for the child or children you have and are just being greedy. You may finally break down and not find someone to turn to.

No matter how painful it is, you have to find support. They are coming out with more and more secondary infertility support groups. It is getting to be more widely known and understood. You have to explain to your family why you need their love and support.

No matter which infertility you have, you have to get support and help. You can’t do it alone. And whether you think you are alone or not, you are NEVER alone.


One Response

  1. Thank you for posting this. Thank you especially for validating the difficult emotions involved. While each person’s infertility struggle is different it is always heartbreaking when you have a righteous desire, and an expectation of your path in life, and it is not forthcoming.

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