Infertility

Questions answered that you probably didn’t think to ask – infertility

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I should be used to it by now, but somehow a needle in my stomach that punctures a vein still makes me cry. I’m not scared of needles. I had blood tests done every 6 months for 10 years with my bilharzia. They filled a lot of tubes from my veins. This however has left little marks on my stomach, just enough so it goes a little red and purple – and gets irritated by wearing my jeans.

When a vein gets hit, it bleeds and burns and feels like something is trying to rip a huge hole on your tender tummy.

7 days

I have had 7 days of injections thusfar. The last 3 days was 2 injections a pop. (…and cost just over R6000!)

…and I’m thirsty all the time. I can literally drink water and still be thirsty. When the sisters say you have to stay dehydrated you want to get it right – because just maybe that is what you may do wrong.

2 scans in

I don’t know how it works at all the other fertility clinics, but at MedFem in the mornings… you arrive damn early to put your name on the sheet for a scan. I leave home at 5:15 to get my name on the list and luckily with Dr Clark I am always one of the first three.

A scan is what you think it is, a sonar probe down there. The fertility specialist can then see follicles (holders of eggs) and measure their length. Based on that he/she can ascertain if follicle growth is normal/under or over performing.

Tip for when you go – wear a dress or skirt then you don’t have to undress and put on the gown. You just use the supplied cover over your legs.

Things I get asked quite regularly

  • How did I find my doctor?
    I first went to another clinic and doctor. He wasn’t the nicest person in the world and I figured that if I’m going to pay someone so much I don’t want to have his personality rub me the wrong way. Then I went to see a doctor at yet another clinic. I didn’t feel that the clinic was the right place for me. So then I did more research online and stumbled across an article about Dr Clark. Then I clicked through to MedFem and his profile had a photo and I just knew that he was the doctor I needed to go see.
  • How many times have I had IVF?
    I don’t like to say that I’ve had IVF, I have gone for aspirations. This is when they harvest the eggs from the follicles. Yes, the eggs they’ve found have been fertilized using the IVF process. So technically I’ve only had IVF twice – but have been in the fertility clinic for aspirations more times than I care to remember.
  • How do I cope?
    I wake up and I just do. I don’t stop because I’m tired or feeling low. I just get it done. It’s the same principle as an athlete, you compete and stand the chance to win or you get left in obscurity.
  • Why didn’t I just adopt?
    How did you get out of bed today with that face? I’m awesome and I want to make sure this awesome continues. For some people adoption is right, for others it isn’t.
  • Do I know many people going through the same thing?
    I definitely know more people with fertility issues than you… Most couples just get on with the treatment and their lives. We don’t bond over roasting marshmallows. The infertility treatment process is stressful and expensive. Mostly you don’t want to see people.
  • How do you even know when you should see a fertility specialist?
    When you complain to your  gynecologist your period is all over the show and they say it’s because you are stressed out… or if you have irregular periods. When your gynecologist tells you that you’ve been doing it wrong and you’ve been trying to have a kid for more than a couple of months. Your gynecologist most definitely has no idea that there may be something wrong with you. Accept that and move on. When your gut tells you there is something wrong, trust your gut.

I am a Johannesburg based freelance writer, social media manager - and of course share bits from my life with you on this blog. We have 2 kids through surrogacy and 3 black cats.

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