Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Fast Facts

Five Fertility Fast Facts
Friday, February 27, 2015
I thought it would be fun and informative to have the Friday blog be a “Fast Facts” day, and keeping with the “F” party we have going on, I will do five of them every Friday. If this is something you would like to see every Friday let me know. If you are just not into it let me know. Feedback is always welcome in the comment section down below or catch me on Facebook or tweet me! So here we go…..

1.      You (and by you I mean you and your significant other) are not technically infertile until you have been trying for at least a year with no success.

Many reproductive endocrinologists will not even officially see you until you and your significant other have been trying to conceive for over a year. This is because pregnancy is actually kind of rare. Completely normal healthy couples only have a 20%-25% chance of becoming pregnant. So in order to weed out the “just not pregnant yet” couples from the “we have an issue” couples they require couples to try to conceive for at least a year or 6 months for those over the age of 35.

2.       Contortionist need not apply. *Warning TMI Ahead*

Sexual positions are not a factor when trying to conceive. Sure, if a certain position helps you and your significant other achieve maximum penetration and pleasure that is obviously helpful. However every woman’s anatomy is different and every couple will be different. There are no specific positions that promote conception more than others. So tying yourself into a pretzel is not necessary, unless you are into that.

3.       Infertility affects men and women equally.

Surprised? I sure was, but it is true. A couple is equally likely to be infertile because of male factor infertility as woman factor infertility. So why is there this stigma about infertility being a woman’s issue? Not sure, but in our society it is true, we look at infertility as a woman’s issue on the most basic level. She is the one who is either getting pregnant or not getting pregnant. We all need to keep in mind that whichever factor is affecting your own personal journey, support should be your number one priority! When you are a couple it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, matter who is technically at fault. With that said….

4.       A quarter of all couples who are infertile have more than one causing factor.
This was news to me. This just goes to show that seeing a specialist is so important. In my experience most MDs find a cause and stop looking, so who knows, this percentage could be much higher. I think it is important to keep asking questions, and get more than one MDs opinion on your particular situation. Ask questions about other factors and if they could also be included in your diagnosis.

5.       Some states are passing laws requiring insurance companies to cover infertility treatments.

According to “Fifteen states have passed laws requiring that insurance policies cover some level of infertility treatment: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia.” I am super proud of my state, Texas, for being part of the list. In every state the level of coverage will be different so please take the time and research your state if it is on the list. Also if your state is not included, take a few moments of your time to write your state representatives about this important issue. In future post I will be going further into detail about this subject, as well as other insurance concerns, so stay tuned!

Well there are your first set of Friday Fast Facts. I hope you found this post informative, helpful, or entertaining, etc. Please let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions. You can contact me using one of the links in the Connect with me section to the right or commenting down below!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

One Year Closer

One year closer to the dreaded 35th

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Today is my birthday. This year, just like last year and the year before, I am not looking forward to it at all. Every birthday celebrated without children seems like a waste. I feel like my life is frozen, except the years keep going by, I keep getting older but my life stays the same. I keep encroaching on that dreaded infertility threshold of being 35 or older. Hell, even Google knows I am getting older.

When did birthdays become a dread? I remember when I was growing up; birthdays were always fun, family events that celebrated me and the family around me. My birthdays consisted of birthday dinner requests, special homemade cakes, family, gifts, and love. One year I received the most wonderful present ever; my little sister Margie was born on March 1st. I spent my 16th birthday on my first trip outside of the United States. I was on a school group trip to London, England. I have always loved my birthday. So when did it become something I wish would just never come?

I think the answer to that question is; when I started to realize that my age, and getting older, could become a major factor in whether or not I would ever have a family of my own. It became a factor in whether I would ever get to shower my own child with love on their birthday. For those of you who are curious as to what I am talking about; after women reach the age of 35, or older, it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to conceive and further exacerbates infertility issues. Not to mention that increased age in pregnancy comes with its own set of concerns and issues.

So what do I do? How do I keep myself from slipping into a mood and ruining my birthday for myself? I lean on my husband. Although he is on this journey with me, he tends not to get so upset by the age factor. Let’s face it; men don’t always understand what we go through and our emotions on all the different factors about woman factor infertility. Although my hubby seems to do a wonderful job at helping me stay grounded and he helps me control my doubt. He doesn't like to see me upset and uses humor often to keep my spirits lifted and my hopes high! I really don’t know what I would do without him.

For more information about age and infertility check out these links:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New Blogger in the House (2/25/15)

New Blogger in the House

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Where to begin? I guess I will start with a personal introduction and some thoughts about what in the world I was thinking when I decided to start this whole blogging thing.
I’m Courtney, tomorrow is my birthday and I will be 31 years old. I am supremely happily married now for 2 years and 3 months.

We have two fur-babies; Felix and Sandy.
Felix is an adorable and feisty male grey kitty cat. He is a rescue my sister-in-law found in a box on the side of the road. He came to live with us and is now part of the family.

Sandy is a beautiful and loveable 2lb Chiweenie (Chihuahua and Dachshund mix). She was a rescue of sorts as well. She was a gift to me last year for my birthday.

I come from a large family with 3 sister and 2 brothers and I grew up on the east coast of Florida. We now live in east Texas. *Warning TMI ahead* When I was 17 I noticed that my periods had stopped. I had not had one for around 3 or 4 months. My mother was not one you could talk to about these things so I was very nervous to tell her I thought something was wrong. She took me to her OB-GYN. I had never seen an OB-GYN before so they had to do a normal check up on me, and ran some blood tests. She came to the conclusion that she thought I had something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

As teenager I didn’t quite know what that meant. As a woman my mother didn’t know what it meant. As a doctor the OB-GYN was new to the syndrome as well. At that point in the syndromes history there were very few things known about it. The only treatment option that was given to me was birth control. Being a Catholic I was very upset by this news. I mean, I wasn’t planning on becoming pregnant anytime soon. I was still a virgin and was going to keep it that way until I was married (at least at that point in my life). But, birth control was very much a no-no in my religion. However it was explained to me that if needed for medical reasons, and not for the prevention of pregnancy, it was perfectly ok.

I was prescribed a medication to induce my period as well as a prescription for birth control. It worked for the time being and I didn’t know any better to be worried about the future of my fertility. I didn’t realize it then but that was the beginning of what would be the hardest road I have yet to travel. I didn’t know it would cause so much pain, doubt, shame, embarrassment, jealousy and so much more.

My husband and I have been trying to conceive (TTC) now for 2 years and 2 months, both actively and through inactivity. Through the course of this blog I will be going into detail about our journey so far and the path that has yet to be traveled. I will be open and honest with the hopes that this becomes therapeutic for me. This is something that is very much out of my comfort zone. To be completely honest it frightens me to death.  However, my hope for this blog is that I can reach others suffering with infertility, even if it is just one person.