When you’re in high school and you learn about the human body and sex education, you also learn about pregnancy and – mostly – how to avoid it. Then the time comes in life to actually plan your family and start thinking about getting pregnant and creating that little piece of immortality right from scratch. That sex ed class? It told you that if you missed out on contraception, you were going to get pregnant. Well, they were wrong, weren’t they?
For most people, dropping contraception and just going for it with a healthy sex life is all that is needed. Most people don’t have to dive into the world of actually trying to conceive. It just ‘happens’ for some. Get drunk, go dancing and in the heat of the moment, a miracle is made. And then there are the others; the women who try and try despite the 25% shot each month, who stock the bathroom with tampons month after month getting more and more desperate each time. The women who turn to websites like this one to teach them how to take their temperatures and use ovulation pee sticks, and still nothing. The women who frantically begin researching where to find a potential egg donor and make lists of things to ask their doctor about next steps. Trying to conceive is supposed to be fun, magic, a miracle. The thing is, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s frustrating and exhausting, and the men end up feeling like sperm wands and what is supposed to be passionate sex turns into sex-by-numbers on ovulation day. Doesn’t sound great, does it?
Trying to conceive is not an easy game to be involved in, but it is an all-consuming one. There’s a lot of science that goes into making a baby, and most women aren’t aware of how difficult it is to conceive. They’re also not entirely aware that there are only a certain few days a month that conception can happen. The thing is, even when you do try on the right days, with the right tricks and the world is in the right place, it doesn’t guarantee a baby. And that there is heartbreaking. The good news, though, is that science is on our side now. We have so many treatments and procedures available now that can help women who are struggling to catch that egg that pops once a month. The best thing that any couple struggling to conceive a child can do is to speak to their doctor together. If, after a year of trying, no baby has been conceived, then there’s a chance that there is an issue with either party. For men, testing of their sperm may be needed. It can be a blow to the ego if testing is needed, but if it’s going to help pinpoint the reason behind the infertility, it’s going to be worth it. Women can have their womb and ovaries scanned to determine egg reserves and the environment inside.
Infertility is not a dirty word; it just means that your miracle needs a little assist to get here.