These days more and more of us are having trouble having a baby. The reasons for this are many and varied, but whatever the cause the fact is many more people are turning to medicine these days to help them with their fertility.
Before we go into all the different infertility treatments and the pros and cons of each, it is very important to first assess if your fertility is really a concern. The fact is, with so much money at stake, a simple visit to the doctor can easily lead down a rabbit hole that ends in IVF. Before you make that move, it is in your best interest to look at some facts about conception to see if you even have a problem that warrants medical intervention.
A Roll Of The Dice
Each cycle, a healthy woman with no medical problems has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant if she has sex in the "ovulation window." The ovulation window is about a week-long stretch of time that goes from 3 days before you ovulate to about 2 days after. Although by all means you should feel free to have sex outside that window, do not expect it to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Looking at that 20% number, it becomes clear that even when everything is going well, you have a 1 in 5 chance. And that doesn't mean that if you try 5 times you wil get pregnant. It is completely possible for you to "try" over and over without getting pregnant, even though there is no medical problem. In fact, this happens all the time.
A good rule of thumb is to try 12 months, being sure to have sex in the ovulation window, before even starting to consider that there may be a problem. Of course, if there are obvious signs and symptoms don't wait! But if your period comes regularly and you have cervical mucous somewhere in the middle of the cycle, don't rush to medicine. Give your body a chance to conceive naturally, you will be glad you did.
When to Concede
As I said, if there are obvious signs and symptoms don't wait to get help. Here are the major signs you should look for:
- If you do not get a menstrual period.
- If your period is irregular, meaning it can be 28 days one cycle, then 45 the next, or whatever. If there is a big swing in the amount of time it takes before you start bleeding that is considered irregular.
- If you don't have cervical mucous. The cervical mucous is that clear egg-white looking discharge that you likely see on your underwear somewhere near the middle of your cycle. If that doesn't sound familiar, you may not be ovulating. Please keep in mind that many women have variations in the cervical mucous that may or may not point to a problem. If you are unsure (for instance if the mucous is watery, or has a color, or has a smell, or there just is very little of it) then a visit to a holistic doctor may be in order. I say holistic because again you don't want to start the IVF process before it is necessary.
- If you bleed outside your menstrual period. There are many reasons for this, but in general if you have uterine bleeding outside your period, you should go get checked out.
Of course, there are so many variables to track and the whole process is weighted with such stress and anxiety that sometimes it feels overwhelming and you want to go to a doctor just to get an opinion.
In order to keep you from going to an RE too quickly, we at City Acupuncture have created a free consultation service just for women who are TTC. There is no obligation. Just click the button below and fill out a basic form and one of our licensed acupuncturists will get back to you quickly to answer any questions you have.