66. I have experienced infertility and it is the worst pain I have ever known. I have numerous friends who have dealt with and are dealing with infertility and my heart breaks over and over for them.
I am constantly reminded of our struggle to have children. It really is everywhere. Not only do I thank the heavens everyday for my children but I, in turn, find myself praying for those that I love to also be able to conceive.
Infertility isn't talked about much. There is still a lot of shame around being infertile from both sides, men and women. In the past women were always to blame. The female reproductive system is very complicated. There are a lot of hormones and chemicals that play into getting pregnant. However, the male system is also complicated and the frustrating thing is that it is argueable that it is easier to "fix" women than men. There are medications one can take in order to help you ovulate. There are tests that can be peed on in order to get the timing right. But, with men if there is no sperm there is no sperm. No medicine will bring sperm. If they don't swim there is nothing you can take to get them to swim. If the sperm lack a chromosome you cannot put it back in.
Reproductive endocrinologists, the doctors specializing in infertility, consider a couple to be infertile if:
*the couple has not conceived after 12 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is under the age of 34
*the couple has not conceived after 6 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is over the age of 35 (declining egg quality of females over the age of 35 account for the age-based discrepancy as when to seek medical intervention)
*the female is incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term.
Infertility affects approximately 10% of people of reproductive age, and 15% of couples. Roughly 40% of cases involve a male contribution or factor, 40% involve a female factor, and the remainder involve both sexes.
In my life I know far too many people who have and are experiencing infertility. Because it isn't discussed openly I thought I may put it in perspective for my readers. I will not give identifying information and if you are one of the couples I discuss and you feel I have been too revealing please let me know asap and I will edit this post. Keep in mind that these are not people I have "heard of" these are people that I know either very well and consider them friends or acquaintences.
Couple A: unable to conceive on their own. Took Clomid and had same gendered fraternal twins.
Couple B: unable to conceive on their own. Took Clomid and had same gendered fraternal twins.
Couple C: Condeived first child without problem, could not get pregnant with their second took clomid, had miscarriage, took it again and have same gendered fraternal twins.
Couple D: Tried for years. Had tests done, did numerouls IUI (intrauterine insemination) got pregnant on their own after HSG (hysterio....)
Couple E: Pregnant with their first child after clomid. Unable to conceive the second after two IUIs and 1 IVF. Settled with having only one child.
Couple F: Male Factor Infertility. One IVF = one healthy child.
Couple G: Endometriosis and Male Factor Infertility. 2 IVFs, 1 FET = one healthy child
Couple H: Conceived first child with clomid. Second child came from 1 IVF.
Couple I: 1 IVF = one healthy child
Couple J: female ovarian failure. 1 failed IVF with Donor Eggs, 1 FET with Donor Eggs = 1 heathly child
Couple K: 2 miscarriages. 1 IVF = boy/girl twins
Couple L: 2 miscarriages. 1 IVF = one healthy baby
Couple M: female ovarian failure + MFI, multiple IVFs. Now 1 healthy baby.
Couple N: unable to conceive naturally. first IVF attempt failed. Second resulted in identical twins.
Couple O: MFI and endometriosis. 1 IVF = identical twins.
Couple P: MFI and endometriosis, 2 surgeries to correct. 3 failed IVF attmepts. On fourth try conceived same gendered fraternal twins.
Couple Q: unexplained infertility. 6 IUIs, 1 IVF, 2 FET, still trying
Couple R: unexplained infertility. several IUIs, 1 IVF, 1 FET, still trying
Couple S: MFI. 3 IVFs, several miscarriages. Using donor sperm.
Couple T: unable to conceive on their own. still trying after 3 years.
Couple U: 2 miscarriages. 2 years of not getting pregnant. Adopted baby at birth.
Couple V: 1 failed IVF using donor sperm and eggs. Adopted baby at birth.