Erik & Phillippa: Part 2 – Our fertility status
Eggs with an expiration date and confused sperm
In 2016, after almost a year and a half of trying to get pregnant the natural way without succeeding, we went to see the family doctor again. This time without the lifted finger she said: “so you say almost a year and a half trying the natural way without pregnancy? Well, then we’d better send you for some more examination of your fertility.”
For my examination, I chose a really good gynecologist who I greatly respect. She is both skilled and trustworthy, as she had made a conic section on me a few years earlier. I was examined with ultrasound and scan of my fallopian tubes (hysterosalpingography). For Erik…a simple sperm sample at the hospital and, as well as a standard blood test.
Within a few weeks, Our gynecologist had some news for us and the conclusion was: My egg production and Erik’s semen quality are very low, very low indeed.
“You are on your way to early menopause.”
“So you cannot wait five years to begin fertility treatment, because then it is not certain that there are more eggs left. And Erik your sperm quality is very low. It’s as if your sperm cells are swimming a little confused in circles without finding the egg. And then there are also many bad sperm cells that block the way for the good ones. You need help.”
“Your numbers as a couple are so bad that you will need to skip the indigenous insemination phases and go directly to IVF treatment (In vitro fertilization)”
Suddenly, we no longer were invincible and what the hell was IVF treatment? I have never heard of women going into menopause in the early 30s. It’s totally insane. Can you do it at all? You can obviously can. It is apparently something that is genetically determined. But it would turn out to be one in 100 things that were obviously wrong with me. And one can’t reverse menopause.
But poor sperm quality: You can change that in three months – GREAT
Many have been through fertility treatment and now have the kids they dreamed of. Why not us? So we jumped right away into the project and thought that now we would get real help. We thought; We will be celebrating our pregnancy soon.
While we were planning our wedding, we also waited for the first consultation in the public health care system. We waited for half a year to start treatment – while waiting, we had summer vacation and our honeymoon. So it was after the wedding in 2017 we started treatment.
Since the summer of 2017, we have been through short IVF cycles, long IVF cycles and also some cycles interrupted.
Today is now more than three years since we got off the birth control pills. IVF, ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection), involuntary infertility and couple therapy are just a few of the new words we have expanded our consciousness with since the beginning of our fertility treatment journey.
For everyone who is at the beginning of their journey with fertility treatments: Kudos to you!
You are about to take a roller coaster ride where everyone around you will have an attitude or an opinion towards your body and your lifestyle. People will no longer look at you like the persons you really are. Compassionate eyes and sympathizing hand on shoulders become common. Either that or people completely avoiding talking to you about starting a family. Everything that you do will basically be considered wrong; Whether you are living and breathing for a baby project, planning to travel, have sex, drink a lot of red wine, stressing or practicing Yoga…
You will definitely manage the fertility journey better than me. I became a -five-year-old when I am being reprimanded by other adult people, my emotions racing. And then met with the unnatural task of voluntarily shooting hormones into my a bit oversized stomach.
Maybe you’re just as cool as Erik. He has an outstanding ability not to be disappointed in advance. Most of the time he is very positive waring a big fat “yes, we can do it attitude” and is certain that everything is going to be all right. Although he also sometimes has temporarily irritation breakdowns.
Breathe, give each other a hug and remind each other that people have even succeeded in having children under massive pressure, that fat people have gotten healthy pretty small children, all our parents have got children without knowing smoking and alcohol was a stupid idea.