By: Laura Jones Chen
Here at Gabrialla we love to focus on women’s health during their pregnancies. To us, it’s the single most important consideration for every expectant mother! Pregnancy can be a beautiful time in every woman’s life but we also want to shed light on the side many leave unspoken.
Did You Know?
It’s estimated that “1 out of every 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their life." Chances are if you’re one of these women with fertility problems, you’d never even let on – and we want you to know you’re not alone.
In the early whirlwind of your relationship, you’re elated about planning your wedding and dream life. You KNOW what it is going to look like. Suddenly, your friends and family are hinting at how cute your eyes would look with his hair and BOOM- baby fever! For most people, thankfully, life moves on just as envisioned. For many women though, there is a more difficult path to motherhood. Fertility problems and miscarriages are the elephant in the room and we want to talk a little about it.
You’re having fertility problems – Now what?
Tracking everything! And not just your periods. You learn about all the nitty gritty bodily functions women have to offer when you are having difficulty trying to conceive (TTC).
- Track your entire cycle from period to ovulation temperature spikes and everything in between
- Monitor your diet - we know it sounds cliché but exercise and cutting back on wine weekends can make a big difference in your normal bodily rhythm.
- Supplements & medicines are important. Both OTC, such as prenatal vitamins, and some that a doctor can prescribe under strict guidance.
- A clean bill of health - a full screening to detect any underlying issues like STI’s that should be discussed with a doctor.
- Don’t. Stress. Stressing about stress causes more stress and creates a nasty cycle of wacky body response (we know – easier said than done!).
- Don’t forget to check his swimmers. Lots of fertility issues stem from the other side of the bed sheets and it might not have even occurred to you!
What if things are more serious?
Unfortunately, with medical issues there are no sure-fire, one size fits all solutions. Talking with your doctor about your TTC journey can be coupled with tests and procedures to increase your odds of conceiving and carrying full term. Some of the more involved medical options you might discuss can seem daunting; don’t worry though the internet is full of information (both good and bad) for research:
- Drugs: There are many types of drugs to help restore, regulate and increase hormones depending on what you and your doctor determine after blood work or even ovulation assistors ie Progesterone, Clomid.
- Surgery: Many fertility issues are because of problems centered around ovulation or the fallopian tubes. Surgery can be an option to help clear any kind of blockage from things like endometriosis.
- IUI: Intrauterine insemination is a medical procedure where the sperm is collected and placed directly in the uterus while ovulation is occurring. It’s a relatively quick procedure: once the sperm is collected the woman is injected with a long tube through the cervix to deposit them. Cramping for a few days and some spotting is normal--uncomfortable, but completely normal. This procedure is sometimes covered by your insurance and is relatively affordable in most cases.
- IVF: In vitro fertilization is a more complicated and expensive procedure you may discuss with your doctor. Both the sperm and the egg are collected and fertilized in a lab to foster growth for a few days before being placed in the woman’s uterus.
Keep in mind while there are many options, what works for one couple may not work for you. A lot of the TTC process is trial and error with faith in good medicine and yourself.
Talk About It. You have to.
Fertility issues tend to make people uncomfortable. And it’s no one’s fault. It is difficult to know the correct thing to say when situations are difficult to relate to. The most important thing you can do for yourself, and your relationships with others, is to talk about it. Heal from the losses and try to stay optimistic for the future.
“The hardest part I found while dealing with fertility issues was the positive pregnancy test. For many people that may sound counter-intuitive. I get it. But imagine - when you’ve experienced the heartbreak of failed pregnancies, it’s easy to let the fear of the past haunt the joy of the future. All you can be is afraid. Talk about it. With everyone. With anyone. Feel better. Don’t keep it inside. While having a baby may seem like the most natural thing in the world for everyone else and you feel nothing but guilt, you are not a failure. -LC“