It took Mr. Plain and me almost 5 years to get pregnant with our first biological child. In that time we did it all — medically speaking, you have such dirty minds! — and here are some notes I made that I’ve been keeping in a file called ‘whatIknow’. Yes, highly creative name. If you’re having trouble getting and/or staying knocked up, here’s “what I know.”
First off, there are some tests that are simple to perform that amazingly some people never get. I’ve heard of people who get all the way to IVF without having done a simple semen analysis — yikes!
Tests for the woman: prolactin, FSH, thyroid, estradiol, & progesterone. Some of these are done on certain days of your cycle, so the scheduling can be kind of a pain.
Test for the supplier of swimmers: semen analysis. If it looks questionable, then go for a ‘strict’ analysis to get more details.
I don’t recommend sticking with a regular OB for very long. It was hard to think of myself as someone who needed help with fertility, but it was much more efficient to go right to the specialists. Going to a Reproductive Endocrinologist meant that I was getting someone who had been extensively trained in what we needed.
My final assvice to you is to advocate for yourself. What finally ended up working for us was MY idea to try. No doctor had ever suggested it, yet I got pregnant and stayed pregnant the first time. That’s Robbie. We did it again, same result, and that’s Chip. If I had never spoken up, we wouldn’t have these great knuckleheads today.
So speak up for yourself. Make yourself a total nuisance if you have to. Change doctors if you have to. My RE was pretty good, but I’d have left his office in a heartbeat if I found someone better. For me it just couldn’t be a personal thing. It was too important to worry about hurting the doctor’s feelings!
And then there are the folks who say “why don’t you just adopt?” Maybe they’re well-meaning, but I still say you should be able to kick them in the shins. (Note that we adopted our first, Mike, and maybe that will be another post. Although frankly, I don’t know as much about adoption as I do about infertility. By the time we got to adoption I was all researched-out!)
So that’s what I know. These tips are obviously nothing earth-shattering, but there are still people out there who don’t touch all these bases. Have better infertility tips than mine? Stick ’em in the comments.