Let’s talk fertility
Fertility is a hot topic and one that can tear at people’s heart strings.
This is a blog post written in direct response to some women’s request for me to share my personal experience with other younger women.
By now you would know that everyone has an opinion and that’s ok. But when other people’s beliefs or opinions impact negatively on other people’s lives, then that’s not ok.
When I was happily single, people had this burning desire to to tell both my mother and I, what a disaster that was.
Why is Daphne single?
What is wrong with her?
She must be a lesbian! (not that anything is wrong with that!)
Especially frustrating was the fact that some people refused to accept that I had a full life and in between my career, studies, travel and exercise, I did not have the time to worry about being single. The truth was, that I had not yet met the man, that I felt was ‘worthy enough’ for me to make the sacrifice and settle down. Yes for me, settling down was a sacrifice. I loved my career, travelling the globe and all the different activities that I was engaged in. Most of my adventures would need to be sacrificed, if I were to focus on a ‘relationship’ and one where I would have to consider the other person’s feelings.
Aged 35 I got married
On the night of my wedding the same people that kept telling my mother and I that my being single was a disaster, approached me and told me that I would need to hurry up and give birth, as I may be infertile. WOW thanks for coming!
Pretty insensitive right? Especially since my husband was recovering from testicular cancer. Paul was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999, he had one testicle removed and underwent radiotherapy. Sperm was kept aside and frozen in the event that he wanted children later on.
In 2002 I visited a Dr in order to discuss the topic of fertility. I walked into her office blissfully ignorant and walked out of her office stressed! The Dr had advised me that due to my age and that Paul only had one testicle that fertility may be a problem. Furthermore, we would need to do a sperm count and pay close attention to when I was ovulating.
Gosh, now all of a sudden I am feeling overwhelmed and fearful. How hard can it be? Women have been having children for centuries. My grandmother had 17 births and had her last child aged 55. For goodness sake, my grandmother had her children in her own home with a midwife with no medical assistance in sight. Having said that, only 10 of her 17 births made it to adulthood.
So, I go home to Paul with my white lab coat, a chart to record my temperature and one to log my ovulation times. Admittedly, Paul was far from impressed.
“This is not romantic!” What are we doing a science experiment?”
Additionally, we now had to get a sample of sperm to rush to the nearest hospital to measure the sperm count! We only had 20 minutes to get the sample to the Mater Hospital or the swimmers would die. How’s that for pressure to perform!
This whole pregnancy stuff was now beginning to get far too strategic and complicated.
I wasn’t feeling very well and so I paid a visit to my favourite Dr, my family Dr and one that has known me since my teenage years. I told him the concerns that the other Dr had and his response was …
1. You only need one sperm and one egg
2. You must tent
What is tenting?
The vagina, when unaroused, resembles a collapsed tube. During arousal, muscular tension pulls the uterus upwards, the cervix contracts, and the vaginal tube extends. The vagina becomes both longer, wider, the vaginal wall thickens and the production of lubrication increases. This is called tenting.
Once the sperm have entered the uterus, contractions help propel the sperm upward into the fallopian tubes. If tenting has not occurred this makes it more challenging for the sperm to get to the fallopian tubes, in order to fertilise the egg.
Tenting is like surfing a wave versus swimming in a rip!
Taking the time to produce a female orgasm does increase the chances of falling pregnant. Enjoying intimacy with your partner with out the pressure to fall pregnant, does help in falling pregnant. After all, you only need one sperm and one egg. So the onus should be shifted from “trying to fall pregnant” to let’s make sure that the female tents.
Every time I mention the word ‘tenting’, the vast majority of people don’t know what I am talking about. Seriously, in an age of ‘information overload’ and IVF clinics increasing a rapid rate, why is the female orgasm not headline news.
A holistic approach to fertility – mind, body and soul
Having thought that I had bronchitis again and before the Dr could prescribe antibiotics, he had to take a pregnancy test.
We were pregnant!
All that rushing to the hospital to count the ‘swimmers’, stress related to our age and we were pregnant all along.
Fertility is a product of two and that is why I use the word ‘WE’ and not ‘I’. I have met women that have gone through years of unsuccessful IVF and when they stop “trying” they surprisingly fall pregnant. The pressure to perform can’t possibly help!
BTW, the same people that told me that it was a disaster that I was single and then that I would be infertile, now wanted to know the gender of my baby. When I told them that I had a healthy baby girl, their response was …“better luck next time!”
Hence, why I encourage you all to be like BOB.
As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle which involves good nutrition, exercise and the elimination of all toxins (including the human kind) .. then enjoy the intimacy and you just never know. Our bodies are amazing and our mind is incredibly powerful.
I am not saying that there are not serious medical reasons as to why some people are unable to fall pregnant and I am far from a Doctor.
I am purely telling our story and you are free to make your own conclusions after all.
In summary, what ever stage you are in life, aim to be more like Bob, relax and enjoy the journey.
The nose knows.
Daphne K Knows.