GeraldineMN needs your help with conception ideas/thoughts(30 Posts)
I'm doing some stuff for the site but before I get too far wanted to ask what anyone who has had problems trying to conceive (first time, or subsequent times) wished they'd been told (or known) beforehand/ would want to highlight for other women. Thank you.
I wish I had been told how unlikely it is that your GP will have the first clue about fertility issues. Nearly everyone I know who has had problems has been misinformed by their GP about some aspect of TTC.
I also wish my DH had never been allowed to have vasectomy aged 29 with only one child aged 6 months old, a wife with PND and probably suffering from some kind of PTSD himself after a difficult birth - but I guess thats another story.
and before anybody stamps all over me, I know not all GP's are like this, but if you read the conception threads a very large portion are. Not necessarily the GP's fault (training/knowledge gaps etc) but well worth knowing that if you have any trouble TTC its probably best that you read up and know whats normal/not normal, what tests need to bve performed and when as an uninformed GP can delay the process of seeking help and some of us have precious little time to be able to afford these delays.
It took us a while the first time as literally didn't have a clue about ovulation calanders etc, learnt all that of this site and conceived first time the second time round.
I wish I had known how long it would take to see a specialist <naive> and how long the process between seeing the consultant for the first time and anything happening would be. (eg problem identified Sept, consultant appt Feb, tests April, follow up appt July). Waiting for appointments is heartbreaking when you are TTC.
I was surprised that various tests could be done at the GPs (ie bloods etc) rather than the hospital and that he could prescribe Clomid without the consultant intervening. If I had known this before, it could have saved us alot of time. (Another patient told us and prompted us to demand from ask GP)
One thing that really helped me emotionally was to take control of things myself. Rather than wait for medical things to be "done" to me, I/we made some choices and made huge lifestyle changes. We were determined that if we were going to have IVF, we would make sure we were in the best physical state possible.
Over 2 years, we completely changed our diet (no red meat, no cow dairy, no caffeine, no alcohol, no aspartame, as few additives as possible), took up yoga, acupuncture, reflexology etc. Doing this made me feel like we were contributing to the process and that we had some control in the whole ghastly process.
In the end, I got pregnant the month before our IVF treatment was due to start but continued the lifestyle changes all the way through pregnancy and beyond.
Make sure your husband tells you about good friends' pregnancies when you're at home alone, not when you're out in a pub . I cried over every pregnancy I heard about, no matter how much I liked the people concerned. I was so torn - pleased for them, and devastated for me.
Make an appointment to see the fertility clinic.
Then go on holiday, get married and get drunk for two weeks. Then realise you are pregnant.
Don't then go for the appointment anyway just in case because the shouty nurse will slam your folder shut and glare at you before asking you to leave and come back when you are NOT pregnant
Oh and stuff your DH full of sperm boosting vitamins.
Thank you to everyone who has posted. Anyone else got anything they think women going through problems conceiving really need to know.
That it really helps to talk to virtual people who are going through the same thing. Unless your freinds are having trouble conceiving too, they just won't understand, and will do insensitive things like sending you an email at work to announce that they are pg again, cos, whoops, the pill doesn't always work when you've spent 2 years TTC
Your GP may not know a thing.
The NHS system will have its own agenda and will not fit in with yours.
If you do go with the NHS there are long gaps between appts.
It is really stressful for both of you. You need to put aside some time to have fun.
Make sure that your sex life remains fun too. This is defintely not as easy as writing it.
Find online buddies going through the same thing. When you are in the midst of it you can get obsessed. Find some virtual friends who are equally obsessed.
I definitely agree with cmotdibbler. Online forums were a real lifeline for me.
Ladymuck's right too - keeping sex fun when you are timing it on days 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 of your cycle every month for years on end is never going to be easy, spontaneous or fun!
Things I discovered along the way (19 months before we conceived so perhaps not that long compared to some).... rushing around all the time really doesn't help - we had very busy lives and tended to go for active holidays as well rather than something more relaxing.
The process of having your fertility assessed by the NHS is hugely stressful and felt to me like a conveyor belt heading towards IVF. There was no advice on understanding your cycle or lifestyle changes that might help.
Acupuncture really helps - it worked for us not only in terms of conceiving but also as a way of dealing with some of the stress of ttc.
And finally what eventually worked for us was going on a cruise - for once we had no choice except to relax and that's when it happened.
My top tip is to lie to the GP about how long you've been TTCing. Get your foot in the door for any investigations sooner rather than later.
I'll echo everyone else - your GP might well be worse than useless. Mine suggested that we didn't get tested in case there was a problem and then we would have to deal with it ().
Also that it is incredibly frustrating even when you are in the system, as things cannot go quickly enough. Every month is an ovulation that has been and gone, and an opportunity that has gone forever. So it is awful to have to wait to see the specialist, to wait for the results of tests, to wait to discuss the results with the specialist and decide on treatment - and we were lucky enough to go private!
I'd say that the most important thing is to make sure that you hang onto your relationship. Infertility is so incredibly stressful and it seems to eat into every aspect of your life. It's so easy to take it out on each other and forget that you're a team pulling in the same direction.
By the way, I would really recomment buying a fertility monitor (I have the clearblue one) to anyone who has irregular cycles - it gives you a better indication of when you may be ovulating and what is going on with your cycles. Still ttc number 2 after 18 months, but have been using a monitor for only 3 months and my date of ovulation changes from CD 9 some months to CD 12 others. Well worth the money just to help plot your cycle.
Acupuncture really helps. Try it as a stress reducing remedy anyway. Read up about conception/fertility before you visit the GP as you may be told to "relax and it will happen".
If you have irregular cycles and are not using fertility monitors etc be aware that you can get pg at crazily varying times.
Don't have sex "just" to get pg, it undermines everything. Don't share every bit of information with dh ie mucus etc!
Agree with Marina - would prompt anyone suffering from failure to conceive to get themselves to the GP asap - or if they have the funds, go to a private clinic where they can do all the tests the NHS do in a fraction of the time.
It may be that there isn't anything wrong with either partner, and it will just take more time that your super-fertile friends do to get pregnant - but if anything is actually wrong with either of you, all the sex in the world on the right days isn't going to make a blind bit of difference. Best to know this, really. And if all the tests come back fine, then not to worry - and if they don't then at least you know where you are and can plan accordingly.
Give very careful consideration to who you want to tell that you are trying to conceive / that you are having problems. Even the most well-meaning people can come out with very ill-considered and hurtful comments.
That it is quite possible to conceive if you don't have periods. I have PCOS, and have always had either none (for over a year) or erratic periods but have had 3 pregnancies. That you can become pregnant when you are convinced that you are infertile or have had an early menopause (as I did with number 3). That PCOS is incredibly common, easily detected by an ultrasound/blood tests and there are a wide range of remedies from dietary changes, Clomid to ovarian drilling (literally drilling a space into all the cysts).
TheRedQueen is right. In fact I would say that even if you don't think that you will have any problems, it's a bad idea to let on that you're TTC. Once someone knows, you can't untell them, and if you find out that there is a problem then they are bound to ask how things are going which can be awful.
Some of the comments that we had (that I know are very common) are -
"You can always adopt".
"And as soon as my friend relaxed then everything was just fine".
Thanks again for all your responses. Very helpful (and interesting).
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