PDA

View Full Version : Reasons why can't start a family?



KellyAssauer
06-29-2011, 03:42 PM
The scenario: Married couple in their late 20's to early thirties, trying to start a family... but just can't after so-called 'normal' attempts.

Where can I find the list of what things to do then?

And 'what if' somewhere down that line she does conceive, but can't carry further than say a couple of months. At what point on that 'list' would they get tested for fertility? And what if it's 'her' and not him. Is there anything to do then?

I know it's a lot of questions, but without this research I might as well shelve this novel idea.

Many thanks!

-Kelly

Cella
06-29-2011, 03:59 PM
I know a couple who dealt with this and getting tested for fertility happened after about a full year of trying for a pregnancy.

Incidently, it ended up being a different sex position that lead to conception for them and a healthy pregnancy.

Guardian
06-29-2011, 04:04 PM
They could get a surrogate mother (probably not your first choice, I imagine), or try a sperm donor, or even have a fertilized egg implanted in her womb.

I think they might also try some old wives' tales types of fertilization tricks. Things like what foods to eat, what position to have sex in (I remember watching Dharma & Greg when they were trying to conceive, and she had her legs up in the air after sex).

I have a neighbor, and also my brother's girlfriend, who repeatedly would become pregnant and miscarry, unfortunately. I'm not sure why as I hesitate to ask. My neighbor has since then had a baby girl - they just had to be very careful monitoring her pregnancy. My brother's girlfriend is also pregnant at the moment.

If they had a miscarriage, or repeated attempts to get pregnant failed over several months, then they might finally seek a doctor. I'm not sure what they do for a woman, but I imagine that for a man they at least check his sperm count and look at their virility (not sure if they do anything else for a man).

If it is her issue, it depends on what the issue is. She might have issues with her eggs. Like I said, she could have a fertilized egg implanted. If she has more of a physical issue, and maybe if she's had a miscarriage, too, then that would point to her not being able to have a child at all. They would have to go for adoption or surrogacy. But some women have been told that they can't ever have a child, and then go on to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy child.

areteus
06-29-2011, 05:04 PM
A good source on this is Ben Elton's Inconceivable which covers just this process including all the wierd and wonderful old wive's tales. What I learnt from that was that there are only a couple of things that could be wrong with the sperm but thousands that could be wrong with the whole female system, some of them potentially fatal (like Ovarian cysts). There is also part of that story which discusses compatability testing (seeing if the microenvironment in the vagina is killing the sperm, which can happen apparently...). Worth a read, anyway...

Becca_H
06-29-2011, 05:48 PM
Just to add that if you choose surrogacy, this can be very expensive. In the US (or at least California) surrogates can be paid for their services - and the going rate can be as high as $100,000 or greater. Then you have legal implications of who's the mother.

Seconded that girls are regularly told they can't get pregnant and then do so. A friend of mine is supposedly infertile but gave birth to her daughter in December.

Chris P
06-29-2011, 06:29 PM
Ex-SIL had numerous miscarriages, and carried one to term who sadly died a few hours after birth. Turned out the blood was clotting in the umbilical cord. Once they found out what was happening, she was put on some sort of blood thinner and she has now had two very healthy very bouncy babies with absolutely no complications.

PinkAmy
06-29-2011, 06:43 PM
The scenario: Married couple in their late 20's to early thirties, trying to start a family... but just can't after so-called 'normal' attempts.

Where can I find the list of what things to do then?

And 'what if' somewhere down that line she does conceive, but can't carry further than say a couple of months. At what point on that 'list' would they get tested for fertility? And what if it's 'her' and not him. Is there anything to do then?

I know it's a lot of questions, but without this research I might as well shelve this novel idea.

Many thanks!

-Kelly
1 year of not being able to conceive is usually the amt of time that obgyn's worry about infertility if the woman is under 30, less time if the woman is over thirty because the window of opportunity is smaller.

There are times when couples seem ok on paper, nothings shows up on the tests, everything looks normal. There are many reasons why a woman might be infertile everything from scarring from previous surgeries, or a violent attack to STDs to endometriosis to early onset menopause.

There are many reasons why a woman can't carry a fetus to term from a prolapsed uterus to hormonal imbalance to internal scarring.

Why don't you tell us what you want the situation with the couple to be in and we can give you more detailed sources and ideas.

soapdish
06-29-2011, 06:55 PM
Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a must read (recommended just about anytime a couple is struggling) and they have a website with a forum and everything. You might find some interesting stuff there. :Shrug:

http://tcoyf.com/

Kathl33n
06-29-2011, 07:13 PM
Look up PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome). Lots of problems involved, and nobody is ever the same. I have the disease, but I overcame the odds and had not one, but two children. I was not exactly the "norm," with the disease. My symptoms weren't like anybody else's that I'd ever come into contact with or found information on while doing searches on the web.

After a visit to a wonderful fertility doctor, I was placed on glucophage which is a diabetic medication. Since PCOS tends to lead women to also have insulin resistance, glucophage helps regulate the blood sugar to help relieve this problem. Everything I found online seemed to point me into the low-carb diet regimen to also solve the problem. I did the Atkins diet for a year, lost 50 pounds, and got pregnant.

