by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
When patients come to see me concerned about infertility, each woman has her own story, her own set of circumstances. The cause of infertility is different for everyone. We treat each woman individually, but they all get the same prognosis. The same one I’m going to give you right now. No matter where you are in the fertility process, if you continue to want to move forward, you will arrive at your destination: a child.
I don’t know right now how you’ll get there. Your path may have many twists and turns and maybe some setbacks. You may find success in the natural methods described in this article. You may require assistance from a specialist, infertility drugs, or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Maybe you’ll decide donors, surrogates or adoption is the best course. But the important thing is that barring any extraordinary event, I firmly believe that every dedicated parent will hold a child in her arms at the end.
Modern technology has been the answer to many prayers and, despite being an alternative health practitioner for over 25 years, I am a big supporter of doing whatever you can to facilitate a pregnancy, even if it means temporary drug treatment and/or surgical procedures. There is no right or wrong way to make or adopt a baby, as long as you and your partner fully understand your treatment options in the context of your whole health picture — and that includes financial health. Natural approaches, including optimal nutrition, detox (both physical and emotional) and alternative techniques like acupuncture can be very successful as an enhancement to high-tech fertility measures or as a course of action in and of themselves.
So let’s talk frankly about this loaded topic. I want you to know as much as possible so you and your partner can make informed decisions and take control of your fertility.
Infertility treatments: first things first
It’s always good to ask yourself a few basic questions as you consider your options:
Will this be your first pregnancy? Different factors may come into play if you are experiencing primary infertility (no previous children) or secondary infertility (you have other biological children).
How old are you? Thirty-five is the magic number in conventional medicine (though, for a broader perspective, see below). If you’re under 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for over a year, or you’re over 35 and have been trying for over six months-it’s time to find out why.
What is your heart’s desire? Do you absolutely have to have a biological child that carries both you and your partner’s genes? Would donor eggs/sperm or surrogates be acceptable? Do you just want a child, even if it is not biologically related to you? This is not an all-or-nothing question and your answer may change during the process. However, if you are willing to adopt a child, this is a good thing to know at the outset.