Lets discuss infertility and miscarriages this week, this post will be mostly informational and science of infertility; the next one will be my story and then I will touch on miscarriages last. For some reason people do not discuss these subjects openly, it’s considered taboo. For so long our society and focused on the woman and her role in creating a baby. You are considered “broken” if you cannot get or stay pregnant. That needs to change.
Women go around fighting these issues alone because they don’t feel able to discuss the matter with anyone other than their doctor and possibly spouse. We should change that, we need support to learn about these things and it is important for our mental health.
Technically speaking, infertility means the lack of ability to become and/or stay pregnant. Though, for hundreds of years it was thought that women were in control of everything from getting pregnant to the gender of the baby. Science is better than that and I believe the term is due for a change in definition.
6.1 Million women between the ages of 15 to 44 (why the CDC is determining fertility for children I have no clue) in the United States has difficulty getting or staying pregnant. Granted, most of the process starts and stays with the female, if you are having regular intercourse and have been trying to conceive for 12 or more months then there is a fertility issue. Since most of the process is with the female that is where all the testing starts.
Standard first tests is blood work, usually of both parties. Checking for STDs, hormone levels, iron, thyroid and others helps to know if there is an imbalance somewhere. Next is the ultrasound, “this gives information on what the ovaries and uterus look like. Your doctor will look at the growth of eggs, the thickness of the lining of the uterus (if thin, it can indicate hormonal problems), the presence of fibroids or polyps on the uterus, as well as signs of endometriosis or ovarian cysts.”
While the ladies get the ultrasound (fyi, if you’ve never had one please be prepared because if they’re looking at your uterus and eggs it is an internal ultrasound and that can be a touch alarming) the guys get to give a semen sample to make sure they are shaped correctly, not running in circles or slow.
The thing with infertility is guys really only have one thing that can go wonky. Women have many different parts of function that can get a bit haywire and it’s mostly treated as different issues.
I would like to note at the end of today’s blog post that I know, I myself had fertility issues and have had a miscarriage. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon and gets more noticeable with age.