But my battle was far from over. I had intermittent bleeding throughout the pregnancy, along with toxemia (high blood pressure in pregnant women). There is another name medical professionals use for toxemia nowadays, but I can't remember it at the moment.

I was in and out of the hospital for the second half of my pregnancy, and on bed rest. My doctor specifically told me to just lie around and do nothing, and if I absolutely must, only do one flight of stairs per day.

After my blood pressure scared my doctor enough, they scheduled a C-section a month early. I was given a shot in the hospital on a prior visit to help advance my daughter's lung development, just in case they needed to take her even earlier than planned.

A very rare occurrence happened when they did the C-section. My placenta and the umbilical cord were not fully attached to each other. Only a few veins kept them attached, and if I had her naturally, it would have been a disaster from what I was told. From what I understand, that is very rare. My doctor had the anesthesiologist come over and look at it, saying "wow, this is like text book stuff right here."

Anyway, that was my experience. I don't know if that is something you may be looking for.

Kathl33n
06-29-2011, 07:16 PM
There is a website called "Soul Cysters" that is a group of women with PCOS who share their experiences and support one another. I keep meaning to visit the site since I had success and to share my story there, but I haven't yet. You may find some info there too.

I forgot to mention above--all they need to do to find out if you have PCOS is a simple blood test.

PinkAmy
06-29-2011, 08:51 PM
Grey's Anatomy did an episode about Meridith's hostile uterus
http://www.wetpaint.com/greys-anatomy/articles/behind-the-medical-jargon-what-is-a-hostile-uterus and if you google hostile uterus you'll find personal accounts of women with so-called hostile uteri. It's not technically that the uterus is hostile, but uterus sees the fetus not as something that's supposed to be there, but something that should not be in the environment so it aborts the fetus.

sonyablue
06-29-2011, 09:16 PM
But my battle was far from over. I had intermittent bleeding throughout the pregnancy, along with toxemia (high blood pressure in pregnant women). There is another name medical professionals use for toxemia nowadays, but I can't remember it at the moment.


Preeclampsia is what they call it now.

mirandashell
06-29-2011, 09:59 PM
I think there can also be incompatibility in blood groups between the mother and father that can make it difficult for a woman to carry to full term.

areteus
06-29-2011, 10:54 PM
I think you are referring to rhesus antibodies... they can sometimes cause miscarriage if different in the mother and the child.

mirandashell
06-29-2011, 11:00 PM
Ah yes, that's it. Thanks.

jaksen
06-29-2011, 11:29 PM
I know about a woman who had nine miscarriages in a row, then finally gave birth to a daughter, with cystic fibrosis. This is before genetic testing in the womb, but on retrospect, it is now believed those nine miscarried babies were all CF+. The couple eventually had one child without CF, but lost the CF child when she was twelve. So some birth defects can be quite pernicious.

Another (weird) possibility is that the woman has two uteruses (uterii?) Again, I know of a young woman with this condition. Both uteruses were very small and 'poorly formed.' She was told that women in her condition rarely have babies. However, she now has three daughters. One of her uteruses was pregnant for two of the babies; the smaller uterus produced the third baby. (These babies were born at different times; they weren't triplets or anything.)

So if someone has this double-uterus condition (I am unsure of the medical term for it) they might have trouble conceiving.

Lehcarjt
06-29-2011, 11:42 PM
So you pretty must described me. Here's what happened:

I tried to get pregnant. But I only ovulate three or four times a year (and have since I was a kid). After 18 months of trying on our own (and several miscarriages, although I didn't recognize them for what they were until later), my OB sent me to a fertility class (Kaiser - can't do anything without going to a class first). Then he did all kinds of blood tests and a pelvic exam to see if anything obvious wrong (nope).

For my hubby, all they did was a semen count. He came back fine, so in all likely hood the problem was me.

Still no pregnancy, so the next step was hormone treatment - Clomid (I think that is the spelling) and after I ovulate progesterone (because I'm naturally low and possibly that is why I miscarry so easily.

**Side note on the miscarriages - I've had five or six miscarriages at 6 weeks. Usually I realize I'm pregant and sometimes even get a positive pregnancy test, but then I'm not any more. This is no big deal - either physically or emotionally. I had one miscarriage at 12 weeks that was devastating, so I know the difference.

If a woman has miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage (particularly if the pregnancy is getting further along - say 10 weeks) that is handled differently than what I went through - and really I don't know much about it.

After the clomid/progesterone didn't work, the doctor was going to move onto a more aggressive hormone treatment, but I got pregnant on my own. (The clomid/progesterone likely didn't work because my body doesn't cycle like a regular person's. I was probably getting pregnant and then the progesterone (taken too early) was flushing the fertilized egg out of my body.) The hormones regulated everything, and then my body could do it's job.

For most people, an OB will start testing for fertility after one year of trying on their own. After 35 it lowers to six months.

You might think of googling 'fertility problems blogs'. I think there are a number of ladies documenting their own hardships with fertility. You can probably find more details and stories that way. I had a girlfriend who blogged her way to pregnancy a few years ago.

