As a women’s health and pelvic floor therapist, I am very aware of how common infertility is, however when my husband and I decided to try for a baby, it didn't dawn on me that we may be the 1 in 8.
Rationally I knew it could take a while. I mean there is only a 25% chance of conceiving in a given month if you time everything perfectly, and if you don’t time everything perfectly that chance drops significantly. Yet, emotionally, every month when I got my period or a negative test, I was heart broken.
My cycle was also extremely irregular so every month I would get my hopes up that my period wouldn’t come, and then it would show it’s ugly face and I would be doing everything I could to stay positive.
The irregular cycles also made it hard to predict when I was ovulating, or if I was even ovulating at all. It’s very hard for the sperm to fertilize the egg when there isn’t one.
I peed on so many sticks: ovulation tests and pregnancy tests and progesterone tests. I started seeing doctors and researching anything and everything I could find on why we weren’t conceiving, and honestly at this point sex started to feel like a chore.
There is nothing less sexy than peeing on a stick and then feeling obligated to do it right that minute because the dipstick told you that you were going to ovulate soon.
As each month passed, it became harder and harder for me to stay positive and not completely fall apart when that month, like all the other previous months, ended with no positive pregnancy test.
The emotional toll and the pressure to “perform” at specific times started to affect my marriage so after about a year into trying with no success and lots of tests, we decided to not take basal temps, or pee on ovulation sticks or schedule sex. We decided to just enjoy each other. Now when we did that, it did a couple of things.
It took the pressure off
It allowed me to really get in turn with my body and what it was telling me—I got really good at telling based on my cervical mucus what my body was most likely doing
It allowed us to really enjoy each others company
Now we did not conceive the first month doing this and it was hard to keep the mentality of not overthinking and planning, but we did end up conceiving a couple months later.
I share my story because infertility affects 1 in 8 couples, however I feel that it is not talked about enough. My hope is that my story reminds someone else going through the same thing that they are not alone.