Struggling to Conceive? Here’s what you need to know

This post is sponsored by Babystart

My husband and I started trying for our first baby. I was 31 and after six months I started to panic that there was something wrong. I went to the doctor to find out what to do, we got some referrals for testing but she didn’t seem too concerned. We went on a holiday to Bali and when I returned I found out I was pregnant so we never needed to make those appointments.

When our son turned one we decided to try for number two. We tried to conceive for a few months and nothing happened. Then we went on holidays to Fiji, I came back and realised that my period was very late. I tested, it was negative. I waited, tested again, still negative. I finally got my period but it was very late. I was concerned so I went to see my doctor again. She asked me to lose some weight to see if that made a difference. I did as she asked and I purchased an ovulation test, like the Babystart Ovulation Test to test my ovulation cycle at home.

I kept tracking my ovulation and she put me on Metformin to see if that made a difference. Finally, I started to see a response on my ovulation tests. We did this for a few months, still not pregnant! Hubby went and got his sperm tested and the results were not great, low volume and low morphology.

Home Testing

Although we went to a clinic, there are more options these days.  I recently discovered there are kits like the Babystart Sperm Test available at the chemist.  It would have made it a lot easier (and cheaper) if we did the tests at home first.

After the results of the sperm testing our GP referred us to an IVF clinic for more testing.

At the IVF clinic, they sent me for blood tests and scans and hubby for more semen analysis. Again, hubby’s results didn’t come back well. The doctor decided to put me on Letrozole to ensure that I was ovulating. I kept on testing and I was definitely ovulating! We did three cycles and still no results!

IVF

It had been 18 months since we had started trying to conceive. I was getting upset and frustrated, it seemed like everyone around me was falling pregnant except me. All my mothers’ group friends were pregnant or already had their second! Our IVF specialist told us that we had a 6% chance of falling pregnant naturally, we were going to have to do IVF. We had no idea before this journey that 1/3 of couples struggle to conceive and that around 40% of fertility issues can be because of the sperm quality, especially given that we had already had one baby.

They gave us the quote and we were blown away with the price and that was just for one cycle! What if we needed two, three, four or even more? We just didn’t have that kind of money and didn’t want to get ourselves in debt. Shouldn’t we be happy with the one we were already so lucky to have? So many people in our situation had none.

I decided to do some research and found out that bulk billing IVF clinics have been introduced. I made an appointment and went through the whole process of testing again. We booked in for our first cycle. Doing IVF was scary, it was a time consuming emotional rollercoaster. The injections, day surgery for egg pick up, finding out we only got four eggs. Three fertilised, two grade one and a grade three. They transferred a grade one and froze the other. I was in the dreaded ‘two-week wait’, not knowing if it worked. Knowing I only had one more embryo in freeze that may not make the thawing process. That I would have to go through the whole cycle again if it didn’t work.

Finally, the day for BETA blood tests arrived to see if I was pregnant. It was positive!!! I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to fall on my first round. Here I am, getting ready to celebrate my son’s third birthday, two years after I first started trying to conceive. I have learnt so much in the last two years… but mostly I realise how blessed I am and how sad I am for the many potential parents out there who will never experience the joy of bringing a baby into this world.

Steps you can take to help conceive

If you are struggling to conceive there are a number of steps you can try before you try a fertility clinic. If you are carrying a bit of extra weight, or if you are too thin then that can affect your fertility. 12% of infertility is down to these factors alone. The Babystart fertility tests are registered medical devices that can help you with your journey, offering complete privacy and a 99% accuracy rate. Babystart offers fertility tests, ovulation and sperm tests (and a couples pack for easy testing) and even an ovulation microscope that detects hormone changes in saliva to help identify the best days for conception.

To see the full range of Babystart products visit www.babystart.com.au

 

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