If you are anywhere from ages 20-40 you probably often hear people talking about how fertility rates are dropping dramatically or you may have lots of friends who are currently struggling with infertility.
It seems to be a hot topic lately with lots of conflicting information and it may seem alarming, especially if you are currently trying to conceive. This may make it easy for you to begin to panic if becoming pregnant has not been easy for you, you might begin to wonder if maybe something is wrong with your reproductive system too, but before you panic, let’s look at some things and assess if seeking fertility help is something you really may need. I want to share with you what I learned during my IVF process in my journey to become pregnant.
Track Your Cycle Closely
You hear your whole life that if you have sex, you will get pregnant, but it is not as easy sometimes as everyone tries to scare you into thinking. Women are only fertile for a very short couple of important days. Figuring out those days are key for conceiving. When I first started seeking fertility help and treatments, the first thing they did to help us was they “timed our intercourse.”
My fertility doctor gave us a specific calendar and timing he wanted us to try and made it seem very scientific. He had no prior knowledge about my menstrual cycles or how long they were, but he just used the “average” cycle length of most women and went by that number. After the timed intercourse failed twice, we started using ovulation strips which is something I think we should have used at the very beginning. My menstrual cycles are much shorter than the average woman which is also something I knew, but my doctor did not think to ask me.
I wish he would have asked me before we wasted two months. Using ovulation strips will tell you when the peak time of your fertile window is, and can vary from woman to woman. Much to our dismay, we had been trying to conceive in the wrong couple of days which made a huge difference. Make sure you are timing your ovulation correctly for your peak fertile window.
Get Labs Done For Both Partners
There are many tests that you should take before proceeding with expensive IVF procedures and those tests vary in level of invasiveness as well. The very first ones that I would suggest getting are bloodwork done for both you and your husband or partner. Often when women conceive but have recurrent miscarriages, the simple solution to their miscarriages are that all they need is a little bit more of progesterone because their hormone levels are a little off balance. Getting lab work will help your doctor to more closely examine if your hormones are balanced or not. Abnormal hormone levels are also a sign of other issues such as PCOS.
The next least invasive test that you can get if you are experiencing difficulty in conceiving would be to get a sperm analysis. This will help the doctors to more closely look into the quality and quantity of sperm and will tell how fertile the male partner is.
There are a couple different ultrasounds that you can get to help take a closer look at what is happening inside your uterus. The first one is a basic ultrasound from the outside. This will help see if there are any fibroids or abnormalities. If nothing is seen, a closer look into the uterus will require a transvaginal ultrasound or even a sonohysterogram which is a water ultrasound.
This will help to see if there is anything such as growths on the uterus wall like a polyp or signs of endometriosis with uterine fibroids. Another type of ultrasound that they can do, but is the most invasive type of ultrasound is called an HSG, where they inject a dye into your uterus to see more clearly what is going on inside and if your fallopian tubes are open or not.
Holistic Fertility Treatments
Before I went ahead and did IVF, something that I wish I had done was to seek an alternate opinion. IVF treatments are incredibly expensive and require lots of medication that is rough on your body, needles, hormones and a rollercoaster of emotions. It wasn’t until after I had already spent close to 50 thousand dollars on fertility treatments that I realized there are holistic medical clinics who specialize in natural fertility treatments.
These facilities will take a look at each patient’s history and individual issues with the goal in mind to find the root cause and solve the infertility without IVF. These doctors have been incredibly successful and have been able to find more natural ways in curing infertility without the costly procedures. It is always worth seeking a second opinion before shelling out thousands of dollars.