Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Infertility Myth: when all tests come back normal, you're just not trying hard enough

BUSTED! There is such a thing as "unexplained infertility" - many of us in the IF community are diagnosed with it, and me and my hubby part of that group.

It is, however, a very difficult diagnosis - even though it still keeps all options open regarding treatment, it brings with it a big test in self confidence. I delayed fertility treatments because of nothing showing up on the tests, of everything being normal - and for not getting the real diagnosis until much later. After each test coming back normal, there would be someone in my entourage saying "just relax", "take a vacation", "wear some nice lingerie and drink a glass of wine". Or, probably even worse: "you're probably not trying hard enough" - it's a big slap in the face when you're hearing this while your marriage is almost falling apart because you've been charting, using OPKs, checked your CM, put a pillow under your butt, stood on your head, demanded your hubby to reschedule his business trips because of your monthly fertile window, which all resulted in sex having almost nothing to do with love making anymore but just becoming a chore.

But still, sometimes I have this weird guilty feeling, thinking that probably we really didn't try hard enough. We stopped the charting, the OPKs, the CM checks, and tried to go back to normal love making, because we didn't want our marriage to fall apart. Did we really do everything possible in trying to become pregnant naturally?

And then I have to remind myself, that yes, we did try hard enough, if we hadn't, then at least one of those six failed IUIs should have worked. No, infertility, even if there is no medical explanation, is a disease, and it has nothing to do with not trying hard enough.

This post is part of the "bust an infertility myth challenge" in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week® (and by doing so I'm trying to expand it from National to International, as I'm in France!). To get a basic understanding of infertility, please visit RESOLVE's Infertility 101 website. For more information about National Infertility Awareness Week®, please visit the NIAW website.


Chon said...

I hate unexplained infertility with a passion. Your bust a myth ties in nicely with my myth that is ok you are only young. It seems unexplained is just the too hard basket for us!!! If we were only young, if there was nothing wrong with us then all of our treatements should have work - right?

Erika said...

UGH!! I am so sorry you get all those ridiculous 'helpful comments'!! Don't you just want to smack the next person who tells you to relax?? Good luck with your FET.

Summastarlet said...

Thank you for writing this post and busting this myth! Well written!! xx

Lucy said...

I was fortunate enough to have a diagnosis that gave me the stamp of infertile...I think this is a great post busting the myth of unexplained infertility!


S said...

Here for ICLW. My husband and I are also "unexplained" and, like you, we delayed doing treatments because we thought "if there's nothing wrong with either of us, surely it will just happen if we try long enough."

Here we sit, 40 unsuccessful cycles later. Not so much.

My Infertile Confessions said...

I felt we had unexplain IF even though I am pcos. I would ovulate 2-6 eggs during IUI's, we would have "perfect" cycles according to my RE. I knew when we did IVF the unexplained would be explained. My husbands sperm didn't like or couldn't fertilized my eggs. We had fertilization FAILURE! Horrible! But rescue ICSI was preformed and we have miracle babies on the way.

Good luck on your journey and I hope your unexplained gets explained! Happy ICLW!

Rachel said...

We are unexplained as well. It's a uniquely difficult situation to not know WHY. Because, as you know, that doesn't meant that there isn't a reason. There must be a reason. Frustrating, I know.

Angela and David said...

So well written. This is one of those things you think no one in their right mind would ever say, yet I know countless insensitive people must make it.

New Year Mum said...

Love your myth busting.. and IF is absolutely nothing to do with not trying hard enough - if anything, I think we could all be accused of trying too hard !! :)) Love to you always xoxo

Anonymous said...

Me and my husband were dx with unexplained infertility as well-. It is so frustrating for me to not have any answers as to what the problem is.
We went through IVF and we are so blessed that it worked- but even through the whole process- everything still checked out normal. Yet we had tried for 3 years--- and I was not able to get pregnant once-. So obviously something is wrong. For me that was the most frustrating thing- is not knowing what we are/were dealing with-.

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

Myth busted!

I love this post as there are certainly challenges with our "unexplained infertility". You beautiful dispell that myth - good job.

Now following and can't wait to read more.


Tami said...

Unexplained infertility may be one of the toughest diagnoses because you don't know where to start to "fix" it. I hated that friends and family didn't always believe we were infertile because we couldn't put a name to it.

Few people realize how much damage infertility can do to a marriage. Thank you for sharing honestly about your relationship. I'm so glad you were finally able to become parents. God bless you!