Musing on infertility

A friend of mine rang me today to discuss the risks of isoflurane in pregnancy. She’s a vet, and wants to know how worried she should be about this risk.

This surprised me a bit, not because she rang about this topic, because it’s something I know a bit about, but that she is trying to get pregnant.

Because she is 42. And she fairly recently broke up with her long term boyfriend. He was a bit of a dead loss to be honest. He had always lived with his parents, then rather reluctantly moved in with her, but still wasn’t ready to have kids. Although he knew she did, and her sister had had to do IVF, so who knows what her (or his) fertility is. As my friend said, they needed to try living together before they tried for kids, but what should she do? Should she go it alone, or try with him, but they weren’t living together and on and on.

tick tick tick

So, fast forward about 5-6 years. They decide living together isn’t working, so they split up, and he heads home to live with his parents again. She’s successfully single. We have dinner, I’m at least six months pregnant. She knows of my struggles, and comments that really, her ex-boyfriend had made the decision for her, by delaying things. Sad, but there it is. She’s a doting aunty. She travels overseas annually. She goes out in the evenings. She parties. She dances tango.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. New man on the scene – hurrah.  Time to meet him…

But then the phone call.

Even if they’ve known each other for a while, they haven’t lived together. And I get that they don’t have time to wait, but… but…

I would hate them to struggle with trying to conceive when they don’t already have a really rock solid foundation. We had a good fifteen years behind us, and already had proven fertility, and it was still the hardest thing that we’ve ever been through as a couple.

Still, I guess, who knows? Perhaps she will fall pregnant straight away. She’s already told me, given me permission to tell my partner, and has told her workplace. Which I find astounding really, given how secret most of us keep this. She’s always been a positive person.

I just hope it works out for her.

I guess at worse, she will have tried, so that’s something. At least she is being given the option. And, if she does fall pregnant but it doesn’t last, then she’s a single mum, and that’s not the end of the world, as long as he isn’t terrible.

What I don’t wish for her is a struggle for years and years. I almost want to shake her and say “GO DIRECTLY TO THE RE, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200 (even if you are going to need it, just have a consult, you don’t have time to waste)”. I am going to suggest she at least get her antimullerian hormone done, so she knows how her egg stash is going.

In other news, this has been hitting the media

Basically women who had an HSG had increased fertility when flushed with an oil based product versus saline. I can’t find the original article it’s based on. However, it says fertility was improved by 29%, and that 40% of women who had the flush got pregnant. So that’s presumably 40% pregnant with oil, versus about 30% pregnant with saline. But what we are missing is the control group (if there was one) who didn’t have the HSG. How many of them fell pregnant? It would be good to see the original study.

I do wonder if the HSG played a role in me falling pregnant. Last year I had a Hicosy in January. And the January attempt to conceive was poorly timed, so unlikely to succeed (we were in different states, and my partner was flying in, but I’d probably already ovulated). I fell pregnant mid April, three months later (so second well timed event). It could just be a coincidence. Or, maybe the HyCoSy did do something. I’d like to think so. My RE didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about me having one, given I’d been pregnant three times previously. But I’d read that fertility rates increase after one, so I was keen, but pretty disappointed it didn’t work the first month.

Oh, and my baby. He’s delightful. And I am enjoying him just so much. I lean over him, and stare into his face. “I waited for you” I whisper, “Where were you? I waited so long.” He stares back, then his face breaks into a big grin. “Gooo” he says earnestly… “Gooooo!”

It’s wonderful.

Oh, and a little secret, I want another.

(But I seriously doubt I can ever convince my partner to try again).

(And yes, I know how ridiculous this is. And I know how unfair it is. And I don’t expect ANY sympathy. I suspect I’m still just swimming in oxytocin and other hormones).


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