You would think being a fertility doctor, or at least one who is about to be, it would be easy being a patient. Unfortunately, it was the opposite.
I realized how little we truly know about our bodies and reproduction. In fact, I realized how much unknown that still exists. I found myself constantly on Google all night trying to solve this puzzle of infertility. What did I learn, what can I pass on?
I wish I knew how common it is, infertility impacts 1 in 8 couples and even more in medicine with it being 1 in 4!
Infertility does not discriminate, it can impact any one of any color or age. I was 29 when I first sought out help. If you have tried for a year and have not achieved pregnancy, it’s time to seek help, regardless of whether or not you were using ovulation kits! You also don’t need three months to bounce back after birth control for fertility. Birth control does not impact future fertility, most are short term and fertility will resume the following month. In fact, you are the most fertile the month after stopping your pill.
I know us fertility doctors can be scary, it’s like letting some stranger into a very intimate part of your life. I promise we are there to help. Don’t be shy or embarrassed, this is all we do all day there is nothing we likely haven’t heard.
Don’t think just because you go to a fertility doctor you HAVE to do IVF. I know I was so scared of IVF that when it was brought up, I would shy away and switch clinics.
If you have to do IVF, know it’s not that scary, it is not months and months of treatment. Its typically injections for 10-14 days, then egg retrieval, then in most cases following month transfer.
How does your life change once you start treatment? Guess what you can still drink coffee, up to 200mg a day. What about alcohol? Well that’s debatable, hard to quantify toxin exposure, right? Well I tell my patients that your eggs have been there your whole life, so we have to look at it big picture. A glass of wine during stimulation wont change your outcome by much.
I also wish someone spoke to me about my ideal family size and fertility preservation. You know you want kids, just not now? Why not be proactive and freeze your eggs or embryos? As a female, fertility continues to decline. However, once frozen, your eggs stay that age until you are ready to implant which can happen till age 55.
Hope you learnt something from this and take action to protect your fertility!