Good luck!

Lehcarjt
06-29-2011, 11:43 PM
I think you are referring to rhesus antibodies... they can sometimes cause miscarriage if different in the mother and the child.

My hubby and I have that. But it is only true for a second child. It's the first pregnancy that causes the problem. With modern medicine you get a series of shots after baby one is born and it won't affect baby two. Then you get more shots after baby two, and so forth.

SWest
06-30-2011, 12:01 AM
Include psychological issues and impediments...my sister's best friend growing up was adopted by a couple who could not conceive. They immediately became pregnant when the adopted child was brought home, and had a second child some years later. Both pregnancies were uneventful, and the children of average intelligence, etc.. What "unlocked" the system for these folks? Dunno.

I worked years ago with a woman who DID NOT WANT A CHILD. Her husband coerced her into being induced, but then she had to have the child by c-section. Subsequent attempts for more children have failed.

Though some of the older articles may contain more than a little gender-essential bias, ncbi is always worth a cruise:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7037462

May be useful for Voice research:

http://reproductivepsych.org/issues/infertility/

Big field of play here! You'd have to identify some specific sort of infertility issue (not conceiving, loss of pregnancy, etc.) and build out from there.

sonyablue
06-30-2011, 12:56 AM
My hubby and I have that. But it is only true for a second child. It's the first pregnancy that causes the problem. With modern medicine you get a series of shots after baby one is born and it won't affect baby two. Then you get more shots after baby two, and so forth.
Just to expand on this, rh incompatibility occurs when the mother is Rh- and the father is Rh+ and the resulting baby is Rh+. The baby's + blood mixes with the mother's - blood, which prompts her body to create antibodies against the Rh+ blood. So when the second Rh+ baby comes along, the mother's body recognizes those blood cells as 'bad' and destroys the baby's blood. Obviously this can be very serious.

Both my husband and I are Rh- but the doctors insisted on giving me a Rhogam shot anyway. I suppose they can't just take your word for it that your husband is really the father. But still, I wasn't thrilled about getting unnecessary shots.

mirandashell
06-30-2011, 01:03 AM
Hmmm.. it can happen the other way too. My father is Rh- and my mom is Rh+. I was the first child and my blood is Rh+ so no problem. But my sister is Rh-. She was born 8 weeks early after a lot of bed rest for my mom.

KellyAssauer
06-30-2011, 02:10 AM
Wow. You gals are great! I've almost got too much and I'll have to explore some of these via google and find the right mix. I like the idea of psychological issues (duh, of course I would) but I really needed a chemical / physical reason ala hostile uterus, or PCOS, or hormonal imbalance, or blood clotting issues.

I don't want to sound excited that I found the corect and yet very sad road... but I really needed a chemical imbalance type of reason. only that, would perfectly compare-contrast the major theme.

Oh my. It looks like I'm going to have to write this now!
Thanks again, esp those of you who shared amazing things.

:Hug2:

-Kelly

stormie
06-30-2011, 02:30 AM
Don't know if this is relevant, but there's a syndrome that 1 out of about 800 males are born with. It's called Klinefelter's Syndrome or XXY. The male is sterile. Many don't realize it until they and their sig. other tries to have a child.

Then there are men w/ one testicle not descended and/or a low sperm count. The remedy--boxers for a few months prior to d-day, coffee (and lots of it) on d-day, and no sex for a few weeks prior to d-day. Then they go at it for as much as they want on d-day.

SWest
06-30-2011, 03:08 AM
...I like the idea of psychological issues (duh, of course I would) but I really needed a chemical / physical reason...


I believe it is possible for you to have both.

In the case of my sister's friend's family, we have to wonder if Thoughts were at the core of the difficulty.

Thoughts are, after all, chemicals. There are elegant relationships between all the organs of the body, despite what modern, Western medical models imply (Heart Specialist, Fertility Specialist, Podiatrist). Chemicals that mediate thought also circulate to other parts of the body, and vice versa, impacting and changing functions all over the place.

If we posit that Mom harbored some fundamental insecurity about pregnancy or her abilities to parent (or her partner's abilities), this could certainly impact her ovarian function (per my second example). Once Adopted Baby arrived and parenting became Do-able, these impediments were overcome and WHAM! Babies #2 & #3. :D

More ovary-localized conditions would impact brain function and emotional states of mind.

Either character would be well within your abilities to explore and develop!

Kathl33n
06-30-2011, 06:25 AM
It does look like you could use a number of these options. Good luck!

Lehcarjt
06-30-2011, 06:55 AM
but I really needed a chemical imbalance type of reason. only that, would perfectly compare-contrast the major theme.

One of the things I discovered on my infertility path (and I've been throught it several times with several kids) is that the medical world is completely uninterested in figuring out what the problem is. Other than a few blood tests and physical exam, they are more interested in just trying different methods of getting you pregnant.

So even while my problems seem likely to be hormonal, the doctor never confirmed that. He even speaks of it in terms of 'likely to be'. And he doesn't really care about the whys. Medicine's goal is to give me a baby and that is what they do with little to no worry about why I can't do it on my own. I've spoken to other women who have said the same.